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Checkology: Tool for student analysis of news


Two-Thirds (67%) of Americans Report That They Get At Least Some of Their News on Social Media. Pew Research Center


Colleges Turn "Fake News" Epidemic into a Teachable Moment. The Washington Post


Fake News: It's Complicated: Analysis of fake news


Making Sense of the News: Free online course


The Collapse of the Press and the Rise of Social Media Puts Democracy in Peril


Why TV News Must Die: A Task for Educators


Social Media Fuels Distrust in American Media, Poll Finds


Finder, A. (2013).  Telling bogus from true: A class in reading news.  The New York Times. 


Accessing world news--map of different news outlets throughout the world


A Media Insider Reveals the Truth About Why You No Longer Get Real News. Daily Kos


The Linguistics of Mass Persuasion: How Politicians Make “Fetch” Happen. JSTOR Daily


Free MOOC 2015 course on news and media literacy, Arizona State University


Panagiotou, N. & Theodosiadou, S. (2014). News literacy: Learning about the world. Journal of Digital and Media Literacy, 2(1).


KQED DoNow: Inquiry-based questions and related news reports


Analyzing Local News Lesson Plan- Brian Erlich 


The News Literacy Project: Curriculum to foster critical analysis of the news


Bring Me The News: News outlet for Minnesota news 


MinnClips: Clips of issues and news topics related to Minnesota


NewsTrust: Critical reviews of current news stories


BBC School News Report: Resources for student journalism


Video: BBC News Report: Student journalism


Information about journalism degrees and programs


Committee of Concerned Journalists


Storify: Create a news story with material from the Web


Newseum: Teacher resources


Future Journalism Project 


Youth Media Reporter: Lots of links to topics related to news


Pew Research study: More people accessing news online


Pew Research study: Where and how people get their news


Annenberg Study: Newspapers less of a source for news than TV or the Web 


Teacher Guides: Can You Trust the News?: Activities for critical analysis of news journalism 


Data blogs: data on issues collected by The Guardian newspaper 


Local TV News Faces its Own Financial Crisis


Study: Local TV news fails to cover government/civic topics


eSchoolNews Video Network: News videos for schools


Edutopia: How To Teach Students to Search Smart


Eagan High School: Student produced news videos


Lack of news media coverage of Hispanics


Pew Report: Where upper-income people obtain news


Media & Money: News Corp’s Carey: We’re Entering Uncharted Regulatory Waters


Downie & Schudon, The Reconstruction of American Journalism, Columbia Journalism Review


William Baker, How To Save the News, The Nation


PBS: 8 Web 2.0 journalism/community action sites that are changing news


Where the News Comes From: And Why It Matters.


YouTubeReporters'CenterChannel: Videos on reporting the news


Matt Thompson: Three parts of a news story that are usually missing


Media Cloud: code tool for tracking topics in news or blogs


NewsTrust: Think Like a Journalist: Journalism strategies


NewsTrust: Lots of media literacy links


MinnPost: How To Do a Newspaper Webcast


Disinformation Guide


Rebooting the News: The News Literacy Project: Analyzing the News


video: Robert McChesney: Intellectuals, the Media, and the Crisis of Our Times: Analysis of current news coverage and business


Classroom.docRethinking Media and Democracy: analyzing online news analysis


Study of local news: An increase in sensationalism, but public prefers quality stories


ABC News Webcasts: 15 minute webcast geared for young people


Alternet: What Kind of News Do People Really Want?


MinnPost: online Minnesota news


Daily Mole: Minnesota news site under development


MinnesotaMonitor: blog covering Minnesota news


Eric Black Ink: news blog


Journalism wiki: a wiki about issues in journalism


Youth Media Reporter: Youth journalism projects


Center for Media and Democacy: report on the use of fake news


 Media Literacy: Understanding the News

A media-literate public is essential to building and sustaining a democracy of active citizens.  Effective free and independent media depend not only on skilled journalists but also on the knowledge of their readers. Media literacy training is a tool that the development sector can use to educate citizens to better understand the value of accurate and fair news.  This report, by Susan D. Moeller, director of the International Center for Media and the Public Agenda at the University of Maryland, explores why media literacy is crucial to many areas of development and how donors and implementers can coordinate their efforts and expand the field.


Media Literacy: Citizen Journalists

Citizen journalists are quickly becoming a potent force for creating, supporting, and building open and democratic societies. In countries where repressive governments limit the operations of professional journalists, citizen journalists are filling the gaps. Yet they often have no formal training or understanding of the essential roles independent media play in ensuring accountable and transparent government. This report, also by Moeller, makes clear that it is essential for citizen journalists    to learn and adopt standards of fairness, accuracy, and ethics through media literacy training.


