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UPDATE: Howard Schneider makes the following proposal: That the Stony Brook Center for News Literacy would apply for grants to hire 50 laid-off journalists around the country to start teaching news literacy. Schneider said he's talked to the Ford Foundation, the Knight Foundation and others about the idea.


Plan to hire 50 laid-off journalists to teach news literacy

UPDATE: Howard Schneider makes the following proposal: That the Stony Brook Center for News Literacy would apply for grants to hire 50 laid-off journalists around the country to start teaching news literacy. Schneider said he's talked to the Ford Foundation, the Knight Foundation and others about the idea. He and Alberto Ibarguen, below, confirmed that Knight is making a "planning grant" to Stony Brook to launch this initiative. "Their salaries would be paid for by the grant," and these teachers would be trained this summer at Stonybrook and then sent to the schools.

Knight Foundation president's remarks

Alberto Ibarguen, the Knight Foundation president now talks:

Earlier Knight Foundation presidents had a different job because the roles of the game of journalism, the best practices, were more settled. He has found it "an enormous amount of fund to reinvent the foundation" to be "open and willing to support a lot of ideas that we had not supported before." When Schneider came in to pitch news literacy it was a short meeting and his reaction was, "Let's try it, let's do it."

He said it was important to him that students sign up for the course and that other university's take notice and that other foundations participate. Ford and McCormick have already participated, and he sees the presence at the event as an indication of peer support. "I am actually glad that we didn't get this course as a required course the first time around and that it is forcing the president and Howie to think about what it is going to take to get it approved."

"I do welcome the ideas that I heard. We look for innovation, sustainability, replicability" and commitment from university administration. "Last fall, we lost $800 million, which kind of takes our breath away." . . . "Now that we've lost all kinds of flexiblity, what do we still want to do." The have been focusing on seeding innovation in the digital world. They are involved in the Carnegie-Knight initiative and the News21 program at Poynter and about the Knight News Challenge. The idea is to deliver news and information to geographic communities on digital platforms. They funded Tim Berners-Lee. TBL's biggest fear is the lack of authenticity on the web. His idea is to write code that will allow everyone to be their own fact checker.

The one you may not know about, is an initiative with community foundations. "The have billions of dollars when you add them all up. . ... until recently not a single one that I know of thought of meeting the information needs of a community as a core need." "Information is a core need in a democracy. You can't run a democracy with out a free flow of information, shared information which leads to shared values, shared concepts." They are providing $4 million a year to match community-foundation initiatives. They just finished the first round and had 160 applications. There was only one that was in partnership with a university. Some in partnership with radios, one with newspapers. He suggests considering working with the communication foundation.

"We will continue to be focused on communities and jouranalism. It will be at a somewhat lower level."

Each group was asked to make three recommendations for what would move forward the notion of a national news literacy curriculum and one idea for what they would do with a $1 million grant for that purpose.

What news organizations can do? -- Jonathan Landman

  • Creation of a national database of journalists willing to participate in a national news literacy effort. Would be listed on a website. There would be regional coordinators.
  • A database of newsliteracy curriculum applications. One of the hardest things is to find the examples that can be used. Find examples, scan video, etc. Procure outtakes. Possibly include a rating system a la Newstrust.
  • A chance for people to write about their communities. Direct outreach ot news organizations to recuit them to the task.

What would you do with $1 million

  • Databases need a lot of work. Have someone to do that.

How news lit can be developed for rural communities and internationally -- Suzanne Moeller

Need to do some level of basic assessment. Three items:

  • Attention to basic skills and standards that are global common demoniators. Recognize distinct characteristics unique to a particular location.
  • Focus on information literacy, (or news literacy/media literacy as appropriate).
  • Attention focused on different audiences (social classes, ethnicities, religions, cultures/customs, etc.), which have distinct access and other needs.

Use of $1 million

Detailed proposal handed out.

  • $300K for media literacy lesson plans in Spanish/English focused on local/regional case studies.
  • $150K for Salzburg Academy to create lesson plans; Knight Fellows join Salzburg partner universities; plus $50K for editing/translation of lesson plans
  • $575K for regional sessions to train trainers/teacdhers; partnered with Salzburg universities, HS/university teachers, schools, school systems, ICFJ, interviews.

