Our content guidelines
At Newsela, our goal is to provide content that inspires students to be knowledgeable and active global citizens, and that empowers educators with confidence that every choice they make is vetted, aligned to standards, and supports student engagement. To that end, we carry a great responsibility in maintaining transparency and accountability to educators, students, and parents. We maintain the highest standards to ensure trust and confidence in the content we deliver to schools and districts across the nation.
Content selection & leveling
Our editorial team considers the following criteria when selecting and leveling content:
We select content that will be engaging to students and provide ways for teachers to make a connection to an academic topic or skill.
We select content that serves as mirrors and windows for Newsela’s diverse readership, teaching students about those different from themselves, and giving them opportunities to identify with people within the content.
Original content, leveled versions, photos, and photo captions are thoroughly vetted for accuracy and slant, from respected sources with clear attributions.
Articles are thoroughly vetted so they do not contain any unexpected sensitive content that teachers or students might encounter.
When we publish opinion pieces, thought pieces, and expert advice, they are clearly marked as “opinion” at every level in all headlines to ensure clarity to all readers and prevent confusion.
We believe complex topics require further explanation for students. Therefore, complex topics will not be omitted, however they will be explained in simple, yet clear and accurate language, so any student can access the information, whether they're reading independently, at school with a teacher, or at home with a parent.
We consider how a student will feel after reading an article, therefore no perspective presented on Newsela will make students feel attacked or marginalized. The language Newsela uses to describe or define commonly disenfranchised groups will reflect the language chosen by those groups themselves.
When publishing content about serious or tragic issues or events, we do so in a way that empowers and inspires students to be active leaders, rather than leaving them with a feeling of helplessness often associated with sensitive content.
When selecting, leveling and publishing content, our editorial team takes these anti-bias measures:
Our editorial team vets all original articles, leveled versions, photos, and photo captions for accuracy and bias.
For our news section, we actively seek predominantly centrist news sources to ensure our content is fair and balanced. When selecting political content, we ensure articles come from a diverse array of sources, presenting multiple sides of an issue, logical arguments, and opinions by credible authorities.
Quizzes on sensitive or political articles are vetted for accuracy and bias.
Our editorial team initiates extra rounds of fact-checking and editing on content about complex topics, such as addiction and violence.
We publish content that supports media literacy and encourages students to do their own fact-checking and searches for bias.
Photography & images
Photography should serve as mirrors and windows for Newsela’s diverse readership, teaching students about those different from themselves and giving them opportunities to identify with people within the content.
The photography featured in Newsela content must not reinforce negative stereotypes or biases.
When selecting and publishing content we are forever mindful that our readers are not yet mature adults.
Our content does not contain expletives, gratuitous sexual content, or graphic descriptions of violence outside of primary source content. When any of the above appears in a primary source, we must use an editor's note or sensitivity tag to appropriately caution teachers and students.
We believe teachers know what is best for their students, therefore they have autonomy to hide articles they don’t want their students to read.