Media Literacy: Empowering Youth Worldwide

At all levels of education, initiatives in media literacy are premised on teaching youth and young adults to consume media critically—from how media shape political messages to the increasing pervasiveness of advertising.  But the challenges to such initiatives are daunting. Schools need the necessary resources and educators the requisite expertise and training to teach media literacy.  Supporting media literacy education for youth can help prepare children and young adults for lives of active inquiry and give them a better understanding of the ties between information, community, and democracy. This report, by Paul Mihailidis, professor of journalism, media and public relations at Hofstra University, makes the case that as media become more central to the development of youth in society, funders should recognize that media literacy education for youth is an important part of democratic development.


Each of these reports is available for download, along with previous CIMA reports, at http://cima.ned.org/reports/research-reports.




Journalism and News Units


 Time-log and Analysis of 10:00 news broadcast on KSTP (by Matt Streit)


CI 5472 Week 8 – TV news analysis.pdf   KARE 11 news analysis - spring 2008 (by Katie Huttemier)



Same story, different source by Nathan

Students will be given the same news story as reported by three different news sources (newspaper, magazine, blog, podcast, T.V. news, etc...). The students will analyze each source. They will then answer the following questions: What source appears to be the most truthful? What source is most appealing to you? Does one make more sense then the others? Are they all saying the same thing, or does each source send a different message? Would you think different things about this news story if you had only received news from one source?


The students will then engage in a class discussion about the value of multiple news sources. Were any of the sources they looked at in any way connected? Possibly owned by the same parent company? What is the value of independent news and reporting?


Analyzing Newspapers - Genevieve

Provide students with copies of The New York Times, The Pioneer Press, and The Star Tribune. Divide students into small groups and give each group one news section of each newspaper (front pages sections and local sections would be ideal). Provide students with a graphic organizer that will allow them to write down each article’s headline under the section in which it appears. For example, the graphic organizer should have a section marked, “Front Page,” and in that section, students will write the headlines of all the articles that appear on the front page. Students should then estimate the length of each article by word or sentence count. Once all groups have completed their tasks, they should present their findings to the class. What kinds of stories warrant placement on the front page? What kinds of stories warrant more space? What does this say about what each newspaper considers newsworthy?


__Suzanne DeFoe-Fall 2007-News Critical Analysis-Who's News is it Anyway?__

Have the students watch Kare11 News, a local Twin Cities Station, an NBC affiliate, and KSTP. Channel 5. Identify the owners of each station (NBC is owned by GE). During the broadcast, list each product that is advertised and identify the parent company of each product, Dove soap is owned by Uniliver for example. Research and identify, what if any business relationships exist between the stations' parent company and the products advertised on its news broadcasts. Is GE selling washers and dryers on the news station they own? Then compare both "local" telecasts with a similar broadcast on NPR. Have students interpret what they feel the motivations of each broadcast are - who is really being broadcast to? Who's self-interest is being forwarded? The public at large or the parent company that owns the respective media outlet?Have fun with this-peel away as many layers as you'd like to. Who owns GE? What is his/her political affiliation? Religion? Is it publicly held? What's the latest stock price? Who buys GE stock? Any demographic you can get on GE stockholders? Same with KSTP? Who is/are Hubbard Broadcasting Company?



Putting it into a Global Context by Katie Noack

In this activity students watch an evening broadcast like we did for this media class. They record all of the topics and news stories mentioned. Then they pick one story that was briefly mentioned and write a short explanation of that story, what they think it means, and why it is news. Using the same story, their next task is to find out more background information about that story. What events led up to the occurance? What other events are related? What are the implications of the occurance? What does this occurance mean for our society? They must find at least two different opinions on the news story and be able to explain why each side feels the way that they do.




Truth ?!? by Chris

This is an activity that could work very well in a class studying the Postmodern critical lens or literature. The students would analyze the media in a quest for "Truth". They would be required to find at least two accounts of the same event and try to determine the validity of each source as well as form a hypothesis a to why the news might be biased toward a specific direction. For example, after any public demonstration, the numbers of participants tend to fluctuate greatly between reports of whatever group organized the event and the police. This would illustrate the subjectivity of reality and how "what happens" and "history"in general can be viewed as pluralistic and indefinite. To further illustrate this point, we could watch conflicting representations in class and discussion which better represented "Truth".




