We are excited to be a key part of this national news literacy project, helping teens become smarter news consumers. Visit our teen website  to follow developments.
“News Know-how” is sponsored by the American Library Association, the News Literacy Project, and the Open Societies Foundations. Ten local high school students, joined by media experts (in person and via Skype) from The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post) and our own librarian talent, will participate from now through November. Students commit to learning more about what resources to use as “media watchdogs” of upcoming political campaign coverage.
“The training is fun so far and is at a relaxed pace,” states Trinity High School student Jamie Steen. She’s using the News Know-how project to beef up her resume. Going into her sophomore year, she has one year of experience with Trinity’s student newspaper, The Blaze. “I want a position with The Chicago Tribune and need more experience working with news.”
“We’re so excited to be working with this group of teens on the News Know-how project,” states librarian Juanita Fisher. “They’re very interested, engaged, and passionate about news. The future looks bright!”
Using the library as a “newsroom"
With Oak Park Public Library as their “newsroom,” Oak Park teens engaged in News Know-how will learn how to distinguish facts from opinions and will have an opportunity to work with professional journalists and librarians as mentors. Participants will work in small teams based on shared interests. They will monitor and analyze a specific news media beat, journalist or collection of news sources across various platforms. Students will then create a computer-based presentation or screencast that shares their experience and the lessons they learned with others. After four full-day workshops at Oak Park Public Library, two teen teams will dedicate five hours a week during the summer and two hours a week during the school year to the project. Plans also include hosting a community discussion in October about news, media and society.
Come November, News Know-how participants will walk away with:
• connections to real-life issues and journalists
• a digital portfolio on Oak Park Public Library’s website and the national News Know-How website
• equipment to support their ongoing involvement in media production
• possibly, eligibility for scholarship money and/or school credit
More about News Know-how
News Know-how is a two-year, $750,000 national project. Other libraries that will kick off the project include Chicago Public Library, Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, and several Iowa rural and urban libraries working with the State Library. Oak Park Public Library is sponsoring the project locally. National sponsors are the American Library Association and the Open Society Foundations. The lead training organization is the News Literacy Project Inc. The program will be assessed by a team at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Local journalists interested in getting involved in News Know-how, may contact Rebecca Teasdale, Assistant Director for Public Services and Programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org .