Natalie Moore: 2023 John S. Carroll Journalist of the Year


Natalie Y. Moore
WBEZ, Chicago

Natalie Y. Moore doesn’t need to tell people how committed she is to news literacy education — her actions demonstrate it. A reporter at WBEZ in Chicago, the NPR affiliate, and a respected social issues journalist, Moore has been an engaged participant in the work of the News Literacy Project almost from the start.

In recognition of her efforts to inform disinvested communities and help young people better navigate a complex information landscape, Moore has been named NLP’s 2023 John S. Carroll Journalist of the Year.

“Her commitment to NLP and to advancing news literacy education — first in the Chicago region, then nationally — is remarkable. It is the kind of deep commitment and passion that this award was created to recognize and, more importantly, the kind of special contribution to which NLP owes its success,” said Peter Adams, NLP’s senior vice president research and design.

Moore has been engaged with NLP almost from the start, as one of its first journalist volunteers in the classroom in 2009. In 2010, she addressed an auditorium of students at one of NLP’s earliest partner schools. In 2018, she helped organize a NewsLitCamp® at WBEZ,  in partnership with the National Council for the Social Studies.

News Literacy Project is ‘essential’

“I was drawn to the News Literacy Project as a volunteer because I thought it was necessary, and I had long thought that media literacy needed to be taught,” Moore said of her lasting commitment to NLP. “The News Literacy Project was essential when it started, and it’s essential today.”

Most recently, Adams and Moore worked together on the development of NLP’s newest lesson for the Checkology® virtual classroom. “Harm & Distrust” explores the history of racist mainstream news coverage of Black Americans to draw the larger subject the legacy of harm into focus. She also serves as the on-camera guide for the lesson.

The lesson addressed problems in mainstream news coverage that resonated with her. “I felt like my community on the South Side of Chicago and other black communities were not fairly covered by the press, ”  she said, a believe that persists even now, particularly among young people. “And I thought that journalism could be a way to tell stories, like I could be part of the solution and not part of the problem.”

Moore’s reporting has tackled some of society’s thorniest issues — race, housing, economic development, food injustice and violence. Her work has been broadcast on the BBC, NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition and Marketplace. And she has written several books, including The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation, winner of the 2016 Chicago Review of Books award for nonfiction and a Buzzfeed best nonfiction book of 2016.

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