Between the recent presidential election, COVID-19, and racial unrest, our students are barraged with 24/7 access to news and media that can be real, fake, or altered. According to the presenters in a recent edWebinar sponsored by ABC-CLIO, the relationship between the terms “news” and “media” are fundamental distinctions that we need to make when working with students in the new era of journalism.
Jacquelyn Whiting, the innovation and technology specialist for Cooperative Educational Services, and Peter Adams, the senior vice president of education for the News Literacy Project, assert that while there are many credentialed journalists, there is also “a world of citizen journalists with mini-computers in their pockets.”
Because both news and media types of journalists are content creators, the relationship between professional and citizen is significant for us to consider with our students. Students must understand when to recognize trustworthy information and credible, high-quality journalism.
Whiting and Adams favor beginning the process of teaching students to identify reliable journalism by ensuring they understand and acknowledge high-quality journalism standards: sourcing, documents and evidence, minimize bias, fairness, transparency and accountability, news judgment, verification, and context.