Adviser Update Adviser Update Winter 2018 - Page 9

9 Journalism students from Frank Sinatra School of the Arts check multiple sources to verify the credibility of a news story. Photo by Matt Scheiner opinions, it is getting increasingly harder for young people to distinguish between fact and fiction in the news. This is why journalism educators need to explicitly teach students about news literacy on a regular basis throughout the year. With the 24-hour news cycle taking over mobile screens, young people are being bombarded with information from multiple news sources by the minute. Oftentimes, students get their news from unreliable sources or from information posted on social media without being verified, much less read in its entirety. to help students identify “fake news.” Google and Facebook and other digital companies are helping with the initiative. Back home, more and more media institutions and school leaders are suggesting that students need a formal education in news literacy, because of the way the world now consumes and interprets media. And while teaching journalism naturally lends itself to the study of news literacy, teachers need to give it more emphasis in the classroom. According to a recent New York Times article, the Italian government is experimenting in instituting a curriculum in its schools The ability to make informed decisions and to participate in a free, democratic society are the pillars of news literacy, and it all begins with ensuring the credibility of sources, a practice students are becoming more fluent in. Katharine Kosin, an educator at Washington, D.C.’s Newseum, said education in news literacy has always been important for people of all ages, given that the news we consume influences the decisions, big and small, we make in our everyday lives. Findings from a recent Pew Research Center report about today’s digital news media indicated that two-thirds of Americans (67 percent) get at least some news on social media. The power of social media and its influence on our students’ media appetite is why an education in news literacy is becoming an essential part of teaching, not only in journalism classrooms around the country, but in curricula around the world. We must give students the tools they need to not only assess the veracity of the media they consume, but to enable them to sift through the static to make more informed news choices. This is the goal of teaching news literacy. MAT T SCHEINER Matt Scheiner is a journalism and English teacher at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in New York City. He is a former advertising copywriter and freelance journalist and has written for The Village Voice, The Wall Street Journal, The Surfer’s Journal, GearPatrol.com, FADER and Global Rhythm Magazine. “We need to be able to know what news to trust so that we make informed choices, and misinformation has a corrosive effect on our society,” Kosin said. “While misinformation is not new, it has become more easily widespread today thanks to new technologies like social media.” Kosin also thinks that students should be learning the tactics of news literacy at a younger age.