News Goggles: Breaking news alerts on Breonna Taylor case

Grades: 7-9, 10-12+

News Goggles annotations and activities offer news literacy takeaways on timely topics. These resources feature examples of actual news coverage, including full news reports, headlines, breaking news alerts or excerpts. 

This News Goggles resource originally appeared in a previous issue of The Sift newsletter for educators, which explores timely examples of misinformation, addresses journalism and press freedom topics and examines social media trends and issues. Read archives of the newsletter and subscribe here. 

News organizations race to relay information to audiences as quickly as possible when major stories break. One way they do this is by sending breaking news alerts to people who have their apps installed on their mobile devices. In this edition of News Goggles, we’ve selected a sample of alerts sent on Sept. 23, 2020, following the decision by a grand jury not to charge any officers in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky — and to charge one of them in connection with shooting into a neighboring apartment.

Let’s use our news goggles to examine these alerts and consider what factors shaped their wording in journalists’ efforts to be fair, accurate and fast.   

 Featured News Goggles resources: Download our full annotations in Microsoft Word or as a PDF. Also, these classroom-ready slides pinpoint the big takeaways for a discussion with students.

Related: “How the media handled Wednesday’s Breonna Taylor ruling” (Tom Jones, Poynter).

Idea: Have students compare and contrast headlines of Breonna Taylor coverage from a selection of Sept. 24 front pages published across the United States. What details do some include, but not others? Which headline does the class think is the best? Why? If the class had to write a headline for this story, what would it be? 

Have feedback about this resource? Or an idea for a future News Goggles? Please share it with us at thesift@newslit.org. You can also use this guide for a full list of News Goggles from the 2020-21 school year for easy reference. 


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