Lesson 2.49.2, Year 2 American English Lessons with Maestro Sersea

1. Directions: Read and translate if needed, the following article.

In this lesson, we present seven steps to help you judge the quality of news reporting:

Step One: Main Points

Be able to recognize and re-state the main points of the story. An intelligent news consumer asks: What are the facts and how are they presented?

Step Two: Evidence

Examine the evidence. How has the reporter confirmed the evidence? Is there video you can trust? Is there a paper trail — documents to prove what happened?

Step Three: Sources

Consider the sources of the story. Are they named or not identified in the story?

Step Four: Openness

What is the transparency level — the level of openness — in the news organization? Where did they get their information?

Step Five: Knowledge of Subject

Is there something to provide context, such as background information or history? Does the reporter have a command of the subject of the report?

Step Six: The Five “W”s

Are important pieces of information missing? Does the report answer the questions: what happened? Where, when and why did it happen? Who was involved?

Step Seven: Self Examination

Are you open to fairness? As a news consumer, you must know yourself. Do you have opinions or beliefs that could influence your judgment?

Perhaps step seven is the most important of the seven steps. Ask yourself: Are you more likely to believe a story if it confirms your pre-existing beliefs? That is called confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is a sort of blindness that leads news consumers to seek out information they WANT to be true. A smart news consumer seeks out information from multiple sources, weighing the reputation of each source, and comparing their coverage.

Using these seven steps, a reader or listener can decide the quality and truthfulness of news reports.

In our final lesson, we will consider journalistic responsibility in the age of social media.

This lesson is based on the News Literacy class at the Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook University. For more on how to become a news literate citizen, go to The Center for News Literacy.


Words in This Story

consumer  n. one who buys or uses a product

transparency – n. the quality that makes it possible to see through something

context – n. the situation in which something happens : the group of conditions that exist where and when something happens

bias – n. a tendency to believe that some people, ideas, etc., are better than others that usually results in treating some people unfairly

2. Directions: Watch the video. Discuss what you’ve learned from this lesson via the comments section below.

3 thoughts on “Lesson 2.49.2, Year 2 American English Lessons with Maestro Sersea

  1. Hello
    I am Albertine
    This lesson is very interesting, I like it and I appreciate the self examination before trusting the information. This will help me to be a smart news consumer.
    I also learned new words.
    Thank you so much

    1. Dear teacher,
      This lesson is very interesting. It showed the process of judgment news, the blind things or whatever. The vital of seven important steps for analysis news weather is it reliable, possible, measurable, or reasonable?
      The seven step is very important of news analysis or beliefs that it could influence our judgment in aim to collect information and evidence.
      Thank you.

  2. Lesson 2.49.2 Year 2
    News Literacy Lesson 5: Quality of News reports.
    To judge the quality of news reporting followings are the seven main points or steps.
    Main points: What are the facts and how are they presented?
    Evidence: the available facts or information indicating weather a proposition is true or valid.
    Sources: Sources are named or not identify in the story.
    Openness: what is the level of openness and transparency, because a democratic society committed to openness and transparency.
    Knowledge of subject: It means, the reporter has a full command of the subject of the report.
    The Five ”W’s: Is the given report catered and answered the following five ‘W”s…
    What? Where? When? Why? and Who?
    Self-Examination: Has the reported studied his own behavior and motivation. Is his reporting up to the terms of journalism,” Fairness and balance”?

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