The current environment of misinformation is causing expensive and negative consequences for society. Fake news is affecting democracy and its foundations, as well as newspapers and media companies that aim to combat this “pandemic.” In order to effectively provide accurate information, these companies are in need of a workforce with specific attitudes, skills, and knowledge (ASK). However, several studies show that students either do not have those ASK or have poorly developed them, indicating the need for better media literacy skills. Given that such skills are often not taught in school, nor is there a way for students to efficiently obtain them and tangibly show them to future employers, we propose a model 1 that enhances the way students learn and how we measure such learning. Journalism students – enrolled in liberal arts, general studies, and humanities – have the potential to be upskilled and become the new critical thinking and fact-checking force needed to neutralize misinformation and foster a healthy society. Our model applies learning science and behavioral research on feedback and intrinsic motivation to foster students' ASK through a digital apprenticeship model that uses structured activities together with mentorship and feedback. Students participate in the creation of digital products for the journalism and news media industry. This prepares them for the types of tasks they will be required to perform in the job market. The digital apprenticeship matches students with the proper mentor, peer, and professional network. Students' work is compared against professional news media production to generate feedback, improve quality, and track progress. During the digital apprenticeship, students receive the ASK-SkillsCredit, a digital badge, which serves as a “nutritional” fact label that displays how students created the media content, the level of efficacy of the apprenticeship, and the standard of journalism quality of the piece. Lastly, we propose to enhance existing learning management systems to capture and promote a learner's profile data and expose aligned opportunities in news media outlets.
Zuluaga, L. and Long, P.D. (2021), "It Is Time for Journalists to Save Journalism", Grech, A. (Ed.) Media, Technology and Education in a Post-Truth Society (Digital Activism and Society: Politics, Economy And Culture In Network Communication), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 203-221. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-80043-906-120211015
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