October 27th, 2020

NewsHour EXTRA launches interactive learning resource covering journalism history in America

ELAPoliticsSocial StudiesU.S.U.S. history

NewsHour EXTRA, PBS NewsHour’s website devoted to news in the classroom, has developed a new interactive learning resource called Journalism in Action designed to help middle and high school students examine the ways the free press has covered historical events as they happened. Through fun, engaging activities, students explore historical documents and make their own judgments using news articles, broadcast segments, political cartoons and photographs curated from Library of Congress databases.

Students will read Frederick Douglass’s news articles on slavery and learn about journalists like Nellie Bly whose undercover investigation exposed serious problems in state mental institutions,” said Victoria Pasquantonio, the NewsHour education producer and head of NewsHour EXTRA. “Exploring ways reporters have done their jobs in the past helps us understand how current events are filtered through the media today.”

Journalism in Action consists of 10 separate case studies from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars to Muckrakers, Watergate and up to the present day, and explores how those historic moments were covered in real time by investigative journalists, cartoonists, publishers, news broadcasters and more. 

Top-notch reporting by PBS NewsHour is featured throughout the website on Watergate and gender equality, including stories about Judy Woodruff, Gwen Ifill, Jim Lehrer, Robert MacNeil and Charlayne Hunter-Gault. 

The website is open to everyone to explore. Teachers interested in using Journalism in Action as a resource in their own classrooms can register here.

Educators, families, students and PBS fans are invited to join NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff in a webinar and launch event for Journalism in Action on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 8pm EDT. Woodruff will discuss what it was like to cover key events featured in the website and her work as a broadcast journalist. The event will also feature Michelle Ciulla Lipkin, executive director of NAMLE (National Association for Media Literacy Education) in celebration of Media Literacy Week. This is one event you don’t want to miss!


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