Talking points

Five talking points about news literacy

What editors can talk about the next time they meet with their local college presidents or deans of their local journalism schools

  1. In addition to reading, writing and computing skills, students entering the workforce today need to have an ability to interpret messages from myriad sources of news and information. We cannot assume they will simply pick up this skill on their own. The teaching of news literacy is a powerful way to prepare students for life beyond college, regardless of their career choices.
  2. Well informed citizens are essential to a functioning government, which ultimately has much to say about how public education is funded. So preparing the next generation to be sophisticated consumers of news and engaged citizens is not only good for democracy, it is in the school’s self-interest.
  3. Other universities and colleges are incorporating news literacy into their curriculums and finding that the courses attract strong student interest across all majors. Stony Brook University and Syracuse University are two excellent examples; faculty there would be delighted to share their ideas, syllabi and learning outcomes with you.
  4. News literacy complements critical thinking skills, and is an engaging way to bring topics such as globalization, diversity and civility into the curriculum.
  5. My news organization and the American Society of News Editors are willing and eager to be a resource for the university if it embarks on a news literacy course or campaign. Because news literacy can be taught by either a fulltime faculty member, an adjunct professor, or a combination of the two, it can be a cost-effective way to bolster the curriculum. The topic can also be taught effectively in either a lecture setting or in small groups.