Let’s use our news goggles to examine news alerts and consider what factors shaped their wording in journalists’ efforts
News Goggles: Mobile news alerts on President Donald Trump’s election outcome claims
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.
President Donald Trump spoke during the early morning hours of Nov. 4, 2020, following Election Day, alleging fraud and claiming victory even as results in several states were still uncertain. News organizations that sent mobile news alerts about Trump’s remarks varied in how they handled the claims. Let’s take a closer look at word choice and framing as we consider how these factors shaped some news organizations’ approach to reporting on the president’s remarks in their efforts to be fair, accurate and fast. Grab your news goggles, and let’s go!
★ Featured News Goggles resources: These classroom-ready slides offer annotations and questions on this topic.
- “MSNBC, major networks interrupt Trump’s falsehood-laden speech to fact-check; Fox, CNN carry in full” (Bill Keveney, USA Today).
- “‘Without evidence’ Is A New Catchphrase at NPR” (Kelly McBride, NPR).
- “How newspaper front pages treated an Election Day with no clear winner” (Marisa Iati, The Washington Post).
Discuss: What thoughts do you have about how these five news organizations worded their alerts? Which alerts did you think were the best? Why? Which, if any, were problematic? Why? Did any of the word choices show potential bias? If so, how could those alerts have been more accurate?
Idea: Have students review the Nov. 4, 2020, post-Election Day front page of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution — which featured a headline criticized as a “both sides” approach that spread inaccurate information — along with other front pages collected by Poynter. Do students agree with how the Journal-Constitution handled the election uncertainty? Why or why not? Do they agree or disagree with the criticism aimed at the headline? How does it compare with the other headlines? Which headline do students think is best? 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 firstname.lastname@example.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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