NewsLiteracyPlaybook - Flipbook - Page 28
engage in an exchange of ideas with students. Our
staff (which includes former teachers and former
journalists) worked with our volunteer journalists to
develop “lesson plans” that focused on a specific
learning objective and contained several engaging
approaches within a single class period.
We invited prominent journalists, such as editors of
major publications or leading television newscasters,
to serve as the featured guests at VIP breakfasts
and panels at universities that advanced NLP’s
mission, raised our profile and cultivated financial
support. They have included Marty Baron and Dean
Baquet, the executive editors of The Washington Post
and The New York Times, respectively; Paul Gigot,
the editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal;
Chuck Todd and Andrea Mitchell of NBC News;
Martha Raddatz of ABC News; Chris Wallace of Fox
News; and Thomas Friedman, Gail Collins and David
Brooks, columnists at The New York Times.
We also sought ways to reward the journalists’
contributions by including them in events, such
as those we held to launch our programs in a new
city, and citing them in publications. In 2016 we
created a “journalist volunteer of the year” award
to honor the memory of one of our founding board
members, John Carroll, one of the most renowned
and influential editors in U.S. journalism, who had
died the previous year.
Students are not just consumers of news and
other information; they are also creators. By
posting or commenting on social media, they are
already participating in local, national and even
global conversations. They are today’s editors and
writers (as well as tomorrow’s voters), and they
have enormous responsibility in helping keep our
information ecosystem healthy. Your aim is to help
them understand the power that they and others
online have, guide their evaluation skills for news and
other information, and shape their online publishing
practices to be responsible and empowering.
We designed our resources knowing that it is
important to help students draw connections
between the abstract concepts in news literacy
education and the information ecosystem in which
Working with a specialist in creating curricula for
secondary school social studies (history, civics,
government, economics, sociology, etc.) classes, we
developed our lessons based on four broad areas.
We also conducted assessments (see page 31) to
test how well we were doing.
We started with four broad themes (our “enduring
understandings”) that would guide everything we
created. We wanted a curriculum that would teach:
Why news matters.
The role of the First Amendment and a free press
in a democracy.
How to know what to believe.
The challenges and opportunities created by the
internet and digital media.
But these were too broad, we found. News literacy
involves so many concepts and skills that it can
be easy for educators to get tangled up in various
subsets of different subjects.
Focusing more narrowly on a set of essential core
skills and concepts helped us allocate resources
and create changes that can be measured. Our
curriculum shifted to address:
The question we keep in mind has remained the
same as we consider changes in our coursework:
What do we want students to be able to do as a result
of our resources?