As LAMP interns (and Becca a UNIS graduate), we held a workshop on news literacy at the LAMP headquarters for a handful of students. This was the first workshop that we created and implemented during our time with The LAMP, and it provided an opportunity for us to teach news and media literacy first hand and comprehend what goes behind creating an effective, beneficial curriculum. The UNIS news literacy workshop also provided a new challenge of working with teenagers that were already technologically savvy and engaged with forms of news due to their own personal interaction with various media devices, social media applications, and independent consumption of news.
Having a group of students that were really excited to delve deeper into the topic of news literacy made the workshop an exciting learning environment. We started by breaking down the definitions around what news is, and asking questions about what stories can be newsworthy, and about the economy of news production. The discussions based on the structure of news stories and the role advertisers play on dictating what can and cannot be shown on news programs were also a large part of the news literacy workshop, and an area that the teens had not considered prior to working with The LAMP. Many people understand that advertisements support news segments, but do not realize that advertisers can also dictate news segments.
The UNIS news literacy workshop also allowed the teens to produce their own news segments first hand. This included pre-production, where they thought of a story to report on; production, where they went to Grand Central Terminal to conduct and record interviews with various bystanders using cameras provided by The LAMP; and post-production, where they edited their material into two-minute news segments in iMovie. By the end of the workshop the teens had a greater appreciation for what news can be, and realized that news literacy does not just mean watching the news, but understanding it as an institution and profit-driven entity.
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