Skip to main content

How to Be a Journalist (The Washington Post)

From the video series How to be a Journalist from The Washington Post.

What Is Real News?

Dedicated journalists and reporters take their job very seriously, and will adhere to certain guidelines:

 

  • Follow style guidelines, such as the AP Stylebook or the Reuters Handbook of Journalism.
  • Follow the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics:
    • Seek truth and report it
    • Minimize harm
    • Act independently
    • Be accountable and transparent

According to Pew Research and other polls, these are some of the most trusted news sources in the U.S.:

Many news outlets around the world also rely on the Associated Press (AP) and Reuters for content.

 

According to Pew Research, most Americans also trust local their news sources:

International News

Trusted international news outlets can be a great way to learn about outside perspectives on your own country and politics. Readers may also seek out international news when they are concerned about press freedom in their own country.

How to choose your news

Fake News Is Not...

Anonymous Sources

Sometimes, people may have information that the public should know, but cannot share the information publicly. Reputable news sources have policies about using anonymous sources, such as requiring that journalists independently verify the information. (The video below provides one example.)

 

Op-Eds or Opinion pieces

Many reliable news outlets will publish opinion articles, however these opinions are not presented as fact and are clearly identified as the opinions of that individual.

 

News Stories on Unverified Reports

If a government agent, for example, releases a report that contains unverified information, news agencies write about the report and details surrounding it. While the information in the report may or may not be true, if the report has been released, it is likely newsworthy.

 

Reporting on Hacked Information

A respectable news agency would never hack into a person's private communications or otherwise violate someone's privacy. However, if hacked information is released, news agencies will report on that information, if it is relevant to public interest.

The Face of Real News

 

More in The Face of Real News series from The Wall Street Journal.

News Literacy

Resources


 Middle School |  High School  Teacher