In an era of "fake news" and a seemingly insurmountable influx of data on the Internet, it is critical for both journalists and citizens to understand the digital media we consume daily. This introductory textbook gives students the tools they need to think critically about the news, and to see reliable news as an essential aspect of what it means to be an informed citizen in a democracy.
After reading this text, students will be able to:
Analyze key elements of news reports by weighing evidence, evaluating sources, noting context and transparency to judge reliability.
Distinguish among journalism, informed opinion and unsupported opinions.
Identify and distinguish between news media bias and audience bias.
Use examples from the daily news media to show critical thinking about civic engagement.
Develop a skeptical and engaged approach to social media and digital technology.
Jeffrey Dvorkin is a lecturer and director of the journalism program at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus. His journalistic career began at CBS News in London while still a graduate student at the London School of Economics. For more than 20 years, he was a CBC journalist in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto where he became Managing Editor and Chief Journalist for CBC Radio. In 1997, he was named Vice-President, News and Information at NPR in Washington, DC, where he subsequently became NPR's first news ombudsman, handling ethical complaints and concerns from listeners.
Chapter 1: Introduction to News Literacy Chapter 2: Strengths and Vulnerabilities of the News Chapter 3: Does the News Always Give Us the "Truth"? Chapter 4: Verification (or How Do We Know?) Chapter 5: What Makes the News Different (and Does It Matter?) Chapter 6: Can the News be "Fair and Balanced"? Chapter 7: "Who's Biased Now? Not Me!" Chapter 8: What's News? Who Decides? Chapter 9: Framing and Deconstructing the News Chapter 10: Sources: Credible and Incredible Chapter 11: News Literacy in a Time of "Fake News" Chapter 12: Why News Literacy? Why Now?