$125K for media outreach, get children to read newspapers and connect with families; coordinat with WAN/NIE to create newspaper inserts with lesson plans

What can universities do? -- Jack

Focused on how one might think of the problem

  • Each and school and prof should find their own way to do this -- suis generous and the put their onw imprint on it. Programs should let 100 flowers bloom.
  • Thinking about moving quickly may not be best way to think about. Some things can be done quickly. Have to have patience: "People support what they help create." 51% is never enough.
  • Need a combination of senior administrators and implementors. You have to have a combination of upper administration support and lower administration support.

What to do with $1 million

Broad-based approved ot news literacy in a variety of settings. The concept of news can be put in a number of bottles. From social science to natural sciences, to law, history humanities.

  • Idea to invite/find/select several institutions -- would need at least two, perhaps a large research institution and a smaller liberal arts school.
  • The put together proposals to come up with models for how you teach in various disciplines. "How Scientists Read the News," "How Historians Read the News."
  • "You want to get as many people as possible thinking about how you teach news literacy."
  • Any institution that agrees todo this would commit that the senior people on campus would agree to go to training. That's a price of getting the money.
  • There are venues for university presidents and provosts -- take this on the road and use it as a way for them to see.

Digital technology group -- Fabrice Florin

POWERPOINT . . . or . . . PDF.
  • Online resource center -- Clearinghouse for best practices, lesson plans and guidelines, online, best/worst case studies, materials from news providers, tools to aggregate, social network connections.
  • Training for teachers -- at all grade levels, learning applications as well as technologies, is based on focus on collaboration with students and peer-to-peer approach between students and teachers. Access to tools and tech support.
  • News application for students -- Hands on digital news app, helping students make choices as editors, based on news lit principles, encouraging peer-to-peer comparisons, learning through game-like interactions, progressive skill development over course and helps express and compare student worldviews.

Use of $1 million: Specific application: Worldview Construction Kit

  • Online multiplayer, based on students' current news consumption, atuo tracking what news you view and link most, sort your news links (fact vs. opinion, POV), express your worldview with best stories, compare and contrast different worldviews; the "60 SEconds" paradigm -- quick student newscasts assembled; game-like rewards and user interface: publihs weekly broadcast with best newscasts; built in instruction and training materials. "It feels like a game, even if it isn't heavy scoring." At the end of the week the best student newscasts combined wiht teacher crated listing of teacher-created stories of the week. the best of it is on the satellite on the cable, a little like Channel One; with built in instructoin and training materials.

How can journalism schools take on new university-wide role --

Looked at accreditation constraints, faculty resistence (how does it help me get tenure?) and money and crossing disciplines. Three recommendations:

  • To provide seed grants to journalism programs, departments, read to move forward with community-building news-literacy initiatives and are willing to parnter with middle and high-school in their area -- possibly $25K per institution.
  • Pick up on Howie's suggestion of a clearing house. Encourage, participate, share, take advantage of something already coming into play.
  • Develop external partners, working with local newspapers and with the academic and professional organizations.
  • Ask Shirley to write a letter to each of the potentially supportive campus presidents.

There was also a discussion of ethics.

The $1 million idea

Why just five? And what five? What about $25,000 grants to 40 institutions. Recommends starting an online news literacy journal so that people can write in a scholarly way (contributing to tenure work product).

===How can high schools introduce NL

  • Create an action route that would advocate to state education departments inclusion of news literacy in standards and frameworks revision process.
  • Need data collection and research to prove the effectiveness of new sliteracy. Frank Baker offered to create a website to create a benchamark for standards.
  • Missed the third idea. Share with colleagues what learned today.

$1 million idea

Include a grant-writing component.

  • First step is teacher training, how to critically assess the news and use the technology.
  • Create a website that has a set of standards for news literacy but to demonstate model lessons for how to integrate NL principles into existing programs. A dialog of what's needed and missiong.
  • Training program to teach teachers now to integrate NL and also help journalists to assist.
  • Create a pilot-school program that would run an elective course to see how it works. And to work on dealing with Internet blocks and filters that create censors on YOuTube and Facebook.