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Rising Temperatures, Differing Viewpoints

A Case Study on the Politics of Information


Christopher Hollister
University Libraries
University at Buffalo


In this case, students work in small groups to analyze and critically evaluate the often political nature of news stories. The case was developed from two newspaper articles published in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal about the release of an EPA report on the state of the environment. While the New York Times article discusses White House editing of the report, which eliminated several references to the causes and dangers of global warming, the Wall Street Journal article focuses more on the report’s evidence of environmental improvements. Developed for an undergraduate information literacy course, the subject matter of the case also makes it suitable for use in undergraduate level courses in environmental studies, journalism, or political science.


  • Sharpen students’ skills to analyze and critically evaluate news stories.
  • Question the possible motivations for and influences on news stories.
  • Identify specific criteria for evaluating news stories.


Global warming; climate change; emissions; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; EPA; Report on the Environment; science literacy; President George W. Bush; New York Times; Wall Street Journal

Topical Areas

Policy issues, Science and the media

Educational Level

High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division



Type / Methods

Analysis, Discussion



Subject Headings

Science (General)  |   Environmental Science  |   Journalism  |  

Date Posted


Teaching Notes

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