News Goggles: Tracking developing stories

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 the Atlanta-area deadly spa shootings in March 2021 showed, reliable information can be scarce and change rapidly when major stories first break. How do journalists handle newsgathering when stories are still developing? How is this fluid situation reflected in news reports?

News organizations have to weigh which sources are credible and work to verify information as it evolves — all under immediate deadline pressure. Sometimes, details may turn out to be incorrect, or new information emerges that makes the story more accurate and provides important additional context. (See “Shooting coverage debates” for more details on how this particular story was covered.)

In this edition of News Goggles, let’s examine how some news organizations label updates and show transparency in their newsgathering on developing stories. Grab your news goggles. Let’s go!

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

Discuss: If news organizations report information from an official source that later turns out to be incorrect, how should they handle this? Why does misinformation often flourish during breaking news events? How did you learn about the shootings and follow news updates? How did you know whether the information was credible? Did you see any rumors or false information about the shootings?

Idea: Have students review coverage of these shootings. Are there labels for updates? Are there links to previous or related news reports? Is there a dateline (the name of a city in all capital letters, indicating an on-the-ground reporting presence)? Are there any signs that this story is developing and will be updated?


Have feedback about this resource? Or an idea for a future News Goggles? Please share it with us at [email protected]. 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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