Parents' Guide to


By Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

In-depth info can help readers evaluate media coverage.

AllSides Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this website.

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This news analysis site attempts to offer a thorough assessment of recent media coverage -- and essentially succeeds at that goal. AllSides factors several elements into its media outlet bias ratings, including blind bias surveys, in which readers review articles without knowing where they came from, third-party research, and, just in case the site's rating system is off, it also considers community feedback. For that last option, someone has to physically change the ratings, so people shouldn't be able to skew the outcome by repeatedly agreeing or disagreeing here. In addition, reviews may be labeled with a low, initial, medium, or high confidence rating, based on how many methods were applied, along with the strength and consistency of the data involved.

The site's rating system isn't perfect -- AllSides makes it clear that it, too, approaches coverage with some level of bias. Kids should also be aware the site's analysis solely involves online reporting, not broadcast or other print coverage, and they won't find analysis of every article or topic they come across on news sites. Some users may initially question what specific criteria AllSides uses to assess media outlets -- that information isn't exactly front-and-center. They can, though, find a description if they click through to a secondary page and do some scrolling. In addition to that information, kids will also find plenty of items to read on the site that provide a comprehensive look at how some events and subjects are being presented. Individual news-based items feature side-by-side takes on a topic from what the site considers to be more left- or right-based sources, and a center-oriented outlet -- which the site says either doesn't show much bias or largely portrays both sides equally. Further analysis is also provided in the site's blog. Generally, AllSides does a stellar job of breaking issues down, and the site's content should, at the very least, cause kids to think about how news is presented -- and how that can affect their opinion.

Website Details

  • Subjects: Language & Reading : forming arguments, reading, reading comprehension, text analysis, using supporting evidence, Social Studies : citizenship, cultural understanding, events, geography, global awareness, government, power structures, the economy
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning : analyzing evidence, applying information, investigation, part-whole relationships, thinking critically, Self-Direction : personal growth
  • Genre: Educational
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Last updated: August 28, 2019

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