In June 2022, Elizabeth Smith and Teresa de los Santos, professors of communications at Seaver College, published “Look and Do: Investigating Journalists’ Use of Videos and Simulations to Raise Awareness of News Literacy Among High School Students.” published a shared research project titled .of Media practice and education.

In this project, Smith and de los Santos set out to study the effectiveness of simulation-based news literacy training for high school students. Their work is part of an ongoing effort to understand how to best educate younger generations on the topic of responsible news consumption.

“There is so much negativity around this news. talks about the importance of “While not all news topics are relevant to the lives of young news consumers, we want to help them recognize the importance of truthful information, appreciate the work of journalists, and trust them. Now, if they grow up in an American environment and that doesn’t change, we’re headed for a scary place.

“Misinformation is circulating all the time, but due to the random nature of social media platforms and how and how we consume information, whether we intend it or not. [news literacy education] It’s urgent,” Smith adds. “It has to start in kindergarten or earlier.”

Encouraged by this belief, Smith and de los Santos conducted experiments focused on adolescents. They ran eight high school classes through the Situation Room Experience at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

Students were assigned either a role in government or a role as a reporter. Both of these groups were forced to make decisions based on the evolving crisis situation. But his one independent variable, developed by Smith and de los Santos, was an informative video featuring professional journalists that four of his eight classes watched before proceeding with the simulation.

Smith and de los Santos wanted to provide a hands-on education in news literacy by exposing students to the process of journalism. Ultimately, the students who benefited the most from this experience were those who saw the introductory video first. These students reported higher perceptions of media meanings and messages, self-aware media literacy, and value of news media.

“Learning happens when experts and journalists interact with novices who don’t know much about the news industry. They may get involved by chance,” Smith reports. “It really lets you know who the experts are and who [students] You should listen and where the learning takes place…you need to engage with the journalists making the work. ”

Both Elizabeth Smith and Teresa de los Santos are former journalists and Emmy Award winners. Moving from the newsroom to the classroom, these two Seaver communications professors at her college proved their research to be true: learning occurs when experts intersect with novices. I practice what I do.

For more information on Smith and de los Santos’ simulation-based research, see our digital publication.

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