The Sift: Final issue: Top clicks in 2023-24

An educator's guide to
the week in news literacy

Final issue: Top clicks in 2023-24


Hello Sift reader,

Welcome to the final Sift issue of the school year! We’ve got a special newsletter for you today. But first, a few quick notes.

Dig Deeper Resources

For easy reference, we’ve compiled this Dig Deeper guide of classroom-ready resources from Sift issues during the 2023-24 school year. The guide is compiled chronologically with articles, learning objectives and news literacy topics. It also aligns Dig Deeper resources to related Checkology® lessons. Think of it as your Dig Deeper roundup!

We’d love to hear your feedback on this newsletter. Please share your thoughts in this year’s Sift reader survey. It takes just a few minutes, and at the end you can enter a drawing for a $100 Amazon gift card.🙂 The winner will be drawn on June 5.

Thank you for reading. If you’d like to revisit past newsletter issues, feel free to check out the Sift archive. We will be back in your inbox in September. Have a great summer!

— The Sift team


Top picks clicks

These stories were among the most clicked news links in The Sift this school year.

Top pick 1

Last week’s issue on the Pulitzer Prizes included a Nieman Lab article about a major shift in journalism — more online-native outlets were honored with the award than newspapers (May 13 issue).

Top pick 2

Poynter’s illustrated guide to pink slime explains low-quality sites that masquerade as local news publications and are often funded by partisan sources (April 8 issue). 

Top pick 3

Why do people fall for misinformation? A psychology professor in this CBS News video says it’s because conspiracy theories are appealing to the brain (Jan. 8 issue).

Top pick 4

Can you tell the difference between AI images and real photos? It can be challenging! The AI images in this piece look like prizewinning photos (Dec. 4 issue).

Top pick 5

A game that has players build their own fictional social media site to see if they could make it safer than real social media apps was featured in The Washington Post and clicked on in The Sift (Oct. 23 issue).

Top pick 6

Shortly after the Israel-Hamas war began, we released a special issue dedicated to sharing tips to separate fact from fiction when breaking news occurs — particularly in conflict zones. This Education Week piece on how to talk to students about the Israel-Hamas war and this NPR piece about out-of-context video game clips were included (Oct. 16 issue).


Most popular resources

These recommended NLP resources were among the most clicked in The Sift this school year.

Sift quizzes! In case you missed it, we had an AI quiz and a misinformation quiz. Both were featured in special issues of The Sift and ranked near the top of newsletter resources.

Our most popular infographic was “6 things to know about AI,” which provides concise news literacy takeaways to keep in mind as AI technology continues to evolve. Other often-clicked AI resources were “AI-generated news or not?” teaching slides, “What is AI?” think sheet and NLP’s “News literacy in the age of AI” page.

“Introduction to Algorithms” was the most clicked of all the Checkology virtual classroom recommendations we made in The Sift. How do algorithms use data to personalize information? This lesson explains it all. We plan to unveil an updated version of this lesson, so keep an eye out next school year!

This NLP TikTok video about Sora, a text-to-video generative AI tool first teased in February, shows examples of how Sora works — including an AI video of puppies playing in the snow — and explains why it makes media literacy infinitely more important. (This video can also be viewed on Instagram.)

Are we missing a resource? Let us know in our reader survey. ⬇️

A banner ad for a reader survey of The Sift newsletter asks readers to take the survey, which has 10 questions and takes about five minutes. Survey respondents can enter for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card.

News Goggles

Public records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act play a crucial role in watchdog reporting. Learn how Theo Scheer and Alex Walters, students at Michigan State University, used FOIAs to report on their school in this TikTok video. (The video can also be viewed on Instagram and YouTube Shorts.)

Student journalists Theo Scheer and Alex Walters, who work on The State News newspaper at Michigan State University, are side-by-side with their newsroom in the background.
A banner ad for the documentary film Trusted Sources with a close-up image of someone in a suit beside two news reporters. One reporter’s hand holds a news microphone and the other reporter’s hand is taking notes with a pen and paper. Descriptive text says: “Finding trustworthy news in a sea of deception” and “A new documentary shows how to distinguish between professional journalism and agenda-driven content disguised as news.” The ad includes a link to for viewers to learn more.

Need more for your summer reading list?

Be sure to check out some of these news literacy-related pieces over the summer!

On misinformation

On artificial intelligence

On social media

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Thanks for reading!

Your weekly issue of The Sift is created by Susan Minichiello (@susanmini), Dan Evon (@danieljevon), Peter Adams (@PeterD_Adams), Hannah Covington (@HannahCov) and Pamela Brunskill (@PamelaBrunskill). It is edited by Mary Kane (@marykkane) and Lourdes Venard (@lourdesvenard).

You’ll find teachable moments from our previous issues in the archives. Send your suggestions and success stories to [email protected].

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Check out NLP's Checkology virtual classroom, where students learn how to navigate today’s information landscape by developing news literacy skills.