A consensus statement about the importance of news literacy

A consensus statement of participants in “Rebooting the News:”

News surrounds us and as such news literacy is an essential life skill for everyone. To paraphraseThomas Jefferson: Knowledge of current issues is essential to informed citizenship in a democracy. We are concerned about the effects of media messages on children and others. Modern participatory culturemakes every citizen a potential creator of news in social media, blogs, email and the web. We believe a literate citizen understands the purposes, processes and economics of news.

Therefore, it is time for American education to include the acquisition of 21st-century, critical-thinking skills for analyzing and judging the reliability of news, differentiating among facts, opinions and assertions in the media we create and distribute. News literacy standards can be research based in multiple content areas. They can be taught most effectively in cross-curricular, inquiry-based formats at all grade levels. It is a necessary component for literacy in contemporary society.

Signed at Philadelphia, Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008:

Diana Laufenberg
History Teacher
Science Leadership Academy
Philadelphia, Penn.

Frank Farley, Ph.D.
L. H. Carnell Professor
Temple University
Philadelphia, Penn.
(former president, American Psychological Assn.)

Bill Densmore
The Media Giraffe Project at UMass Amherst
Williamstown, Mass.

Renee Hobbs
Temple University Media Education Lab
Philadelphia, Penn.

Kathleen Kentner
Librarian, ORCSD
Durham, N.H.

Frank W.Baker
Media Literacy Clearinghouse,Inc.
Columbia, S.C.

Lena Consolini-Quinn
Concerned Citizen
Hadley, Mass.

Leslie Tran
Abington Friends School
Philadelphia, Penn.

Nathalie Applewhite
Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
Washington, D.C.

Ellen Kadransky
Free Lance writer
Upper Darby, Penn.

Jeannine Cook
Positive Minds
Philadelphia, Penn.

Faith Rogow
Insighters Educational Consulting
Ithaca, NY

John H. McManus
Sunnyvale, Calif.

Lucas Cioffi
Co-Founder, DeepDebate.Org
Washington, DC

Karen Zill
National Association for Media Literacy Education
Washington, D.C.

Katherine Cohen
Teacher, Ad Prima Charter School
Philadelphia, Penn.

Alexander Moll
The Public Forum Institute
Washington, D.C.

Diane S. Varner
Ph.D. student/Adjunct Faculty
Temple University
Philadelphia, Penn.

Sherri Hope Culver
Temple University, Media Education Lab
Philadelphia, Penn.

Bryan Doyle
Writer, Coordinator
Jackson Media Literacy Project
Jackson, Miss.

Stephen Silha
Journalism That Matters
Vashon Island, Wash.

Peggy Holman
Journalism that Matters
Bellevue, Wash.

Kaizar Campwala
San Francisco, CA

Jiwon Yoon
Temple University Media Education Lab
Philadelphia, Penn.