Can news literacy education help create more engaged and critical consumers of media, and what role does a more news-literate public play in driving demand for a better, thriving and tech-savvy journalistic product – indeed, the new consumer-driven media model of the 21st century?
How, why, and where we consume the news - and why it matters for the future of American democracy, citizenship, and the free market.
A documentary film, a thesis paper and the culmination of four years in American Studies.
Why yes, I enjoy an Oxford comma.
What you read is important, but not all important. How you read is the main consideration. For if you know how to read, there’s a world of education even in the newspapers, the magazines, on a single billboard or a stray advertising dodger.
Th secret of good reading is this: read critically!
But here’s thing, the photos weren’t taken at those times.
The lower photo (shown below this paragraph), which features a sea of smartphones and tablets, was, indeed, taken during the announcement of Pope Francis’s election. But the top photo (shown above), which shows an audience with far fewer gadgets was taken during the funeral procession of Pope John Paul II — a very different mood and event type.
You can blame Reddit, where this likely originated, but a better target is yourself/me/us/the lack of news literacy training. It took the Internet about 24 hours to suss out the false premise here, which is decently fast, but by then the image had already spread far and wide (and studies show that mistakes travel further, and remain in people’s memories longer, than any sort of corrections.) Again, a mirror unto ourselves, the abyss gazes back into you, etc.
Child-friendly newspapers “An augmented-reality app that ‘translates’ grown-up newspapers for children has been developed in Japan,” reports BBC News. The Tokyo Shimbun, one of the country’s biggest dailies, has worked with advertising firm Dentsu to create the software. “It allows children to hold a smartphone over the newspaper to see a child-friendly version of the text. In a promotional video, Dentsu said the app could ‘create a future for the old media newspaper.’… The demo video shows a father laying a newspaper out on a table as the child holds his smartphone over the page. Cartoon characters appear on the screen, explaining stories and drawing attention to important words.”
Anthony De Rosa: Why Newsrooms Should Poach Tech and Startup Talent
Anthony De Rosa is Reuters’ Social Media Editor, where he’s also a columnist and host at ReutersTV. We sat down with him to discuss where the tech and news communities meet and, increasingly, overlap.
Being that the news industry has more than a few business problems these days, Anthony suggests hiring outside help. By choosing Craigslist, Groupon and Facebook as examples of places from which to steal employees, De Rosa makes a solid point: go where the success is, and learn from the people that have done smart things in the more turbulent and burgeoning media landscapes.
Anthony also discusses what news life is like at Reuters, which we’ll dive into in more detail over the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
And for more FJP videos, see our new site, theFJP.org.
According to a survey of more than 2,000 middle and high school teachers, “research” for today’s students means “Googling,” and as a result, doing research “has shifted from a relatively slow process of intellectual curiosity and discovery to a fast-paced, short-term exercise aimed at locating just enough information to complete an assignment.”
PBS’s advice, which I agree with in theory but not in practice:
1. PROMOTE DIGITAL LITERACY — AND TRADITIONAL LITERACY, TOO
2. ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO FACT-FIND FACE-TO-FACE
3. GUIDE THEM TO SEARCH DEEPER.
Face-to-face is overrated and really not contributing to the literacy skill set needed to navigate the web. I believe it comes down to building minds and a culture that INSISTS on fact-checking, that doesn’t believe everything it hears but does take credibility seriously and does not hold an innate distrust of “the media.” Not an easy balance to strike, of course.
A Politico headline: “GOP soul-searching: ‘Too old, too white, too male?’”
Around noon Wednesday, I started hearing a voice inside my election-addled head: Where else had I seen numbers like these? Where had I heard that Politico description? Who else was getting a really good market share of a smaller and smaller slice of the population?
In the end, 47% of these teachers strongly agree that the literacy of these students has yet to catch up with the Internet. 44% of the same teachers say that schools should be focusing on digital literacy in their core curriculums.
Red Orbit reports on a new survey on youth, academics and digital technology from the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
The amount of meaningful information relative to the overall amount information is declining. We’re not that much smarter than we used to be, even though we have much more information — and that means the real skill now is learning how to pick out the useful information from all this noise.
Nate Silver (via sometimesagreatnotion)
Reporters and editors for the 186-year-old paperThe Telegraphand the radio station will work out of the campus’s new journalism center, alongside students whom the university expects will do legwork for newspaper and public radio reports, with guidance from their professors and working journalists.
It’s a plan born in part of desperation. Like many newspapers, The Telegraph has lost circulation and advertising revenue in the last decade, and the public radio station was forced to trim down to one staff member during the recession.
William D. Underwood, Mercer’s president, expects that by applying what he calls a medical residency model to journalism, all of these players may give the struggling industry a chance to stay alive.
Bonus:This report [PDF] from the New America Foundation entitled “Shaping 21st Century Journalism: Leveraging a ‘Teaching Hospital Model’ in Journalism Education”
“The clip shows these elements in her style: If you interview people on television for a living, you and your team over-prepare. You anticipate points where a Peter King may feel entitled to his own facts. You know your material (and his) cold, so you aren’t worried about the interview spinning out of control. You smile more as the struggle heightens. You interrupt when a dubious claim is first introduced, and each time is it re-asserted. The tone you maintain is a plea for evidence. You have your mark-up of the documents with you. You have your pen. You wave them, which is theatrical. But you also read from them, and send through the lens an evidentiary calm.”
François Truffaut I’d like to have your definition of the difference between “suspense” and “surprise.”
Alfred Hitchcock There is a distinct difference between “suspense” and “surprise,” and yet many pictures continually confuse the two. I’ll explain what I mean. We are now having a little chat. Let us suppose that there is a bomb underneath this table between us. Nothing happens, and then all of a sudden, “Boom!” There is an explosion. The public is surprised, but prior to this surprise, it has seen an absolutely ordinary scene, of no special consequence. Now, let us take a suspense situation. The bomb is underneath the table and the public knows it, probably because they have seen the anarchist place it there. The public is aware that the bomb is going to explode at one o’clock and there is a clock in the decor. The public can see that it is a quarter to one. In these conditions this same innocuous conversation becomes fascinating because the public is participating in the scene. The audience is longing to warn the characters on screen: “You shouldn’t be talking about such trivial matters. There’s a bomb beneath you and it’s about to explode!” In the first case we have given the public fifteen seconds of surprise at the moment of the explosion. In the second we have provided them with fifteen minutes of suspense. The conclusion is that whenever possible the public must be informed. Except when the surprise is a twist, that is, when the unexpected ending is, in itself, the highlight of the story.
In art as in news as in life: “The conclusion is that whenever possible the public must be informed.”