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Investigate the Source: Is the Campbell River Mirror a reliable news source?

SKILL: Investigate the Source


SUBJECT(S): Politics/Current Events

Students will investigate the source to learn that the Campbell River Mirror is a newspaper based in Campbell River, British Columbia.

About the Example

This article from a website called the Campbell River Mirror claims that American presidential hopeful, Vivek Ramaswamy, wants to build a wall between Canada and the US. While we may be familiar with calls to build a border wall between the US and Mexico, this one is new!

Before we start thinking about the logistical details, let’s make sure we know what kind of source we’re looking at. By using Wikipedia to investigate the Campbell River Mirror we learn that it’s a weekly newspaper in Campbell River, British Columbia.

We don’t learn a lot about the Campbell River Mirror from its Wikipedia entry, but at least we have determined that the article is from a news source – and not a satire website or an organization with a political agenda. At this point, we can read on if we’re interested in knowing more, and look for more recognizable sources if we want to dig deeper.


  1. Show students the article and have them summarize the claim.
  2. Have students use Wikipedia to learn about the Campbell River Mirror. Guiding questions:
    • What kind of source is the Campbell River Mirror? What is its agenda?
    • What does this mean about the information it publishes?

Review and Discuss Key Concepts (optional)

Introduce students to the concept of a news agency: “also referred to as a wire service, newswire or news service, a news agency is an organization that gathers news reports and distributes them to newspapers or broadcasters.”

  1. Point out to students that the article in this example is by the Canadian Press.
  2. Have students use Wikipedia to learn about the reputation of the Canadian Press.
  3. If they do not know what a news agency is, they can hover over or click over the underlined text in the Wikipedia article to learn more.
  4. Ask students to find other examples of news agencies (such as Agence France-Presse (AFP), the Associated Press (AP), and Reuters).

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