Presentation on theme: "From Johann to Jon News Literacy What is it? News Literacy is the ability to use critical thinking skills to judge the reliability and credibility of."— Presentation transcript:
From Johann to Jon
News Literacy What is it?
News Literacy is the ability to use critical thinking skills to judge the reliability and credibility of news reports, whether they come via print, television or the Internet
News Literacy Vs. Media Literacy
"The ability to access, analyze, communicate, and produce media in variety of forms" (Aspen Institute (1989)) "Media Literacy incorporates the theoretical traditions of semiotics, literary criticism, media studies, communication theory, research on arts education, and language and literacy development." (Hobbs, Renee (1997). Literacy for the information age)
Why We Need News Literacy
As the digital revolution unleashes an unprecedented flood of information – and disinformation –, the ability to assess the value of news will be an essential skill for a citizen of the Information Age.
Democracy only can flourish with an informed citizenry. The corollary: democracy will wither with a misinformed or confused citizenry.
Quality journalism only can be sustained by a public that recognizes it… and is willing to support it.
News Literacy The Course
How do you know if you’re getting the truth from the news?
News Blackout “Ouch!”
“… the experience resembled withdrawal. It made me realize how dependent I am on having instantaneous access to news…” - A.I. - A.I.
“…It is strange when you realize how connected you are to the rest of the world. When it all is taken away, you feel as though a piece of you is missing.” - M.F.
“…The people around me including myself would have no information about the outside world. This would lead me to believe that my way of life and thinking is the right way…If this is the way I feel after 48 hours, I wonder how people feel if they were to experience this their whole lives.” - N.S.
“… Feelings of dread and anxiety came over me as I realized how many friends, customers and coworkers would be discussing the State of the Union address the next day…The feelings of dread and anxiety came from the fear of being judged by my peers as uninformed, ignorant and even downright Un-American” - T.A.
“…I learned that, ‘ignorance is bliss,’ because if you have no idea about the negative events that occur in today’s society, it would not ruin your mood.” - L.L.
“This news blackout has been absolutely dreadful… I had to feel the window in my room to try and figure out what the weather outside was like…” - R.D.
“I feel by far that this has been the hardest task trying to accomplish throughout my years at Stony Brook…” - M.G.
Phase One Know Your Neighborhood
What is Journalism?
Why do so many people want to kill journalists?
Has the NY Times Committed Treason?
Is Jon Stewart a journalist?
Jon Stewart 25% of college students go to him for news
Is all information of equal value?
Key Elements: The Grid
Video News Releases “What’s Real?”
KGUN-9 (Tucson, AZ)
Are bloggers journalists?
What is News? & Who Decides?
Why News Matters Pakistan Oil Prices Presidential Politics The Rising Costs of College Tuition Health Insurance Crime on Campus Weekly News Logs
Phase Two Deconstructing The News
What is difference between news and opinion?
What’s the difference between assertion and verification?
What’s the difference between inference and evidence?
How do you know if a news source is reliable ?
1. Names sources are better than unnamed sources 2. Authoritative sources are better than uninformed sources 3. Independent sources are better than self interested sources 4. Sources who verify are better than sources who assert 5. Multiple sources are better than single sources The 5 Sourcing Rules
What is news bias and what is audience bias?
What do college women do on Spring Break?
Cognitive Dissonance People distort incoming information that contradicts People distort incoming information that contradicts their point of view. People tend to pursue information that only reflects their point of view. (This is called “confirmation bias.”) People tend to pursue information that only reflects their point of view. (This is called “confirmation bias.”) People disassociate messages from sources People disassociate messages from sources (the “sleeper effect”). When they do remember sources, people selectively When they do remember sources, people selectively describe messages as coming from sources who are known to be more reliable. People experience a strong pressure People experience a strong pressure to conform to popular opinion.
“Hostile Media Effect” The best-informed partisans are the most likely to see bias. The best-informed partisans are the most likely to see bias. The War in Lebanon, 1982 A belief among partisans that news reports are painting them in the worst possible light. A belief among partisans that news reports are painting them in the worst possible light. People who are deeply involved in one side of an issue People who are deeply involved in one side of an issue or another are quicker to spot and remember aspects of a news story that are negative.
Phase Three TV and The Net Why you can’t be a couch potato
Rules for the TV News Consumer
BE AWARE OF THE SINNERS
Be aware of stories that have a point of view from the beginning and don’t show another side or refer to another point of view to the story.
Be suspicious of manipulation – music, slow motion, quick editing and other production techniques can be used to create a mood. Be aware of video that is gratuitous; overused; titillating.
Be aware of stories with none or only one eyewitness; no sourcing; meaningless sound bites.
Be aware of staging. Use your common sense when watching a TV news story.
LOOK FOR THE WINNERS
Look for differing viewpoints of a controversial story.
Look for comprehensive news stories. Did I get the “who, what where, when, why” questions answered?
