Is Your News CRAAP?

Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you fall on, it’s safe to say that we are living in a time where many people are questioning the validity of news sources. Learning how to be a savvy news consumer has now become an essential life skill.

In 2014, Pew Research Center published results from a study that looked at political ideologies and the news sources different groups of people relied on.

news source

The study is a fascinating read, if you’re geeky and are trying to understand the psyche of today’s news readers. For example, despite his popularity within deep Republican circles, Americans who report themselves as Mostly Conservative don’t really trust or distrust The Rush Limbaugh Show. The same finding holds true for readers of ThinkProgress. Mostly Liberal people are split on trusting versus distrusting this particular news site.

So, what’s a person to do if they’re drawn to a news source that matches their political leaning – but they’re not sure if they can actually trust it? Test it for CRAAP!

Developed by a librarian at the University of California, the CRAAP test helps students evaluate web sources they want to use in their research. CRAAP is an acronym that identifies 5 categories that can help you critically analyze how valid a news source or web site may be.

CRAAP stands for:

  • Currency: When was the information published? Do the links work?
  • Relevance: Who is the intended audience?
  • Authority: What are the author’s credentials? Can the URL (*.gov, *.org, *mil) tell you anything about the source?
  • Accuracy: Is the information supported with evidence or citations? Is the article free of grammar and spelling errors?
  • Purpose: Does the article attempt to inform with facts or persuade with opinion?
Make It a Mini-Unit

If you’re jonesing for the days of Walter Cronkite’s push to find truth by getting both sides of the story, you can totally homeschool that! Check out these comprehensive *and* FREE lesson plans from The Center for News Literacy (developed by Stony Brook University) and



Alessa Giampaolo Keener, M.Ed. homeschooled her children from kindergarten into college. Over the last 15+ years, she has also worked with families in creating individualized learning plans. As a professional curriculum developer, Alessa has created afterschool youth development programs for a Baltimore-based nonprofit, as well as teaching materials for homeschool parents and brick and mortar school teachers.

One thought on “Is Your News CRAAP?

  • May 1, 2017 at 3:27 am

    She also warns against only paying attention to news and news sources that you already know you agree with.

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