9 Activity: Spot Sponsored Content

Rank the following news sources on how much sponsored content you believe their pages will feature: CNN, Buzzfeed, Washington Post, HuffPost, Brietbart, New York Times.

Individually, or in groups, visit the following pages and list all sponsored content you see, tallying up the total amount on each page. Then rank the sites from most sponsored content to least.

Rubric Needed for Activity

  1. US investigators corroborate some aspects of the Russia dossier.
  2. http://money.cnn.com/news/
  3. http://www.vox.com/polyarchy/2017/2/10/14569306/congress-shut-off-phones
  4. https://www.buzzfeed.com/tylerkingkade/laura-dunns-campus-rape-fight
  5. https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/a-gift-and-a-challenge-for-democrats-a-restive-active-and-aggressive-base/2017/02/11/e265dd44-efef-11e6-b4ff-ac2cf509efe5_story.html
  6. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/yale-calhoun-college-grace-hopper_us_589f792ce4b094a129eb8a10?tiall3di&
  7. http://www.breitbart.com/video/2017/02/11/japan-condemns-n-korea-missile-launch-trump-u-s-stands-behind-japan-100-percent/
  8. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/11/us/state-republican-leaders-move-swiftly.html?

After you’ve ranked the websites, answer these questions:

  1. Did the ranking surprise you at all?
  2. What do you think the quantity of sponsored content indicates about a website?
  3. How does this change your perspective on these websites’ reliability?
  4. Why would some websites have more sponsored content than others?


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Web Literacy for College Students 2nd Ed Copyright © 2020 by NSCC and Michael A. Caulfield is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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