Welcome to JRNL 260: News Literacy in a Digital Age!
This course will teach you to become a more discriminating consumer of news by fostering an appreciation for the history of a free press in our country and its role in our future as news is increasingly delivered via the Internet. We will look at the First Amendment and the underpinnings of an independent press. We will also examine the role of the press in wartime and the consequences of censorship. The evolution of the press as a watchdog and guardian of democratic ideals will be a theme running throughout this course. The power of information and the evolution of how this information is delivered from people who have it to people who need it to be free and self-governing in this digital age will include discussions on the difference between news and opinion, bias and fairness, and assertion versus verification. By learning the basics of good journalism, you will be able to distinguish whether a source is credible or a lead is well written. Through readings, class discussions and numerous written assignments, you will learn how to apply your critical thinking skills to evaluate the credibility of news across all platforms: radio, television, social media, and the web. Each of you will also create your own website and establish a digital identity and personal cyber-infrastructure where you will publish your essays, classwork and evolving thoughts on news literacy. Designing your own domain will prepare you for digital citizenship and teach you about the best practices for digital publication. We will also have a class website and our own Twitter hashtag (see the posts on this page), which will help turn this course into an open, networked community dedicated to news literacy.