This case study focused on the conceptualization and implementation of a news literacy course created by journalism educators at Stony Brook University in New York. The pedagogy was designed to teach students how to analyze news sources with techniques and tools informed and inspired by journalistic ways of thinking and professional practices. The idea represented an attempt to broaden the purpose of journalism education as well as diversify understandings of media literacy and citizenship instruction in the digital age. Interview transcripts, course documents, and observation notes were used as evidence in the case study. The evidence was analyzed from multiple perspectives.
From grounded theory perspectives, the study found that news literacy is a thoughtful, experimental, and well-funded pedagogy that differentiates news from other information sources and defines concepts and frameworks to be used in the analysis of news. From media literacy perspectives, the study found that news literacy represents a distinct and highly specialized variant of media literacy because it focuses exclusively on the analysis of news and restricts its analytic techniques to those informed by journalistic mindsets and methods. The pedagogy's dependence on specialized knowledge and its emphasis on the development of information-processing skills led to the formulation of a cognitive theory of news literacy. From philosophical perspectives, the study found that news literacy architects challenge the conceptual boundaries of citizenship instruction by connecting journalism's digital future with principles and practices rooted in its print-dominated past.
Suggestions for future research include the exploration of emphasis in media literacy pedagogies, the development of new theories and understandings of what it means to be an informed and responsible citizen in the digital age, and the role of educators in the instruction of skills and competencies deemed essential for engaged and meaningful civic participation.