There were more than 120 attendees, representing 41 universities, as well as high schools, foundations, news organizations and two countries – Bhutan and Peru.
The conference had three goals: to share the innovative work being done at Stony Brook University, where more than 3,000 students have already taken the nation’s first course in how to be a smarter news consumer and a more informed citizen in the Digital Age; to build a “community of interest” among those committed to teaching and spreading the principles and applications of News Literacy in classrooms across the nation; and to craft individual and collective action.
News Literacy is the ability to use critical thinking skills to judge the reliability and credibility of news reports and news sources. Students today are bombarded with blogs, “tweets,” rumors, gossip, opinion, punditry, hype, spin, bias, propaganda, and advertising, all vying with journalism in their claims to be credible. News Literacy is an essential skill if today’s high school and college students are to become not just intelligent consumers of news, but effective citizens.