Better understand the news with these media literacy resources

Media Literacy Week is hosted every year by the National Association for Media Literacy Education, or NAMLE, to underline the importance of teaching media literacy. This year’s theme is: Access, Analyze, Evaluate, Create and Act.

Check out the resources below from Student Reporting Labs to help you better understand news and information you find online.


How do I navigate information on social media?

SRL Associate Youth Media Producer Becky Wandel explores what to look for when reading the news using her original stop light method.

How to debunk science misinformation?

SRL’s Becky Wandel spoke with science reporter Nsikan Akpan about how he debunked that cellphone-horns story.

How to tell fact from fiction: COVID-19 EDITION

SRL’s Becky Wandel shares some fact-checking tips to find the most reliable information online.

 Lesson Plans

What is Newsworthy?

Journalists often pitch story ideas inspired by events occurring in their communities or by issues they care about, but they also turn to the Internet and social media to find out what topics are engaging a large audience. This lesson will challenge students to think about the term “newsworthy” and what makes a story worthy of being reported. Click on the Activities Tab to complete the lesson.

Journalism Ethics 

Students will explore, engage and develop a thorough understanding of the components and ethics related to journalism.

Elections, misinformation & the news

NewsHour’s Amna Nawaz and Hari Sreenivasan join NBC News’ Savannah Sellers and Snapchat Host Peter Hamby for a brief discussion on the election, the challenging nature of spotting misinformation, and finding credibility in the news. 

Young fact-checkers explain how to discern information online

PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs, in partnership with the Poynter Institute’s MediaWise, hosted “Face the Facts: Election 2020 Youth Town Hall.

How to Combat Political Misinformation 

In the first video, Jevin West, an Associate Professor at the University of Washington who studies the spread of misinformation, talks to student reporter Bridgette Adu-Wadier about the ongoing problem of misinformation online and in our society and how it has impacted democratic processes. In the second video, multimedia reporter Heather Taylor-Wynn talks to two teen fact-checkers from Poynter’s MediaWise program about solutions to slow down the spread of misinformation.

Is This Legit? – MEDIAWISE X PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs

This wild Instagram stat about vaccines and pregnancies needs context | Is This Legit?

Did the COVID-19 vaccine cause 920 women to have miscarriages? An Instagram post said so, citing data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. But if we take a closer look at the database, it says that “reports alone cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness.” So, this claim NEEDS context.

No, Georgia did not ban discussion of race in the classroom | Is This Legit?

Critical race theory has been a hot topic at local school board meetings. We found a post claiming that Georgia banned any discussion of race in school. Using a keyword search, we found sources proving that Georgia did ban the teaching of critical race theory, but not the discussion of race as a whole. That’s important context you won’t find in the post. And when posts are shared without the right context — they can turn into misinformation.

The facts about the delta variant | Is This Legit?

The delta variant is now the dominant coronavirus strain in the US. So, what does that actually mean? Since it’s developing — and kind of scary — news about the pandemic, there’s bound to be confusion and misinformation. In this video, we take you through how to consult expert sources like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization to answer questions you have about new coronavirus variants. 

This Afro swim cap ban needs context | Is This Legit?

A viral post claims that swimming gear designed for Black athletes aren’t allowed at the Tokyo Olympics. This story is a little more complicated than that — but it’s picked up steam without the proper context.

Understanding COVID-19 stats and models | Is This Legit?

With so much information available about the Delta variant, scary numbers can sometimes drown out the cold hard facts. And that can be especially true for things that haven’t even happened yet. So what’s the deal with predictions? In this episode, MediaWise Teen Fact-Checker Ian walks you through the ways to fact-check stats and models.