NBC News archives through HotChalk


Designed to engage students in active learning and provide primary source multimedia content that far exceeds what is available in traditional textbooks, more than 5,000 video resources provided by NBC through HotChalk can be used to supplement instruction in a wide range of courses: history classes can watch the civil rights movement as it happened and view interviews with key players; science students can see recreated footage of the Ice Age or watch today's arctic shelves disintegrate into the ocean; and government classes can have access to the very latest news on immigration, the presidential race, or international relations.



Teachers of all grades, including AP courses in U.S. History, Government and Politics, and English language and composition can sign up to use the new NBC education resource free of charge at www.HotChalk.com http://www.hotchalk.com for the fall 2007-2008 semester. Continued use requires a school building subscription through HotChalk for interested users.



Using NBC News' production services, the new digital educational content released today includes, additional NBC archive materials, several hundred videos created in collaboration with historians, textbook authors and other experts on a wide range of topics dating from beginning of history to the 1930's when NBC began its archive. Teachers will also be able to access additional primary source content, original audio, video and third-party content such as the Washington Post's newspaper articles, and current material from NBC News' leading media properties, including "NBC Nightly News" and "Meet the Press."


Heejin Han, Journalism 3101: News and Reporting: analysis of local news


School News by Angela

While many schools do have a student run newscast, I think this would be a fun classroom activity. You would designate certain students as reporters, journalists, anchors, camera operators, sound, editing, etc. The leftovers would work together to direct the newscast and decide local newsworthy material for their intended audience - the rest of the school. Students would need to first analyze several different news channels in order to make big decisions about their own broadcast. Students would collaborate on strategies and techniques to employ in their news program. They would need to consider point of view, attitudes, audience appeals, value assumptions, bias, etc. Numerous mini-activities could be embedded in this unit in order to keep the kids engaged and break down the process into simple steps.


Media is the 4th Branch of Government-Sara

Tell students it is important to teach about media in Civics as it is sorta the “4th branch of government”. Not to imply that it is controlled by the government but that it serves as another “check” in out system of checks in balances. This exercise is fairly simple, students must find an article that demonstrates this, and fill out a short summary worksheet. The students must know the who, what, when, where and why. They also must show how the article is ‘checking” another branch of the government. Obviously, they’re all not going to be able to find Woodward and Bernstein-esque articles but anything investigatory would work. Then have the student re-write the article as if it were from a country where the government controlled the media. Students should think how that would affect what details and facts are reported, the tone in which the article would be written and think why an article like this would be included.


Al Jazeera vs. BBC vs. Fox News: by Steve M. and Elizabeth F. (Fall 2007)

For an interesting comparative study, I'd like students to pick a news story and look at the presentation of that story between news entities. For example, if we look at the November 8th override by the U.S. House and Senate of the Presidential veto fo the water resources bill, we can find a number of different perspectives regarding the same basic issue. Al Jazeera, the news group operating out of Qatar, portrays the vote as President Bush being "overruled" and that Bush now "confronts a more hostile" Senate, with Republicans willing to "defy" him. Interestingly, Fox News, who also use the word "overruled" prominently in their headline, chose to describe Bush as having "suffered" the veto, in much the same way as one would suffer a back spasm or a recurring bout of acid reflux. Also, the article provided the image of the President offering his "protest" that the bill was filled with special interest money--clearly this positions the President as being a lone voice against a surge of Democratic spending. The BBC chose to position the Republican party as having "deserted" the President, and chose the rather lukewarm verb 'overturn' in its description of what the House and Senate did to the President's veto. Although it may not be in any way conclusive about 'bias' per se, this exercise would offer some insight into the way that events can be viewed given a particular lens or descriptive style. Essentially, we can return to the notion of the disconnect between the signifier and that which is to be signified. What something is called or named, or how it is described for that matter, is less about the thing itself than about the name.


Headlines by Denise (Fall 2007)

Like Crystal's idea below, I like the idea of looking at headlines (and subheads) in relation to the actual stories. My idea, however, is to do the opposite of what Crystal suggests. I would like to give the students three headlines, without the stories, and have them write a paragraph or two making their own story that has to do with the headline. Then, they will be given the real stories and need to choose one of the three to write a brief comparison on the real story versus their own story: maybe two similarities and two differences. They should include why they think they were alike or different—which words in the headline were misleading or helpful.


News Comparison by Lisa (Fall 2007)

Students will view two different news broadcasts: national and local. The broadcasts should both be from the same network (i.e. NBC, ABC, CBS, etc.). They will then create a comparison chart noting similarities and differences between content and quality of the programs. Some areas to be addressed are: time devoted to stories, political bias, types of stories (i.e. crime, politics, social, family, health, etc.), structure, mood, and anything else the student notices. Students will get into groups to discuss their findings. We will then have a whole-class discussion about the differences between local and national news programs.


