These students are learning the importance of news literacy

Posted at 10:29 AM, Jan 26, 2022

HANOVER, Va. — As part of News Literacy Week, CBS 6 is committed to helping local journalism teachers teach students about the importance of being news-literate in partnership with our parent company, E.W. Scripps.

Amanda McDaniel teaches mass communications and TV production at Mechanicsville High School.

We came out to not only help the class in a lesson about shooting a TV news story, but to talk about credible journalism.

McDaniel was already ahead of the game.

"We start off by learning what is a valid news source," said McDaniel. “And from there we continue and start to learn what is misinformation and how to identify forms of misinformation, as well as media bias."

Her students learned about five types of misinformation: satire, false context, imposter, fabricated and manipulated content.

"I knew there was a little bit," said 10th grade student, Hunter Ostein. “Like, I knew it wasn't all true, but I was surprised by how much there is."

To fight misinformation, the students learn standards of quality journalism — including using credible sources, verification, avoiding bias, balance and fairness.

"We live in a digital world where content is at our fingertips 24-7," explained McDaniel. “And that's the world these students have known their whole lives."

"It's great that we have the internet and there's a lot of opportunity for people to share their opinions, but it's also a big opportunity for people to lie," said 11th grade student, Jade Drew.

While not every student here will go on to be a journalist, most plan to use what they've learned.

"We can look back and have that knowledge that we can share with other people," said ninth-grader Lily Coake. “So hopefully, we can consume more news that is factual and real."

"We know the consequences of what can happen if misinformation can spread," said McDaniel. “And this is the generation that can stop that."

Building news literacy... is Building Better Minds.

Watch for Rob Cardwell's education feature stories on CBS 6 News and If you know someone Rob should profile, email him at

Find unique, award-winning stories every day on CBS 6 News.