Media Literacy and Newspapers of Record

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Scottie Kapel, Scholarly Communication Librarian (Creator)
Krista Schmidt, Research and Instruction Services Librarian (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to describe the challenges associated with identifying newspapers of record for local, regional, and national newspapers, specifically as those challenges pertain to students’ news media literacy. Visual literacy and information literacy intersections are explored.

Design/methodology/approach - Newspapers of record for province/territory and state areas of Canada and the United States of America were identified for student project purposes. Criteria for newspaper of record qualification were investigated, refined, and applied to all newspapers reviewed.

Findings - Distinguishing newspapers of record based on traditional criteria is inadequate in an online environment. Criteria must be more flexible and address both the visual as well as the content aspects of newspapers. Neither database access nor native website access alone is sufficient for identifying these newspapers. Straightforward and definitive identification of these newspapers will no longer be possible.

Practical implications - Librarians will be faced with focusing on content or visual literacy; addressing both in a meaningful way during a single instruction session will be difficult. More strategic instruction within and across disciplines is necessary to produce news media-literate and savvy students.

Originality/value - News media literacy for students in all disciplines is an urgent need and must incorporate both visual and content literacies. In a time of proliferation of news sources, understanding the challenges associated with identifying newspapers of record for both librarians and students is a necessary step in this area of information literacy.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
Newspaper of record, Information literacy, News media literacy, Media literacy, Instruction, Academic libraries

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