Look for first-hand accounts; good sourcing; articulate, credible eyewitnesses along with independent verified information. (“CH5 News has learned…”)
Look for good storytelling. Look for short, clear writing and conversational tone.
Who is George Turklebaum?
Worker dead at desk for 5 days Birmingham, UK 7th Jan 2001 Bosses of a publishing firm are trying to work out why no one noticed that one of their employees had been sitting dead at his desk for five days before anyone asked if he was feeling okay. George Turklebaum, 51, who had been employed as a proof- reader at a New York firm for 30 years, had a heart attack in the open- plan office he shared with 23 other workers. He quietly passed away on Monday, but nobody noticed until Saturday morning when an office cleaner asked why he was still working during the weekend. His boss Elliot Wachiaski said: "George was always the first guy in each morning and the last to leave at night, so no one found it unusual that he was in the same position all that time and didn't say anything. He was always absorbed in his work and kept much to himself." A post mortem examination revealed that he had been dead for five days after suffering a coronary. Ironically, George was proofreading manuscripts of medical textbooks when he died. You may want to give your co-workers a nudge occasionally.
Evaluating a Web Page
This site is run by Don Black, former KKK Grand Wizard
It is hosted by Stormfront.org, a white supremacy organization.
Domain names - But only with caution! Use Whois to find domain name owner: Domain names - But only with caution! Use Whois to find domain name owner: Authority – Who is responsible? What does the site’s “About Us” tell you? Is the individual or organization reputable? Authority – Who is responsible? What does the site’s “About Us” tell you? Is the individual or organization reputable? Accuracy – Is the info correct? Are sources cited properly? Are there typos? If necessary, check site in hoaxbuster sites such as or Accuracy – Is the info correct? Are sources cited properly? Are there typos? If necessary, check site in hoaxbuster sites such as or Objectivity – Are they selling you something? If a bias exists is it clearly stated? Objectivity – Are they selling you something? If a bias exists is it clearly stated? Currency – Is the information current? Are the links working? Is there an update date for the content? Currency – Is the information current? Are the links working? Is there an update date for the content? Coverage – Is it scholarly or just for fun? Are both sides of an issue addressed? It this an original work or is it a modified version of something else? Coverage – Is it scholarly or just for fun? Are both sides of an issue addressed? It this an original work or is it a modified version of something else? Rules for Evaluating Web Info
Lessons for the News Consumer Remember, story rank doesn’t guarantee reliability or importance Remember, story rank doesn’t guarantee reliability or importance Being a smart news consumer in Being a smart news consumer in the digital age is hard work The Internet provides unprecedented advantages to access and evaluate news. Maximize its advantages. The Internet provides unprecedented advantages to access and evaluate news. Maximize its advantages. On the Internet, there is a greater need - and a greater ability - to check sources, check sources, check sources On the Internet, there is a greater need - and a greater ability - to check sources, check sources, check sources
But are we any smarter?
PEW Study What Americans Know: Survey Report Released: April 2007 Source: Pew Research Center for the People & the Press
Phase Four Choosing News You Can Trust
Top 10 Tips For News Consumers
1. Know what information neighborhood you’re in. 1. Know what information neighborhood you’re in. 2. In the journalism neighborhood know the difference between news and opinion. 3. Follow a story over time. 4. Evaluate sources, evaluate sources! 5. Always ask yourself: Did the reporter open the freezer?
6. Apply the common sense test. 7. Be open to information that challenges your biases and assumptions. 8. Choose multiple brands that you trust. 9. Be an aggressive news consumer. Being a good news consumer in the digital age is hard work. 10. Make time for the news.
Did this course meet your expectations?
No. I thought it would be an easy A.
Our Next Goal To teach 10,000 Students In the next four years.
The Center For News Literacy
Mission Of The Center To become the nationally-recognized center for educating current and future consumers on how to judge the reliability and credibility of news.
Goals Of The Center To become a major resource for media outlets, educational institutions and the general public. To use Stony Brook University as a cutting edge laboratory to explore how to best teach key concepts and applications to college students. To share successful syllabus materials with other Universities around the nation and world.
Goals Of The Center To develop the nation’s first High School Curriculum in News Literacy. To become a National clearinghouse for best practices and new research in the field. To train the first generation of News Literacy Fellows, Speakers and Scholars, who will extend the principles of News Literacy to the general public. Through innovative web-based programs, seminars, books and special presentations.
Ford Foundation Grant Award $200,000 Goals Goals Development of news literacy web site. Development of news literacy web site. Development of pilot program for high school students. Development of pilot program for high school students. Development of pilot program for the general public. Development of pilot program for the general public. Fall Host a major conference on News Literacy for Journalists, Educators and Scholars from across the nation. Fall Host a major conference on News Literacy for Journalists, Educators and Scholars from across the nation.
News Literacy Enrollment 660 Students 660 Students 3 Lecture Sections 3 Lecture Sections 23 Recitations 23 Recitations NEXT SEMESTER: 872* Students 4 Lecture Sections 32 Recitations * Projected Enrollment