News Goggles: Covering a newsworthy trial

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. 

As high-profile court cases unfold, journalists monitor and sort through hours of proceedings in real time. News organizations work to spotlight and explain standout moments for their audiences, who may be aware of a trial but aren’t following it gavel-to-gavel.

In this edition of News Goggles, let’s look at the trial of Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd. In particular, let’s compare how local, national and international news organizations handled the April 5, 2021, testimony of Medaria Arradondo, the Minneapolis police chief.

Newsrooms may use a narrow or wider lens to frame their coverage, depending on their audience. For example, an international audience may be less familiar with the case and need a broader view, while local audiences may be interested in more detailed coverage. What parts of the trial did different newsrooms feature? Which comments from the police chief did they choose to quote? Grab your news goggles!

 Featured News Goggles resource: These classroom-ready slides offer annotations, discussion questions and a teaching idea related to this  topic.

Related: 

Discuss: Have you followed news coverage of Chauvin’s trial? If so, how? How do news organizations tailor coverage for their audiences? Whose coverage of the trial do you like best? Why?

Idea: Pick two news reports related to the police chief’s testimony. Using a Venn diagram, take notes on similarities and differences, focusing on how the stories begin, quotes and other details. Share your findings with the class. 

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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