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December 2014

President's Message

Dear NLP Friends and Supporters,

With another year of news literacy education coming to a close, we’d like to acknowledge a few of the extraordinary individuals whom we are blessed to have within our ranks.

Nowhere are these blessings more evident than with our distinguished and engaged board. John Carroll, who is completing his fourth and final year as chairman, is the subject of our NLP Profile. One of the most accomplished newspaper editors of his generation, John has been with NLP since its inception and has been a remarkable leader.

NLP News announces an impressive new board member, Walt Mossberg. He has long been a highly respected pioneer in both writing about technology and bringing leaders in the industry together to discuss it.

Our dynamic and committed teachers have played a vital role since NLP’s inception. The focus of the NLP Spotlight is our new teacher advisory committee, which will provide ongoing feedback and guidance as we continue to innovate and improve our programs and resources.

Finally, our video this month rings in the New Year with resolutions from some of our students, teachers, journalists, staff and board members, all offering guidance on when to “Check It Out.”

Wishing you and your families a festive holiday season and a news-literate 2015!

Warm regards,


Alan C. Miller








NLP participants and partners offer inspiration for a news-literate New Year’s resolution.

NLP in the News

Since our last newsletter, NLP has been featured in these media reports:

NLP Calendar

Teaching News Literacy, NLP’s series of online professional development workshops for teachers across the United States, continues with “News Literacy and Civic Engagement” on Wednesday, Jan. 14, and “21st-Century Trends, Tools and Skills” on Wednesday, Feb. 18. Each one-hour session begins at 6 p.m. Eastern time (5 p.m. Central, 4 p.m. Mountain, 3 p.m. Pacific). Educators can register here for individual sessions ($30 each).

Marc Lacey (left), an associate managing editor at The New York Times, looks on as Sidi Diop, a senior at Cristo Rey New York High School, introduces him during a student assembly on Oct. 22. Photo by Meredith W. Gonçalves

NLP News
A new board member, Los Angeles connections and a growing partnership

Walt Mossberg was elected to the News Literacy Project’s board at NLP’s Dec. 9 meeting. He is the co-executive editor of Re/code, a technology news website launched in January, and co-produces the Code Conference, an annual tech industry event. Walt spent more than 40 years at The Wall Street Journal, initially covering national and international affairs in Washington before creating and writing the weekly “Personal Technology” column for 22 years. He was also the co-creator and co-producer of D: All Things Digital, an annual technology industry conference, and was co-executive editor of the technology website Walt has been an NLP journalist fellow since 2012.

Exciting developments are unfolding on the West Coast as well. Southern California Public Radio/KPCC has become NLP’s 27th participating news organization. NLP plans to expand to Los Angeles in 2015. Nicco Mele, NLP’s technology advisor for more than four years, was recently named deputy publisher of the Los Angeles Times. The Times is a participating news organization and several of its journalists have already been involved with NLP.

NLP also has a growing partnership with the American Press Institute. NLP has created materials for API’s website, API recently sponsored NLP’s participation at the National Council for the Social Studies conference in Boston, and both organizations are collaborating with the American Society of News Editors on the National Community and News Literacy Roundtables project.

Finally, NLP has added a new lesson, “Better Searching with Google,” to its Learn Channel. In this video lesson, shot as a Google+ Hangout on Air, Nicholas Whitaker, media outreach lead at Google, offers tips on using Google (and, by extension, other search engines) to more tightly target search results.

NLP Spotlight
Teacher Advisory Committee: Valuable Guidance from NLP Educators

Lauren Moffett, chair of NLP’s teacher advisory committee, leads an NLP lesson at George Jackson Academy in New York. Photo by Darragh Worland     Kyle Morean, a teacher advisory committee member, uses NLP’s curriculum in his media literacy class at Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter High School in Washington. Photo by Maureen Freeman

From the start, the News Literacy Project has recruited experienced educators as members of our staff, board and advisory committees. We’ve also sought the input of partner teachers through feedback surveys and meetings with local staff.

