API working on a new tool for educating young news consumers

When most of us grew up it was clear what we meant by “the news.” We saw boundaries — the nightly newscast, the confines of a newspaper, bulletins on a radio broadcast.

Those sources still exist, but so do many more. Young people today are immersed in media, receiving news, marketing and messages from many sources with varying levels of accuracy and honesty. The news consumers of the future need to be prepared to think critically and evaluate information and claims about their world.

Building on our history with News in Education, API is working on a tool to help younger generations learn how to be thoughtful news consumers. The online software aims to let students consume diverse sources of real news, evaluate it critically, and tune their judgment by comparing the reactions of their peers.

This project builds on one goal of the new American Press Institute, to build tools where we sense a need. With our Metrics for News program, for example, we create software for tracking for new “journalism metrics” and innovative surveys to better understand a publisher’s audience.

API is also committed to supporting efforts to build news literacy and comprehension among the future generations of news consumers and journalists. We will also soon be releasing new research at the Newspaper Association of America’s mediaXchange conference, on how the “Millennial” generation gets news and how it fits into their lives.

For the software tool, right now we’re looking for testers — curious news professionals or educators. We seek kindred spirits who want to test new ways to teach core concepts for navigating news and information online, and who want to learn more about young people’s news preferences in the process.

Sign up to hear more about this project in coming months.