Making Sense of the News News Literacy Lessons for Digital Citizens
This six-week course will help learners develop their critical thinking skills to enable them to better identify reliable information in news reports and to become better informed about the world in which we live. The course will discuss the key elements of journalism from the viewpoint of the news audience. The language of instruction is English, but Chinese and Spanish subtitles will be available.
Learners will examine, analyze and internalize the following topics: - Why news matters? Power of information - Why news literacy matters? Social sharing and the dynamics of the news cycles. - What makes journalism different? Verification, independence, accountability. Information neighborhoods. The blurred lines between news, promotion, entertainment and raw information - What drives news? Universal news values. Editorial judgement. - What is trustworthy information? Truth. Evidence. Media bias, audience bias. Opinion journalism and bloviation. Fairness. False equivalence. - Why does verification fail? The limits of journalism. - Who provides information? Source evaluation. - How do we know what we know? Becoming an active news audience.
We are thrilled to make this course available for anybody who is interested in learning how to evaluate the quality of news and journalism in order to judge the reliability of information and make informed judgment. It is an online version of the News Literacy curriculum developed at Stony Brook University in New York and the University of Hong Kong. More than 15,000 university students in ten countries have taken it over the last ten years. We have been constantly updating our course material by incorporating the impact of the growing popularity of smart phones and social media services around the world. We hope you enjoy the course!