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Consume Smarter: Recognizing News Media Bias with Vanessa Otero

interviews May 25, 2022


In this episode, Sharon speaks with Vanessa Otero, the founder of Ad Fontes Media–the media company that is responsible for the dynamic Media Bias Chart. If you’ve follow Sharon on Instagram at @sharonsaysso, then you’ve seen her link to the Media Bias Chart many times. The conversation today centers around the importance of trust and reliability in the media. Ad Fontes analysts use the acronym RELI as news source benchmarks, which stands for reputation, evidence, likelihood, and incentive. As news consumers, it’s important for us to remember that true news  journalism seeks to answer our questions, not provide analysis or opinion. We are used to thinking about news in a binary: real news vs. fake news, but as Vanessa explains, it’s more of a gradient of reliability, from a top tier of fact-based “who, what, when, where” news reporting down to misleading and inaccurate information. Most of our news media falls in the middle.


Links to Full Episode:


About the Guest:

Vanessa Otero is the creator of the Media Bias Chart, and the Founder and CEO of Ad Fontes Media. A licensed patent attorney in the Denver, Colorado area, Vanessa holds a B.A. in English from UCLA and a J.D. from the University of Denver. Vanessa’s formal education and professional career has centered on analytical reading, writing and reasoning, creating an ideal background for her to create a content analysis methodology for evaluating text. 

Vanessa is on the Board of Directors of Community Radio for Northern Colorado and is on the Advisory Council of Media Literacy Now. Vanessa and Ad Fontes Media have also been published or featured in articles and blogs on news literacy, news bias and free speech, social media, and conspiracy theories. These sources have included the Poynter Institute, Cornell Policy Review MarketWatch, The Economist, Morning Brew, and more.

Vanessa is committed to making the world a better place with her passion and belief in decreasing the polarization in our news and our society, as well as educating students, teachers, and the public on the true value of media literacy and the importance of a healthy news ecosystem.


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