- The News Literacy Project (NLP), launched by a former Los Angeles Times investigative reporter Alan Miller in 2008, has received a $5 million grant from the Knight Foundation, which will help the nonprofit expands its offerings, according to EdSurge.
- These will include NewsLitCamps, in which educators visit a newsroom to learn how social media impacts news, and if what they’re reading is something they can trust. The Knight Foundation also provided $250,000 in initial funding for NLP, which at first provided on-site programs for middle and high school classes. Since May 2016, the group has offered an online program called Checkology to reach more schools with its news literacy course.
- After speaking at his daughter’s middle school, Miller founded NLP to teach students how to assess what they read. Its programs have reached more than 122,000 students nationally.
News literacy — part of media literacy — is a skill schools are increasingly trying to teach, so students can eventually discern for themselves if the information they’re learning, reading, hearing or seeing is or isn't reliable. While students often trust the information that teachers, parents and other adult role models deliver to them — having the ability to make those judgments for themselves gives students the freedom to continue their education as they grow up.
According to a survey of almost 6,000 U.S. students, conducted by the Knight Foundation and the Association of College and Research Libraries, navigating the news has become extremely difficult. For administrators looking for ways to bring these lessons to schools, the News Literacy Project, and its online component Checkology, is one resource they can certainly tap. There are others as well, which can be easily folded into subjects including English language arts and social studies.
Other sources include the Center for Media Literacy, which offers an online Media Literacy Kit, as well as professional development to help educators in a school and district learn how to bring media literacy programming to their students. And ConnectSafely is an online site that offers free, downloadable educator and parent guides on media literacy and fake news. In the policy realm, the advocacy group Media Literacy Now posts details about proposed bills across the country. Some are pushing to include media literacy classes in schools, while others want to create media literacy task forces to help students learn how to navigate content online.
While an educator's first mission is to teach students a body of knowledge, their second is to ensure that students learn how to find information on their own, and navigate what they discover, safely, on their own. Fortunately, there are a growing number of resources to help them achieve that.