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Friend, Enemy, or Frenemy? The News Literacy Challenge

Welcome to Day 5 of the News Literacy Challenge!

Throughout the week, we have learned about the various ways in which news is made, and the implications of news as a construction. Now, it's your turn!

Your Challenge: Create a Headline for a Specific News Outlet Based on the Story Below, and Describe the Choices you Made

1. Review information about a recent event below (you can do this alone, or if you want to collaborate with others who are taking this challenge, feel free to connect with them and do this as a group!).

2. Use that information to create a headline for the outlet you are assigned (see assignments by last name below) and select one of these photos to accompany your headline. If you don’t know anything about your news outlet, do some brief online searching to get a better sense of it.

  • If your last name begins with the letters A-C, create your headline for Fox News.
  • If your last name begins with the letters D-F, create your headline for National Public Radio.
  • If your last name begins with the letters G-K, create your headline for Huffington Post.
  • If your last name begins with the letters L-R, create your headline for The Wall Street Journal.
  • If your last name begins with the letters S-Z, create your headline for The Onion.

Background: A neighborhood swimming pool has an ID scanner for entry. All residents living at certain addresses in the vicinity of the pool can obtain an ID card from the homeowner’s association in the neighborhood and use it to enter the pool. There is no one to monitor the pool’s use or ID access.

Information About This Event:

  • White chair of the homeowner’s association calls the police when he sees a Black mother and her child swimming at the neighborhood pool.
  • Chair of the homeowner’s association asks the mother to show her ID card.
  • One police officer questions the mother about the man’s call and asks her to swipe her ID card to prove her membership in the neighborhood.
  • Another police officer separates the child from the mother while the other officer is talking with her.
  • Both police officers speak with the chair of the homeowner’s association.
  • Mother swipes her ID card and it is a valid ID.
  • Mother asks chair of the homeowner’s association to apologize. He does not respond.

3. Share your headline, your assigned media outlet, and the choices you made in the discussion board below. Include the image number you chose, and why.

The discussion board is now closed (The News Literacy Challenge took place October 26-30, 2020). However, we encourage you to scroll through the responses and reflect on your own answers to the questions below!

Made with Padlet

Optional Bonus Challenge! Pick a news outlet that you were not assigned, and create a headline based on the same information above. In the discussion board, share the outlet you chose, plus your headline and photo, and discuss why you made the choices you did. This bonus challenge provides an opportunity to consider how you might respond to this exercise when approaching it from a different point of view or agenda.

Some Concluding Thoughts

  • Dig into the content/substance of a story (move beyond the surface).
  • Be aware of your personal biases and the constructed nature of the news, and how both affect your experience(s) with a story.
  • Be a thoughtful consumer (and sharer) of all media, including the media you love.
  • Use tools and strategies to combat misinformation, like those on our Fake News and Misinformation guide. Remember the SIFT Method for evaluating information (as we learned on Day 2!).
  • Consider journalism codes of ethics as guidelines for what to expect from the stories you encounter (as we learned on Day 3!).

Congratulations! You have completed the News Literacy Challenge!

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