News and Satire by Jessie (Fall 2007)

In this activity the students will tape a national news broadcast and a mockumentary news broadcast on the same evening. They will watch both news shows and compare the two. The students must find a topic that is present in both of the broadcasts and compare the two. First the student must write out the literal: what is said, word for word. Next the student must write out what is implied. Where are the programs sympathies? Are the way they present their subjects informed by a world view? What political leanings can you make out? They must site evidence from the broadcasts to explain how they make these inferences. The student must conclude with their own thoughts about the subject or story that they chose. They must explain why they feel the way they do. Is it completely different from both newscasts? More similar to one than another? What are the students thoughts about the method of news communication? Do they like a straight delivery or a comedic one?


News Activity: Annie and Eve Fall 2007

Ask students to watch a local news program that also has a website. Have them document all of the stories that occur during one broadcast, and then document all the stories that appear on their website by that time of day. How do they compare? On TV, which stories are given the most time? On the website, which stories are the longest? Are there stories that appear in one medium and not the other? Then, ask them to analyze their findings and think about why the differences exist. Have them present their ideas to the class or in small groups.


Analyzing and Creating the News

by Katie B. Fall 2007

Students would be required to all watch the same showing of the news on an assigned night (local channel, maybe the 6:00 P.M. news). I would have a form for students to take home which asked specific questions about the news such as how long did they focus on weather, local news, national news, and sports? Were the stories positive or negative? How did the stories affect your opinions on certain topics? Did the news cause a shift in your perception of a particular story? How many male and female reporters were there? What types of commercials were shown during the news? The next day in class students would share their answers and discuss what they saw. The next part of the lesson would be to create their own newscast in small groups of four following the format they saw and discussed. Students would need to set up sets, provide the visuals and information, and use a video camera to film their newscast. Along with the newscast they would write a group explanation of why they presented certain stories, how they presented a specific side of the story, what visuals were used, and how they timed the newscast.


Analyzing News Teaching Activity submitted by Crystal Bieter

One way to critically analyze news is to look at the newspaper and have students analyze at least three news stories WITHOUT the heading. The teacher would then pass out three headline-less stories to each group. First they would be expected to read all three. Once they did this, they would then receive 3 headlines. Their job then as a group would be to match the article to it’s heading. As part of a follow-up, they could write down what words in the headlines helped them find the correct story. Then distribute headlines from less prominent stories and ask students to choose one and write a news story to go with it. When the stories have been completed, provide each student with the story that originally accompanied the headline. Ask: How close was your story to the original? How effectively did the headline convey the meaning of the story? You might follow up this activity by asking students to write a headline for their favorite fairy

Ligia Hernandez and Andrea Lars

We would analyze the use of language print news. I have actually done this in class and the studentsreally love this activity.

Have your students bring two or three different newspapers of the same day (date).

Have them find one of two news that are reported in all three (or at lest 2) of the newspapers.

They mustthem proceed to analyze the headlines of each article.

How do they differ? How arethey alike?

What does each of them imply?

To whcih one are they more attracted to?


What is the purpose of the use of that poarticular choice of words?

Is the article related to what the title imply?


With this activity they can see the importance and the power of language when reporting news.


Then have them think of an issue that has happened in school and have them create the headlines for a newspaper from different perspectives, with different agendas. This is pure fun in class, guaranteed!


Rebekah Ignatowicz and Justin Crum

To help students learn how to critically analyze the news, I would have the students compare news broadcasts from different news stations, and two articles from two different newspapers, all on the same topic. Students would compare and contrast these news stories identifying which media sources may have news bias, techniques and editing, and intended audience.




People reading online news choose different stories from those offered by mainstream newspapers.


Karen Keller and Abbey Weis

To compare and contrast the manner by which television news represents stories, students will compare two different channels' broadcasts: Fox News and BBC.

Using a podcast in the classroom (students may use laptops, if available to them, or the teacher may use a computer and a projector), show the Fox News broadcast on a story of your choice (for example, Donald Rumsfeld's resignation). (www.foxnews.com)

As students view, they are to record 1. the main points the journalist makes; 2. evident bias 3. key words used to relay the story and/or bias point of view.

Then, completing the same written assignment, students should view the same story topic but from the BBC network. (www.bbc.com)


A discussion should follow the viewings. Have students share their findings.

Use the following questions to promote discussion:

How would you desctibe the Fox News broadcast? What words would you use to describe it? The BBC broadcast?

What is the purpose of each representation?

How do the two differ?

What are similarities between the two presentations?

