In this lesson, students use four key criteria to explore how journalists determine which events to cover.
Story explorers: Evaluate news coverage
In this classroom activity, students select an event or issue in the news that interests them, then split into research teams to collect and evaluate coverage of the subject from different news organizations.
Each group is responsible for gathering and analyzing the quality of the reporting from their assigned media outlet(s). They use a K-H-W-L chart that reflects what they know, what they’ve heard, what they want to know and what they learned in the course of their inquiry, research and reflection.
This activity is designed to help students better understand newsworthiness (what makes an issue or event worthy of news coverage) and learn how to analyze coverage by collecting and evaluating news reports.
It also makes the following essential questions available:
- Do news media sometimes cover a subject too much? Do they sometimes cover other subjects too little?
- What steps do credible news organizations take to try to ensure accuracy?
- Are some sources of information more credible than others? Why or why not?
- Whose interests should journalists represent? What is the best way for them to do this?
This news literacy classroom activity is suggested for grades 7-9 and 10-12+.
- News judgment
- News value
Connections with other NLP resources:
- “News Judges” lesson plan in NLP’s Resource Library
- “What Is News?” lesson on NLP’s Checkology® virtual classroom
- “Understanding Bias” lesson on NLP’s Checkology virtual classroom
About classroom activities:
NLP’s activity plans are designed to be “evergreen” news literacy resources that help educators introduce and reinforce specific news literacy skills and concepts. They are often best used as follow-up and extension activities from specific NLP lessons, either in the resource library or on Checkology.
The poster provided in this resource introduces students to five types of possible bias in straight news coverage.
How do journalists see news? Put on a pair of “news goggles” and check out these conversations with professional
Reasoned arguments based on facts and evidence are an important part of civic discourse.