The News Literacy Project (NLP) mobilizes seasoned journalists to help middle- and high-school students acquire an appreciation for high-quality journalism and the skills to sort fact from fiction in this digital age. Alan Miller, the executive director of NLP and a Pulitzer Prize-winning former investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Times, founded the project in 2008 after growing concerned about his own teenage daughter’s ability to access and evaluate information from an ever-widening range of sources.
NLP’s primary aim is to cultivate in young people the critical thinking skills necessary to be smart and frequent consumers—as well as creators—of legitimate news across all media platforms. Students learn to distinguish credible information from spin, gossip, and opinion, at the age when they begin the transition from childhood into engaged citizenship.
NLP brings active and retired journalists into partnerships with teachers and local NLP coordinators. Journalist fellows and teachers devise curricula focusing on such topics as the importance of news to young people, the role of the First Amendment and a free press in a democracy, and methods for discerning dubious versus reliable reportage. One of the programs that Revson staff had the privilege to sit in on featured Jane Bornemeier of The New York Times at the Cinema School in the Bronx, where Ms. Bornemeier led a a lively interactive session called “Page One: Dissecting the Front Page of the Newspaper” with a group of fascinated eleventh graders.
Participating journalists in NLP come from such organizations as The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, CNN, NPR, ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, the Associated Press, ProPublica, The Wall Street Journal, Univision, the Chicago Sun-Times and WTOP radio.