What key words seemed to convey the point of view in each?

Was bias presented? Where? How?

Which representation is the most compelling?

Which one did you like better or prefer? Why?

What is journalism's purpose?

What is its responsibility?

Do these networks maintain these purposes and responsibilities? How?


Sarah Thomes and Emily Peckskamp

In order to understand the impact that advertising and audience has on television news, students will compare a local newspaper and a news program. For example, students will watch a local television broadcat, like Kare 11, and read a local newspaper, such as the Star Tribune. Students will examine the number of stories and what type they are, sports, weather, local, national. They will also compare the number and type of ads found in both mediums. Using this information, students will begin to speculate as to why there are these differences. They will also examine what stories and information are left out, or treated differently in one news format versus the other. By comparing newspaper and television news, students can begin to understand the impact or advertising and audience on the news.


Katie Houlihan & Sarah Staples

As a follow up to studying critical analysis of advertising, have students watch a local TV news broadcast, either in the morning or at night, and keep a viewing log both of the stories covered and, more importantly, of the commercials shown in between each segment. The goal is to get the students to understand/realize the connection between the news broadcast and the advertising dollars behind production. Who are those commercials aimed at? Are the students the target audience? How can they tell? Do any of the ads (like, say, for Nexium) tie-in to the segments discussed on air (e.g. on healthcare and/or perscription meds)? Does this advertising present a conflict of interest with the hard-hitting news team if, for example, they're uncovering unsafe drugs the FDA had originally approved? Do the anchors put a spin (or, bias) on any of the stories relating to products advertised? Also, have students blog about why they think those commercials were shown during that news program - what does it say about the news station and its intended viewers? This would be a good point to talk about ownership and who has the power to air certain ads.



Nate and Jarrett

Meaningless News Items:

Assign the students to watch a local news program. They should watch at least two different channels. Ask the students to make a list of all the things said, done, or shown that do not relate to information or meaning—for example, a reporter standing outside a courthouse to discuss a trial. Driving to the courthouse when one cannot view the actual proceedings seems like a waste of time. Another example is when news anchors partake in meaningless banter at the end of the show. When the students return with their lists, have then get into groups of 3 or 4 and create categories for their observations. After the students group the observations, have the students explain why they think that these things are in the news program. Are they fun or entertaining? Do they make it appear like the news is ‘at-the-scene’? After discovering what the news programs include, the students should begin to create their own satire of local news programs. They may incorporate any items from their lists or create something completely different.



Sara Speicher & Kerry Newstrom

Critical Analysis of News

Have the students watch three different news programs over three days. Two must be local (i.e. Kare 11) and one must be national (CNN). All three must air at the same time. Have them determine the amount of time each spends on news, sports, weather, entertainment, and any other miscellaneous segments that may be aired. Also have them figure out how much time is taken up with commercials. Have them make comparisons of the programs – possibly by using charts or graphs to clearly show similarities. Then have the students make a decision about which news program they would prefer to watch and why. What program do they think delivers the most substantial news or the most accurate information and why? As a follow up, have them research where different stations get their funds.


Critical Analysis of News

Theresa Haider and Jennifer Sellers

Groups of students watch/tape two different local news stations' 5, 6, or 10 PM news to detect news bias. They will do this by answering the 9 questions the FAIR site provides for detecting news bias. After watching the two broadcasts (one will have to be recorded), they will create a visual aid comparing the two stations based on the answers to the FAIR questions. Next, they will determine if either station is more/less biased than the other. The activity can conclude with the entire class determining which local news station is "the best" or least biased, and/or "the worst" or most biased.


American Society of Newspaper Editors: online journalism


Comments (1)

Megan said

at 12:21 pm on Nov 11, 2010

Comparing News Broadcasts to Newspapers

In order to help teach students about news programs, I would have each student watch a ½ hour news program and record the order and types of news stories shown. Then, each student would look at a local news paper from that same day (ideally, the news paper would be from the same city that the news broadcast was from). Students would scan through the news paper to find news about the same subjects that was in the news broadcast. Students would record the placement of the news stories in the news paper (i.e. front page, back page, etc) and the amount of space devoted to each story. Students would then write an analysis comparing the most prominent stories and amount of time or space devoted to each story in the newspaper and the news broadcast. I would want them to comment on what they conclude to be the most important news to the broadcast and what news is most important to the newspaper and then speculate on why this is so. Why might a news story make a front page headline when it is buried in a news broadcast? Why would a news broadcast begin with a story that appears below the fold of a newspaper? Overall, I want students to think about what news program’s other agendas might be besides reporting the news.

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