John, what is most important here is not whether this one particular site is biased but that you develop the skill to assess sources for yourself. You will need this far beyond this particular assignment, as you will need to evaluate sources when you do everything from selecting a Youtube video about changing you car's headlight bulb to knowing who to trust when deciding which over-the-counter medicine to give your sick child to completing a college research assignment.
Website domain type
.com (selling something)
.org (non-profit but still representing a cause or issue, like the wilderness)
.gov (generally credible, but potentially representing a partisan position)
.edu (focused on educating, not selling, so most credible)
Do the site's history, mission, policies or leadership bios reveal a preference or leaning toward a limited perspective or a single cause that may not fairly represent all sides of the issues?
Who funds or sponsors the site? You know the site will support the goals and interests of those pay the bills! Also, affiliations with other credible sources indicate this site's credibility.
Professionalism and "other content"
Is the site messy or professionally developed? A credible source will invest the time and money to be organized, user-friendly, error-free, and visually appealing.
Are there intrusive advertisements that require you to click through or scroll over lots of distractions to get to the "facts"?
Are embedded links or articles linked below the source content all "click-bait" junk, or does the source link only to other quality source articles and pages?
The CRAAP test
Search for "the CRAAP test" to learn about other considerations for assessing websites or any sources.
Good luck with your class and research. Let me know if I can help!
Yes, of course it is biased. They don't pretend that they are NOT biased. In their "Land Acknowledgement Statement" they state: We strive to support actions that respect the priorities, traditional knowledge, interests and concerns of Native American and Indigenous peoples to ensure a more just and equitable future.
This means that they "take sides." They are biased. Now whether that bias is perceived by you as "good" or "bad/incorrect" is for you to debate.
I do not think they attempt to be balanced because they need to be able to convince their readers of the side they believe in.
First, bias or opinion aren't necessarily wrong, but you need to understand them when you come across them.
To figure out if a website is biased or unbalanced, you'll want to look at the language used.
Here is an excerpt from one of their posts: They connected with Gwich’in residents in Arctic Village, a small village on the southern boundary of the refuge, and found that drilling in the refuge’s coastal plain would destroy the calving ground of the Porcupine caribou herd. This would be a disaster.
Up until the underlined portion (My emphasis), this was a report, with facts like the location, village name, and the (perhaps debatable, but not necessarily biased) detail that the drilling would destroy a habitat.
"This would be a disaster," however, is an opinion. It takes perspective to decide this. Like, if you're a porcupine, it's not a good situation for you. If you're the one making money off of drilling, than it's probably not a disaster for you.
Or, the hottest day recorded in Wisconsin. Let's say that was August 13, 2005 (I'm making this up). Okay, and it was 104 degrees F that day. If you were to say that that was the hottest day ever recorded, you'd be correct. But, if you were to say it was uncomfortably hot, you'd be making a biased judgment. there might be some pet lizards who got to take a walk on their tiny leashes that day and were VERY comfortable!
It's important to understand bias vs fact, but bias and opinion aren't inherently bad.
You can also search up media bias here: https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/