Teachers have delivered NLP’s program and helped to upgrade it in numerous ways.

In 2015, we’re forming our first teacher advisory committee to provide systematic support and guidance in developing and improving our curriculum and resources.

“The information age presents a myriad of unprecedented challenges and opportunities,” said Lauren Moffett, youth educator and programs administrator for the New York City Department of Education, who will serve as the committee’s chair.

“NLP’s teacher advisory committee is intended to help ensure that the [project’s] work stays pedagogically current and realistically aligned to the needs of classroom teachers and their students,” said Moffett, a former NLP intern.

As education in the 21st century continues to evolve in innovative ways, we at NLP recognize the need to develop an even stronger connection to the classroom. The teacher advisory committee is the next step in this ongoing effort to meet this vital challenge.

The committee’s other members are all experienced NLP teachers: Scott Menscher, a journalism and mass media teacher at Edward R. Murrow High School, and Mike Zimmerman, an English teacher at KIPP NYC College Prep, in New York City; Kyle Morean, a technology and media literacy teacher at Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter High School in Washington; and Carol Moran, an English teacher at the Chicago Military Academy in Chicago.

Peter Adams, NLP’s senior vice president for educational programs, will oversee the panel's work. The committee will meet quarterly and will largely set its own agenda and priorities. 

“As news and media educators, our goal should be helping to create more comprehensive and integrated news literacy curricula,” Morean said. “To do so, it is necessary to collaborate and refine our best practices and curate resources together.”

John Carroll (standing) discusses news literacy at an NLP breakfast in May with Peter Sagal of NPR's "Wait Wait … Don't Tell Me!" at WBEZ in Chicago. Photo by Mary Owen

NLP Profile
John Carroll: Setting the Standard for NLP

In any ranking of American newspaper editors, John Carroll represents the gold standard. The same can be said for his service as chair of the News Literacy Project’s board during the last four years.

Carroll joined NLP in late 2007 as one of its first two board members and has served as board chair since Jan. 1, 2011. He has skillfully, tirelessly and selflessly led the board and NLP through a period of dramatic success and growth, and now steps down as chair with NLP poised to move to national scale.

"For me, being chair has been an education and a privilege,” Carroll said. “We’ve demonstrated the value of news literacy and the ways it can be taught. Having done so on a retail basis, we're going to make the training available digitally at no cost to any school that asks for it. If we're successful — and I'm confident that we will be — we stand to reach hundreds of thousands, and perhaps millions, of young people with training that will be good both for them and for society.”

Carroll will be succeeded as chair by Leslie Hill, a community activist and former member of the Dow Jones board, who has served as vice chair the past four years. Carroll, who succeeded founding board chair Vivian Schiller, will remain a member of NLP’s board.

Carroll edited the Los Angeles Times from 2000 to 2005, during which time the paper won 13 Pulitzer Prizes. He also edited The Baltimore Sun (1991-2000) and the Lexington Herald-Leader (1979-1991). He served on the Pulitzer Prize board from 1994 to 2003 and was its chairman in 2002. Earlier in his career he was a reporter for The Baltimore Sun and an editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“I was privileged to have had the opportunity to work for John for five memorable years as a reporter,” said NLP president and founder Alan Miller, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for an investigative series that Carroll edited at the Los Angeles Times. “I feel doubly blessed to have benefited from John’s wisdom, judgment, guidance and friendship building the project.”

THE NEWS LITERACY PROJECT (NLP) is an innovative national educational program that mobilizes seasoned journalists and works with educators to help middle school and high school students sort fact from fiction in the digital age.

Click here to learn more about NLP and visit NLP's YouTube channel.

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to support NLP, you can do so here.

NLP thanks its major funders and all those whose support makes our program possible.

Copyright (c) 2014 The News Literacy Project. All rights reserved.

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