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Media Literacy Examples

Student media literacy challenge | Explore your relationship with news


To update, February 1st | Winners Announced: 10 Things We Learned About Teens and the News: The Results of our Student News Diet Challenge


In a networked world, we are constantly receiving news and information, whether we want it or not. And not only is the pace relentless, but fewer and fewer of us even seem to agree on what is true and what is made up.

In fact, if there has ever been a topic that more teachers have asked The Learning Network with than “fake news,” we don’t know what it is.

We tried to respond with several lesson plans, regular writing requests, a weekly “Real News or Fake News?” Questions about our news quiz and much more.

But as the problem grows, we recognize that curricula for determining the reliability of sources only go so far.

This problem is not only a problem for students, but for all of us that we can only face if we view information consumption not only as a school task, but in the context of our real life.

So we propose an experiment. We invite students to explore their own relationship with news by analyzing their daily “news diets”, changing them to better suit their needs, and reflecting on the results. While not making “fake news” a primary target, the challenge is to examine your sources in a way that we hope will feel organic.

We also publish a associated lesson plan guides teenagers and teachers through the steps with details and examples. Our goal is for all participants to adapt the exercise to their own interests and habits in a way that makes sense to them.

Unlike our many other competitions that ask for a specific type of product, e.g. B. a review or an editorial, this competition is more open. We’re asking for a product – a short essay or video – but what we’re really looking for is honest and interesting insight into what people are discovering. We assume that teenagers will teach us at least as much as exercise teaches them.

Below are the rules and guidelines. If you have any questions, please post them in a comment or email us at LNFeedback@nytimes.com.


Events: November 2, 2017 – December 22, 2017 at 7 a.m. Eastern.

Participant: Any teen (13-19 years old) or a group of up to five teenagers from anywhere in the world

Judge: Employee of the Federal Association for Media Competence Education and the learning network

Your three step task (further described in this associated lesson plan):

A. Perform a personal 24- to 48-hour message audit where you record all the messages you receive now, where they came from and how well they suit your needs and interests.

B. Change your “message diet” to suit your needs. Tinker with sources, content, and platforms to fix what you’ve discovered in your news audit.

C. In a personal essay (500 words or less) or video (a minute or less), reflect on your experiences before and after experimenting with your news diet and summarize how you see the role of news in your life now.

What we are looking for: As this section shows, we care less about a formal product or “right answer” than about your real insight into your own messaging habits.

We seek thoughtfulness as you go through the process, but we also hope that your unique voice and personality comes into play. That means you don’t have to worry about being funny or taking creative risks when writing your essay or making your video.

Whether alone or with a class, the greatest help are the questions and ideas in our associated lesson plan.

Have fun. We are curious what you will think of!



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