News & Media Literacy

This is the place for the latest information on how the digital revolution is transforming news and media. The onset of the digital age forever changed the way readers interact with news and the way that journalists do journalism. More data is produced in a single second that can possibly be consumed in a lifetime. The need for news literacy has never been more important.

Simply put, news literacy is the ability to use critical thinking skills to judge the reliability and credibility of news reports and information sources. As 21st Century citizens, we must know what is in the news we consume — where to get the news, what to do with it and how to make news of our own. This might seem overwhelming at first, but the resources available at will help you navigate the news and media that’s important to you.

Definition of News Literacy

“News literacy is the acquisition of 21st-century, critical-thinking skills for analyzing and judging the reliability of news and information, differentiating among facts, opinions and assertions in the media we consume, create and distribute. It can be taught most effectively in cross-curricular, inquiry-based formats at all grade levels. It is a necessary component for literacy in contemporary society.” Prepared by the Radio Television Digital News Association with a grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Definition of Media Literacy

The Center for Media Literacy uses this definition: “Media Literacy is a 21st century approach to education. It provides a framework to access, analyze, evaluate, create and participate with messages in a variety of forms — from print to video to the Internet. Media literacy builds an understanding of the role of media in society as well as essential skills of inquiry and self-expression necessary for citizens of a democracy.”

The Center for International Media Assistance states: “Media literacy refers to a person’s ability to understand, analyze, and utilize the media, as well as their ability to differentiate between quality, unbiased news and opinion. Many argue that media literacy should also involve citizens’ understanding of the importance of free and independent media to the stability of a democracy.” News and Media Literacy Resources

Six Principles of News Literacy
Key principles to guide producers and consumers of news and information.

Resource Links
We’ve compiled the best resources on news and media literacy.  Be sure to check them out!

Articles and Research
Want to learn more?  Take a look at articles and research on this emerging area in education.

News Literacy Lesson Plans and Information for Educators

Digital Collection of Short News Literacy Lessons
The News Literacy Project offers lesson plans to educators and others interested in news literacy on its Learn Channel.

Learning Goals
Prepared by news literacy thought leaders, Baruch College Professor Geanne Rosenberg and Alan Miller, director of the News Literacy Project, in collaboration with Dean Miller, director of Stony Brook University’s News Literacy Center, and Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute.

News and Media Literacy
Lesson plans by Reynolds High School Journalism Institute Fellows Laurie Oksanen & Lesley Valencia (scroll to week 1).

Searchlights and Sunglasses
A free digital book and learning tool from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Eric Newton. For specific ideas on how to teach news literacy in your classroom, check out the “learning layer” activity called “How do you know what to believe?

Understanding News Literacy
Developed by Megan Fromm for the Journalism Education Association and made possible through a grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Weekly Lesson Feed and Other Classroom Materials
Prepared by the Center for News Literacy at Stonybrook University.



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