The quality of AWR articles is evaluated according to the following four categories:
1. The article contains no obvious errors - this does not mean that there are no factual errors but the AWR editing staff has not seen them. Readers are asked to inform us if they believe an article contains errors.
2. The text contains inaccuracies that do not change the main argument of the article or the perception of the other. This could include a wrong name of a location. Not included are mistakes in transliterating names from English to Arabic. This happens due to insufficient knowledge of authors of non-Arabic names. Inaccuracies are marked in the text between brackets […].
3. The article contains misperceptions caused by:
- Questionable claims with unclear or vague sources making it difficult to verify the claims made in a text.
- Unchallenged assertions, the use of unreliable 'sources' and rushing to conclusions unjustified by the facts.
- Uncritical use of sources. The source is accurately quoted, but it is not sure if the information the source provided was trustworthy. This could include the use of wrong information that changes the perspective on a particular issue. It could be that the argument was based on a rumor or the information has not been checked.
- Extreme simplification, either the result of being insufficiently informed or intended to make the reader get a positive impression of the subject described.
- Making excessive use of generalizations and furthering stereotypes without questioning them.
- Quoting sources out of context or taking information out of context. Making exaggerations and omissions that skew facts. For example, selecting only particular elements of someone's words to support one's own argument in a way which does not do justice to the person quoted. Selecting statements and interpreting them in such a way that the other looks as bad as possible. Omission of statements that would have balanced this. Misinterpretation of someone else's text.
- Using or formulating a conspiracy theory. Including speculations in a text or raising suspicions without providing evidence. Giving a far-fetched interpretation to something, not justified by the facts provided. Sometimes raising suspicions could happen in tendentious questions.
4. The article contains one of the above mentioned misperceptions and gives the impression it was intended to be polemic and/or inciting:
- Using offensive or derogative language. Anyone may express any opinion, but we believe arguments providing facts should be used, and not emotional and offensive language.
- The article seems intended to show how bad or dangerous the other is. An author can express any opinion, but without the intention to incite one group of people against another or to incite people against a particular person. Statements such as 'is working for' or 'is an agent of' Americans, Israelis, Zionists or Jews fall in that category if no evidence is available that that person indeed works for the nation or group mentioned.
- N/A: Evaluation is not available. The text raises doubts but there is not enough material available to classify the text according to the above-mentioned criteria.
- R: Recommended reading. We point out this article for being a balanced commentary that is in line with the objectives expressed in our mission statement, containing properly documented information, and presenting a journalistically astute analysis of a subject or event. Our editorial staff makes recommendations, but readers are also invited to recommend AWR articles with an explanation as to why they believe that article is worthy of recommendation.
If articles are classified as fitting categories 2 to 4, editors of AWR will provide proper argumentation of the fact.