#s-lib-banner-img Skip to Main Content

Fake News vs. Real News: Glossary

Terms to Know


A goal to be achieved in influencing the audience, often referred to as a hidden agenda


The Associated Press, an internationally-recognized news outlet


A tendency or opinion for or against a particular thing, usually based on prejudice


Online material created to draw traffic to a website rather than inform an audience.


The situation surrounding an event (e.g., a speech given in the context of a heated political environment)


The quality of being trustworthy


Fringe source: 
A media outlet that disseminates information that is significantly different from mainstream views 


Journalism is the activity of gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information. The purpose of journalism is […] to provide citizens with the information they need to make the best possible decisions about their lives, their communities, their societies, and their governments.https://www.americanpressinstitute.org/


Mainstream media: 
News outlets that both reflect and influence the opinions of a large number of people 


Native Ad: 
Sponsored content that looks like news (e.g., television infomercials disguised as interviews or talk shows)


The state of being impartial, not supporting either side


Primary source: 
The original document, recording, or photograph created when an event or condition was experienced


The trustworthiness of a source


The use of irony, sarcasm, and/or ridicule in exposing or denouncing the actions or vices of others, particularly politicians 


Secondary source: 
Material that was created later by someone who did not experience first-hand or participate in an event or condition


A biased interpretation of an event


Sponsored content: 
Content (i.e., articles) that look like the format of the site but are actually marketing materials


United Press International, an internationally-recognized news outlet


The process of assessing the accuracy or validity of something