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Average Duration
60+ Minutes
Difficulty Level
Lesson Host
Tracie Potts
of NBC News Channel

Learn to determine the credibility of a piece of information by identifying its primary purpose or “InfoZone”: news, opinion, entertainment, advertising, propaganda and raw information.

News literacy topics

Advertisements; Opinion; Primary purpose; Propaganda; Social media

Learning objectives

  • I can analyze examples of information and categorize them by determining their primary purpose.

Essential questions

  • Why is it important to know the primary purpose of the information we encounter?
  • Do some pieces of information have more than one purpose? Can a primary, or main, purpose still be identified for these?
  • Does the purpose of a piece of information affect its credibility?
  • What does it mean for information to be verified?


“In this lesson, you’ll learn how to sift through all that content by using a simple technique we call ‘zoning information.’ Knowing how to sort through content is a foundational skill of news literacy. In fact, it’s a great first step in determining the credibility of information.

This step is more important than ever. You and your generation have more content at your fingertips than any other generation in history…much more.

There are now almost 2 billion websites on the internet. Every minute, Instagram users post more than 48,000 new photos; Twitter users share more than 480 thousand tweets, and YouTube users watch more than 4 million videos. But much of that information is not reliable because it is unverified, meaning it hasn’t been checked for accuracy by an editor or an expert.”