Feb 16th 2016

Making Sense of News (edX)

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With social media and a 24/7 news cycle, how do we — as news consumers — make sense of what we hear and read? At a time when we are flooded with an abundance of information and disinformation, it is essential for each one of us to become a more discerning news consumer.

This five-week course will help you identify reliable information in news reports and become better informed about the world we live in. We will discuss journalism from the viewpoint of the news audience.

Together, we will examine the following topics:

- What makes news? The blurred lines between news, promotion and entertainment.

- Why does news matter? Social sharing and the dynamics of the news cycles.

- Who provides information? How to evaluate sources in news reports.

- Where is the evidence? The process of verification.

- When should we act? Recognizing our own biases.

- How do we know what we know? Becoming an active news audience.

What you'll learn:

- Distinguish news from opinion; media bias from audience bias; assertion from verification

- Apply critical thinking skills to examine the validity of information

- Contextualize the knowledge gained from news report

- Respond quickly to daily news events and make an informed decision