Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

News literacy

API provides many different resources that news organizations, educators, advisors, parents and students can use to better understand how news and media works.

Below you will find our other reports or curated insights on this topic.

What Americans know, and don’t, about how journalism works

People are strikingly unfamiliar with terms that many journalists use, probably without thinking — such as the difference between an editorial and a news story, what the term “attribution” means, or what an op‑ed is. Consider a few numbers. Fully 50 percent of the public say they are only a little familiar with the term […]

How does personal experience with news affect a person’s views?

The extent of personal experience a person has with journalism — including being covered or interviewed in the news, or having some education in journalism themselves — impacts how well a person understands news processes and concepts. We explored several ways adults may have had personal experiences with journalism. We then examined how those experiences […]

How much Republicans and Democrats trust or understand the news media

It should come as no surprise today that the partisan divide over news is a troubling and significant issue as the United States comes to grips with a polarized political landscape. The data, above, about general differences in many ways offer a path beyond those differences via efforts to increase clarity and transparency, among others. […]

How younger and older Americans understand and interact with news

While the survey finds distinctions among attitudes and understanding of the media by factors like party and ideology, it also finds some significant and cautionary distinctions by age. Consistent with previous Media Insight Project research findings, and those of other research as well, the survey shows older Americans are more likely to seek out news, […]

Getting started: Some templates and tools for encouraging organic news fluency

Every story is an opportunity to have a conversation with your audience about what journalism is for and how journalists conduct their work. Each type of story presents different questions and different ways to encourage news fluency, in an organic and contextual manner. In this section, we’ll list nine types of stories and the unique […]

Journalists can change the way they build stories to create organic news fluency

When journalists talk about how they wish the public could recognize good reporting from bad reporting or even fakery, the subject often turns to whether the audience has the right skills. The discussion usually falls under the heading of “news literacy,” a body of work that typically involves a curriculum supervised by schools, heavily oriented […]

Next steps for promoting organic news fluency

We hope this essay will provoke some new ideas about how to help people become more discriminating consumers of news. Our recommendations boil down to a few basic ideas: Journalists have a role to play in helping consumers become more discriminating. Being fluent as a news consumer is not only the responsibility of news audiences. […]

Helping readers tell the difference between news and opinion: 7 good questions with Duke Reporters’ Lab’s Rebecca Iannucci

One possible explanation for declining trust in news organizations is blurry lines between news and opinion. If someone doesn’t like a commentator’s stance on particular issues, that could color how they look at everything else that news organization does. Plus, research by API shows that people are finding it difficult to tell the difference between […]

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