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News Literacy: Hamilton High students learning skills through their own newspaper

Posted at 11:10 AM, Jan 23, 2023

MILWAUKEE — It takes a lot of planning to put a newspaper together – Eliza Palacios and her fellow Hamilton High classmates call it The Ham Life.

“Writing is one of the many passions that I have,” Eliza says.

She recently wrote a story about another extracurricular she’s involved in – Youth Empowered in the Struggle.

“Basically, it explained how we started, who we are and what we’re planning to work on in the future,” Eliza says.

And through reporting, Eliza and classmate Diamond Townsend are learning a lot about the news – including news literacy.

“News literacy is…. That’s kind of hard because it’s a lot of things!” Diamond says.

Fortunately, her advisor Stephanie Meyer had the answer.

“Just knowing what you are reading and being able to delineate fact from fiction,” Meyer says.

She says being able to comprehend the information you’re reading – and also identify bias – is really important for teenagers.

“They literally do not understand the basics of what they’re reading,” Meyer says.

That’s if they’re even reading at all.

“It seems like all they want to do these days is scroll on their phone, and when you’re scrolling, you do not read stuff,” Meyer says.

But Eliza and Diamond want to do better than that. They’re using their skills to think critically about the information they consume.

“It’s easier to tell what’s fake and how hard they tried to make something sound real, even if it’s not,” Eliza says.

“If you can make your own opinion and you can’t research things and dig deeper into a subject, then it’s pretty much pointless for you to even have an opinion,” Diamond adds.

And Meyer couldn’t be prouder of these girls’ skills.

“I definitely think it will take them a long way.”

Every year our parent company EW Scripps partners with the News Literacy Project to help people discern credible information from misinformation. We have more tools and information available to you here.

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