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Launching ADP’s Informed Citizen Project

By Chapman Rackaway, Fort Hays State University

In today’s highly segmented and diverse media market, it has become harder for college students to determine what is informative and helpful news. Without quality information, an engaged public might still not have the tools it needs to effectively guide a democracy.  With that in mind, ADP along with The New York Times is creating the Informed Citizen Project (ICP).  With the Informed Citizen Project, we hope to share and promote media and information literacy for the 21st Century college student.

As we encourage our students to be engaged in their communities, nation, and globe, we must help them develop the tools to be critical consumers of news.  More than ever, today’s college student must be able to identify the source and crediibility of their news sources.  Bias, error, and varying perspectives all can effect the way we consume and act on our news.  The sheer number of media choices makes it difficult to select a mix of news sources that is helpful and the size of that task often leads news consumers to select from a very narrow media menu.

From newspaper readership programs to integrating critical newsreading in classes, from student round table discussions on political issues to blogging, and from detecting bias on televised news to students creating their own news-related content, there are many existing efforts that universities are using to build media literacy skills among their students.  We will share those efforts online and in publications, as well as develop them over time.

The Informed Citizen Project will bring those existing efforts together with institutions starting new efforts.  We aim to bring ADP member institutions together to share and collaborate on methods to build and improve media literacy skills.  At our pre-conference workshop before the ADP Annual Meeting we will discuss what media literacy is, what colleges can do to improve media literacy skills for students, and plan the exciting first year of the Informed Citizen Project.  We invite any ADP school interested in participating to complete the ICP membership form or contact Cecilia M. Orphan.

Whether you have an established media literacy curriculum or haven’t created one yet, the Informed Citizen Project will help institutions create and improve their media and information literacy projects.  Fort Hays State’s Chapman Rackaway and Illinois State’s Lance Lippert are organizing the Informed Citizen Project and can answer your questions at the special Pre-Conference Workshop at the ADP National Meeting in Orlando, June 2-4, 2011.

Pre-Conference Workshop: The Informed Citizen Project

Thursday, June 2

12:30-3:30 pm

To register for the pre-conference workshop, please contact Cecilia M. Orphan.

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