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Larimer County, Colorado
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News Literacy
A Project of the Public Relations Team of the Larimer County LWV
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News Literacy: Vital for Democracy

Everyday, Americans are bombarded with news and information from television, radio, newspapers, as well as from social media, such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and more.

This abundance has created unprecedented challenges to being well-informed. How truthful is our news? How can we tell fact from opinion? Are we hearing and passing along information that is reliable?

We here at the Larimer League encourage everyone to become more media savvy, more news literate. We’ve gathered a wide variety of carefully vetted resources, designed to help you determine the credibility and reliability of your news sources.

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Are You Savvy? Try Your News Literacy Skills Here.

Using the questions to the right as a guide, analyze this piece. Remember, it doesn't matter whether you agree or disagree with the writer's position. You're trying to determine the the validity and reliability of the information presented.

No statehood for Washington DC

"51st state? Why on earth would a tiny city of about 700,000 be allowed to be a state? Would they be allowed two senators like Hawai‘i?

The Constitution says Washington DC is a federal jurisdiction and cannot become a state. Washington DC has too much power now! Adding statehood will give them more.

Why are our own Senators Hirono and Schatz in favor of this? Don’t we have enough problems at home to be wasting time giving DC more power?"

Source: Garden Island News, February 15, 2021

1. Is this piece: News? Opinion? Entertainment? Something else?

2. Does the writer present any facts? How would you check the reliability of these items?  Is the population of D.C. under 700,000? What other facts are there?
3. Is the writer justified in the claim that having 700,000 people is too small to be a state? How would you verify that no state currently has a small population like this?
4. Consider the logic of the writer's claim about the "power" in Washington, D.C.  What is the "source" of her perceived power?  Is this a logical conclusion?

5. What does the writer want you to do or feel as a result of this piece?
6. Would you feel comfortable passing this piece along to your contacts? Why?

We’d love to know your answers. Drop us an email at We may even share your comments on this page, so be sure to include your name and contact information.

Featured Articles

Recent Articles

Test Your Literacy IQ


How to Analyze Facts, Opinions, Beliefs that You Hear or Read
This classroom "handout" gives brief descriptions of the types information we process, how to begin an analysis of them, and some of the common logical fallacies to watch for. It also includes links to other articles to learn more.
Read it HERE

Get Smart About News - The News Literacy Project

How news-literate are you? Test and sharpen your news literacy skills with short activities, engaging quizzes and shareable graphics for learners of all ages.
Read it HERE

DeBunking False Stories - from
"We provide several resources for readers: a guide on how to flag suspicious stories on Facebook and a list of websites that have carried false or satirical articles, as well as a video and story
 on how to spot false stories."
Read the article HERE

Just for Teens
Teen Fact-Checking Network - Poynter

"TFCN fact-checks...debunk misinformation and teach media literacy skills so teens can fact-check on their own. On average, 86% of respondents polled...reported they were more likely to fact-check on their own after watching a TFCN fact-check story." Includes good information about how teens can become better information consumers.  
Check it out HERE

Research and Sources

Colorado House Bill (HB21-1103) - 
Concerning Implementing Media Literacy in School Curricula

The bill requires the department, upon the request of a school district, charter school, institute charter school, or board of cooperative services, and subject to available resources, to provide technical assistance to a school district, charter school, institute charter school, or board of cooperative services, with implementing policies and procedures, best practices, and recommendations related to media literacy. The bill requires the state board of education to review and adopt revisions that implement media literacy within reading, writing, and civics standards. (Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)
about the bill HERE
Read the entire bill HERE

SPJ Code of Ethics

Seek Truth and Report It

Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair. Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.

Minimize Harm

Ethical journalism treats sources, subjects, colleagues and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect.

Act Independently

The highest and primary obligation of ethical journalism is to serve the public.

Be Accountable and Transparent

Ethical journalism means taking responsibility for one’s work and explaining one’s decisions to the public.

Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics (long version)

Read it HERE