This week, January 24-28, 2022, is National News Literacy Week. According to the nonpartisan, nonprofit News Literacy Project and the E. W. Scripps Company who sponsor and present it, the event “underscores the vital role of news literacy in a democracy and provides audiences with the knowledge, tools, and abilities to become more news literate.” They also want the event to “inspire news consumers, educators and students to practice news literacy and to strengthen trust in news media by reinforcing the role of credible journalism.”
If you have not used or are not even familiar with the NLP’s resources, this week might be a good time to start. The resources they provide to educators, which can be found at www.newslit.org, are both useful and numerous: Checkology, The Sift (a weekly email newsletter), a resource library, the Newsroom to Classroom program, NewsLit Nation Insider (a monthly email newsletter), professional learning programs, free webinars, NewsLitCamp, Informable (a free mobile app), Is That A Fact? (a news literacy podcast), and Viral Rumor Rundown, which highlights some of the most current digital news misinformation).
As a participant in their free webinars and as a recipient of both their weekly and monthly email newsletters, I highly recommend checking out their resources. Just keeping up with the newsletters can be a daunting task, but each provides quality information that educators can use. The Sift alone provides classroom-ready resources, video broadcasts with viewing guides, a Top Picks section that focuses on current journalism topics, and viral rumors and photos that can be used as icebreakers/eye-openers to kickstart a daily class.
Although National News Literacy Week is presented by NLP, don’t forget about all of the great news literacy/media literacy sources on eMediaVA. Among their many resources, you will find videos, lesson plans, documents, and infographics from Common Sense Education, PBS News Hour’s Student Reporting Labs, iCivics, and KET Education, which offers a weekly 15-minute currents events program for grades 4-8.
Because news literacy is not an SOL subject, I challenge all educators to find ways to integrate it into their classes throughout the year. I know your time is limited, but don’t forget that your librarians are ready and eager to lead or supplement you in teaching news and media literacy. To learn about National News Literacy Week and the News Literacy Project in a nutshell, check out this PSA.
Dale Harter is a librarian at Matoaca High School in Chesterfield County and an eMediaVA Ambassador.