About the Projects
The goal of this year’s “News Know-how” workshops is to give students basic news literacy skills and the tools to become news media ombudsmen, or watchdogs, in connection with the 2012 presidential campaigns. We will then encourage the students, individually and collectively, to monitor and analyze a specific news media beat, journalist or collection of news sources across various platforms, using their news literacy skills. Students will then be tasked with creating a computer-based presentation, or screencast, that shares their experience and the lessons they learned with others.
Among the kinds of topics that we expect to assign teams of students to pursue will be the corrections policies and practices of various news media outlets; news media coverage of a particular issue in the campaign in a specific community, city or region; reporting on the campaign by influential bloggers; the work of individual columnists or editorial pages, and news media coverage of specific campaign events.
Our goal will be to encourage the students to critically evaluate the coverage of the various media outlets or journalists to which they are assigned and then do one or more of the following when appropriate:
- Submit blog items
- Request corrections
- Write a letter to the editor
- Submit questions to a journalist or blogger (about fairness, accuracy, bias or anything else regarding coverage)
- Share any experiences they have in seeking a correction with a specific source
- Share any mistakes with FactCheck.org or PoliticFact
- Develop items for a collective primer on how to be a critical consumer of political coverage in the news media
We will ask students to create digital presentations focusing on one or more aspects of their experience and the lessons they learned from the project. We hope they will continue to use their newfound skills by sharing their experience with others at their public libraries, in their schools, in local publications or by becoming ombudsmen for their school newspapers or websites or remaining engaged with local and national news media in the future.