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Four questions to ask yourself before Media Literacy Week | Five for the weekend


Have a nice weekend everyone.
Your plans for next week are likely full of scary events like Trick or treat, Halloween parades and horror movie marathons, but there is another event taking place next week that you should be aware of.

This year is the week of 25-29 Oct serves as National Media Literacy Week.

Founded in 2014, National Media Literacy Week is designed to recognize and highlight the vital role media literacy plays in our society and how to better and more informedly consume news, social media and more.

In collaboration with the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association (PNA), The Capital-Star has put together coverage of media literacy issues for next week, but we invite you to join the discussion too.

Here are a few questions to get you thinking about media literacy and your own news consumption patterns.

  • How do you define media literacy?
  • What media do you use regularly? How often do you use it
  • Which sources of information do you trust? Why?
  • How do your own emotions influence your opinion on a particular medium?

As always, this week’s top 5 stories are below.

Comedian Bill Maher (photo provided)

1. Before the Hershey Show: Bill Maher talks about Senate Race, Insurrection, and Citizenship Teaching

Pennsylvania Capital Star: In our last interview (October 19, 2019) you said: “Pennsylvania could be the top state in 2020. ”Keystone State outperformed President Biden as it eventually received our 20 electoral college votes.

Bill Maher: Well that certainly turned out to be correct, although I’m sure he had no problem wearing Scranton. And Pennsylvania has always been a dodgy state on the red-blue continuum.

Q: Now the 2022 Senate race puts Pennsylvania back in the spotlight. Since the Republican US Senator Pat Toomey is not running for re-election, 14 Democrats, 12 Republicans and one candidate from the Liberal Party are running for the open seat. Any thoughts on the Democratic nominee John Fetterman? Openly gay state representative Malcolm Kenyatta? US Representative Conor Lamb? Have you noticed GOP candidates?

A. I haven’t followed this race yet, but I have seen US Representative Conor Lamb [D-17th District] – a moderate democrat – has the right idea. Nothing extreme in any way with respect to laws and regulations or guidelines. I think this is the way.

Senator Cris Dush, R-Jefferson, speaks during a session of the Senate Interstate Operations Committee on Wednesday, September 15, 2021 to vote on a subpoena to investigate the 2020 general election and the 2021 primaries. (Capital Star photo by Stephen Caruso)

2. Pa. GOP lawmakers promised transparency, but election investigation negotiations are private

The Republican Senator who led the Pennsylvania election investigation promised a transparent process, but negotiations with potential vendors are taking place behind closed doors.

Because the General Assembly does not have to follow the same procurement practices as the executive offices, Senator Cris Dush, R-Jefferson, who promised a “responsible, careful, and transparent” review, is not legally required to post commitments with third parties.

The Pennsylvania Procurement Code describes how the offices of the governor, attorney general, treasurer, auditor, state boards, commissions, and other agencies purchase services and supplies. It guides you through how to promote projects, accept bids, and select successful bidders.

Senator John Yudichak, I-Lucerne, speaks during a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, October 19, 2021. (screenshot)

3rd Senate Judiciary Committee puts forward bill to increase penalties for those who evade arrest

To honor a Pennsylvania police officer who died on duty, a Senate panel developed laws that would increase sentences for those who evade arrest.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 12-2 on Tuesday for a bill that would create a new offense for people fleeing police to avoid arrest on foot.

Legislation sponsored by Sens. John Yudichak, I-Lucerne, and Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, came after Scranton police officer John Wilding fell to his death in 2015 while chasing three teenagers suspected of armed robbery .

Despite being charged with Wilding’s death, the suspects pleaded a lesser offense and received a prison sentence of nine to 18 years in prison, according to WNEP-TV.

Masks and temperature controls will likely be the norm for many U.S. school children until a COVID-19 vaccine is approved for children under the age of 12 (NurPhoto / Getty Images).

4th Pa. Board of Directors upholds Wolf’s school mask order; Eyes are on the courts

A Pennsylvania legislature on Thursday morning upheld Governor Tom Wolf’s school mask mandate and ruled that the Democratic governor had properly implemented it within the scope of his administration’s existing powers.

The seldom-used eleven-member panel, known as the Committee on Documents, consists of attorneys, lawmakers, a cabinet secretary, and a representative from Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office. It has one final word on what a regulation is and what is not.

The committee decided 7-4 to uphold Wolf’s K-12 mask arrangement, which requires all students, teachers and staff to wear masks in school buildings regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status. The order applies equally to public and private schools as well as to pre-schools.

Senator Scott Martin, R-York, speaks during a meeting of the Senate Education Committee on Monday, October 18, 2021.

5. Senate body puts forward bill that would oblige schools to publish curricula and book titles online

A so-called School Transparency Act, which would require districts to put all curricula and course materials online, goes through Republican-controlled legislation.

The Senate Education Committee voted Monday along the party lines to propose a pre-approved House Bill, drafted by a GOP legislature, requiring Pennsylvania’s schools to make all teaching materials, techniques, and curricula public from the 2022-23 school year.

When course materials are updated, a school’s primary administrator or assignee must update the curriculum online within 30 days of its approval. The bill applies to school districts, medium-sized units, vocational and technical schools, charter programs.

And that’s the week. See you again next weekend.


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