Author's School

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Author's Department/Program

American Cultural Studies


English (en)

Date of Award

January 2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Chair and Committee

Korina Jocson


This paper involves two of the oldest institutions in America -- schools and the press -- and the preparation of informed citizens in the age of new media. I examine the manner and ways in which news literacy, the use of critical thinking skills to judge the reliability of news reports and news sources, is taught to secondary school students in the United States. It is axiomatic that a vigorous and independent press is critical to our democracy. Yet news literacy has not historically been included in the public school curriculum and continues to be widely absent, despite states vowing through their educational standards to graduate media literate students. News literacy is of increasing significance as the media sources from which citizens can obtain news and public affairs information continue to expand, and as people increasingly report being overwhelmed by the amount of information available online. Individual teachers, college faculty and a range of organizations run by media professionals have championed news literacy in recent years. In the following paper, I highlight these efforts to integrate news literacy lessons in the classroom, as well as the institutional barriers to broadening studentsΓÇÖ access to news literacy instruction.


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