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9 Activity: Spot Sponsored Content

Mike Caulfield

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.

  1. http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/10/politics/russia-dossier-update/index.html
  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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Activity: Spot Sponsored Content by Mike Caulfield is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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