NLP ‘is a model’: Journalist Margaret Sullivan’s new book

NLP in the News


In her new book, Newsroom Confidential: Lessons (and Worries) from an Ink-Stained Life, Margaret Sullivan writes about her career in journalism and notes the pioneering work of the News Literacy Project under the leadership of founder Alan C. Miller.

She describes the impression that Miller made on students in her media ethics class at Duke University when he spoke to them in 2021 and argues that there is a vital need for news literacy programs and resources like those NLP creates for people of all ages.

She writes: “It’s important, too, for news consumers, also known as American citizens, to take responsibility for their own news literacy. I’m not terribly hopeful about this happening on its own, given the trends. I’m worried, too, about what it would mean to legislate it. Trying to get news literacy taught in public schools, given the turmoil over curriculum in recent years, could have unexpected negative consequences. I still think it’s worth pursuing. I might even put Alan Miller in charge of it if I had the power.

“…We need a widespread effort to educate the public — not just schoolchildren but adults, too, about news literacy and about the deadly harm of not knowing the difference between truth and lies. The News Literacy Project, which has expanded to include adults, is a model.”

A widely respected journalist, Sullivan was the media columnist for The Washington Post, leaving the paper in August. Before that, she served as the first woman to hold the position of public editor of The New York Times, acting on behalf of readers regarding the paper’s reporting and writing or lapses in coverage, and she was the first woman to serve as editor of the Buffalo News.

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