The News Literacy Project’s program at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Md., is featured in two articles in the summer issue of Nieman Reports, published by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.
In “News Literacy Project: Students Figure out What News and Information to Trust,” NLP founder and executive director Alan C. Miller describes the project and takes the reader into the classroom, focusing on journalists’ presentations and students’ responses.
“My experience has underscored the importance of the project’s mission,” Miller writes. “Without a demand for quality journalism (on any platform) from the next generation, what future will it have?”
In a sidebar, “Critical Thinking About Journalism: A High School Student’s View,” Whitman student Lucy Chen discusses her experience in the project and its impact on her, including her decision to join the staff of the student newspaper.
“I grew more skeptical about the facts I read or hear, especially those I find online, where anyone can post information about anything,” writes Chen, who recently completed her sophomore year. “The guidelines presented in the unit helped me determine whether a source was accurate and reliable – and knowing this made me better at selecting information in an ever-widening sea of sources.”
The project reached about 625 students in social studies and English classes in the 9th, 10th and 12th grades at Whitman this year. It plans to embark on its third school year at the school in the fall. Whitman is one of seven participating schools in Bethesda, New York City and Chicago.
Nieman Reports—the nation’s oldest magazine devoted to a critical examination of journalism—is published quarterly by the Nieman Foundation.
Established in 1938, the foundation administers a mid-career fellowship program for journalists. More than 1,300 participants from 88 countries have received Nieman Fellowships and completed a year of study and exploration at Harvard.