For the first “News Literacy Week” in 2020, WMAR-2 News took viewers inside Kenwood High School in Baltimore County to get a look at how their journalism class was approaching issues like bias, credibility, and the role of the free press in this country.
This year - with remote learning - we were not able to go back inside the building. But it appears that the demand for news literacy among those students has skyrocketed.
Even with remote learning, the journalism students at Kenwood have stayed busy. They’ve published dozens of stories for their on-line newspaper, “Eye of the Bluebird.”
And it’s gotten a lot bigger this year.
“I only had what 15 kids last year. Now I have almost 60 in the program,” said teacher Angela Glenn. “It kind of blew up and from my understanding there's a ton signed up for next year.”
The students have been thinking not only about what's been going on in the world but also how the information about those events makes its way to them.
“Now that I've learned about news literacy, I kind of look at things and I take a step back before I really determine if it's true, and if I want to share it on the internet,” said student Azreil Williamson.
And they're learning that they have the ability to express their view of what's happening as well.
“We are the future and we have the capability to change it as a whole. So I think that's another reason why more people are coming together and starting to realize it,” said Jasmine Ramos, another student from Kenwood.
Angela Glenn says she hopes the program might show them how to become what she calls “digital leaders” - helping other students from all over the school identify examples of biased or inaccurate stories, so that more Bluebirds will be smarter news consumers - or even reporters of it - once they leave the nest.
“I really feel like now more than ever people are starting to pay attention to the younger generation, and I think, starting to realize that they have a voice and they can lead,” Glenn said.
News Literacy Week is a collaboration between the non-partisan News Literacy Project, and the company that owns WMAR-2 News, The EW Scripps company.
See what Kenwood High School students are writing about by giving them a like on Facebook.