• Svetlana Shkolnikova

Teaching news literacy in the age of fake news

Updated: Jan 10, 2018

About a dozen undergraduates gathered on a recent Tuesday in a second floor classroom of the Center for Academic Success at Kean University to talk about the news.

The discussion touched on the French presidential election, President Trump’s budget proposal, the possible federal prosecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and finally, conservative pundit Ann Coulter’s planned speech at the University of California, Berkeley — a topic professor Pat Winters Lauro used to segue into a lesson on the First Amendment.

“What’s happening today in our culture is people are creating these silos of thought and they only listen to what they agree with,” she told students. “You want to have a variety of sources.”

Lauro, the director of journalism in Kean’s School of Communication, Media & Journalism, has been dispensing this advice since January, when she resurrected a news literacy class she created five years ago to combat the rise of misinformation online.

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