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SchoolJournalism.org

Ancient Texts, Modern Media Literacy

Perspective. This is a word we use often when we delve into the fundamentals of media literacy. Whose perspective are we getting, and who is in control of the message? How is this perspective different from what we are used to? Are many perspectives being considered? When we teach media literacy, we are often teaching a "best of" buffet of classic liberal education, from rhetoric and argumentation to literary analysis, to civics and history. Rhetorical and literary analysis feed directly into news literacy and media literacy, ...

Commentary vs. Journalism: Are journalists biased?

A recent poll by Gallup reports that 62 percent of Americans believe journalists are biased in the arena of politics. The majority of those polled feel journalists favor Democrats in their reporting. This isn’t a shocker. Poll after poll has similar results: Americans believe journalists are biased and weave a web of fabricated tales. Where did we go wrong? Recently, I engaged in conversations with several individuals who remember Watergate. All expressed that the majority of the Americans they knew didn't ...

Character Ed should link in lessons on Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship

The need for Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship in school curriculums cannot be denied. However, I have a radical proposal. Can we emphasize in those lessons themes that include kindness and respect for others? Just a few weeks ago, I saw two prime examples of why incorporating Character Education traits into our lesson plans is a must. Example #1: One of my broadcast students, Jade, was working out with her boyfriend at a local gym. Unbeknownst to her, a complete stranger took photos o...

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Q and A with the Pros: Laura Hettiger

Currently, Laura Hettiger starts her day as the the traffic reporter for KMOV "News 4 This Morning" in St. Louis. After her shift on "News 4 This Morning," she co-hosts the mid-morning lifestyle show "Great Day St. Louis." SchoolJournalism.org recently connected with Laura for a quick Q and A session to share with our readers.   SJ: When and how were you bit by the journalism bug? Laura: "Growing up in a very small town, when my family would go clothes shopping, we would be gone all day. As a 7-year-old, I hated everything about it. To pass the time, I would go into the men's shoe department, pull out the shoe tree, put tissue paper on the end to form a microphone an...

Please, please, may I have a drone?

I’m a kid at heart. When my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas a couple of years ago, I said I wanted a drone. Yes, at 42 I’m still asking for a toy. I want to point out that this toy is different than a new Canon DSLR, a 360 camera, or a GoPro. What I have at my hands is a practically a flying lawnmower. Can you imagine handing that to 16 year-old? I can! However, we have to keep in mind there are some guidelines to follow before doing so. There is a reasonable explanation for all the laws and rules of drone usage. Knowing them is central to any teachers’ preparation. Matt Waite is the guy who can tell you all about it. Waite is a professor at the College of Journali...

Taking StratComm from a Tiny Blip to a Major Component of Journalism Education

When I started teaching 22 years ago, strategic communication wasn't on my radar, but in the past three years it has become a major part of my vocabulary. Simply defined: "Strategic communication is an umbrella term used to describe the activities of disciplines including public relations, management communication, and advertising." It's becoming a field of study that more and more colleges are offering, including the Missouri School of Journalism  strategic communication degree. For me, as an educator, the big question I faced was, "How do I give my broadcast students a taste of the StratComm world?" The answer became crystal clear when my students participated in two programs Mi...

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