What is Newsroom to Classroom?
Newsroom to Classroom is a free program housed in the "Journalists" tab of your educator account. Using this program, you can easily set up a Classroom Connection — either virtually or in-person — between journalists and your students. These connections are designed to:
- Demystify the practice of quality journalism.
- Demonstrate how to think critically and become information-savvy in today’s complex online landscape.
- Develop an appreciation of the vital role a free press plays in a robust democracy.
(Watch the video or read the article below to learn how to set up a Classroom Connection.)
Step-by-step guide to having a Classroom Connection:
Connecting with the reporters and editors behind the headlines can be a powerful news literacy learning experience for students. To get a real-world expert in your classroom, follow these 5 steps:
Find a journalist.
Click on the "Journalists" tab in the top navigation bar. The database has over 100 journalists and is always expanding. Use the search bar or filter function to easily find a journalist you'd like to connect with.
You can search by several helpful attributes: Name, ZIP code, and areas of expertise.Read about journalist-selected areas of expertise.
When applying to be a part of Newsroom to Classroom, journalists select areas of expertise they feel comfortable discussing with students. You can search or filter based on a particular area of expertise that is relevant to you and your students:
Want more student voice regarding who to invite or what topics to discuss? Make a copy of this Google Form or a duplicate of this Microsoft Form to easily poll your class on the areas of expertise they are most interested in.
Read about the journalist's background and availability to determine fit.
Each journalist profile includes information about their work experience, areas of expertise, and samples of their work. On the right, you will see the area where a journalist is available for in-person visits and a list of the journalist's general availability.
Please note: Some journalists are only available for virtual visits.View a sample journalist profile.Read about how journalists are added to the database.
Journalists interested in volunteering for Newsroom to Classroom submit an application to the News Literacy Project. This application includes information such as their current position and newsroom affiliation, work history and links to previous news reports and work samples.
NLP carefully reviews each application to verify that prospective volunteers meet our standards. These guidelines ensure that participating journalists are standard-bearers for and practitioners of quality journalism, as defined in NLP lessons, such as “Practicing Quality Journalism.”
NLP’s volunteer standards also include guidelines for news organizations that participating journalists are affiliated with. These organizations should, for instance, be transparent, correct errors and have standards in place to protect the newsroom’s editorial independence.
Once NLP confirms that a prospective volunteer meets these standards, approved journalists complete a short orientation on the Newsroom to Classroom program before their profile is made live in the directory of journalist volunteers.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Send an invite!
Click the green "Invite" button to initiate a classroom connection. After you click the invite button, an invitation window appears. In this window, you can:
- specify your conversation type (virtual or in-person)
- share your email address with the journalist so they can respond to your request
- specify the topics you would like the journalist to address with your students
- write a message introducing yourself and your classroom, describing your students' experiences with Checkology, and proposing potential dates and times for the connection
When ready, click the green "Send Invitation" button at the bottom of the window. From there, you will be arranging the visit directly with the journalist over email (using the email account you provided in your invitation).
Plan your Classroom Connection.
Once the journalist has contacted you (via email) and confirmed their availability for a Classroom Connection, you can begin planning out the details of the visit.
You can use the "Classroom Connection Planning Sheet" (which can also be found in the "Resources" tab of your Checkology account) to discuss and map out your Classroom Connection with the journalist. We suggest working through this sheet together over the phone or video chat in advance of the session with students or collaborating on it via Google Docs.
Report your feedback to NLP.
Head to the "Journalists" tab to let us know if you were able to connect and how things went. A red feedback banner appears in the Journalists tab three weeks after you send your invitation to a journalist.
If you weren't able to connect, select one of these three options
- "Not yet" = Allows for more time to connect.
- "Resend request" = sends a reminder about the invitation to the same journalist.
- "Cancel" = Cancels the current invitation so you can invite a different journalist.
If you were able to connect, select "Yes" and you will be prompted to rate your experience and leave us an optional comment. We'd love to hear about your visit and what the experience was like. Please keep us posted!
Please note: If you need access to videoconferencing tools in order to make a Classroom Connection, please reach out to us by clicking "Submit a request" located in the top-right of the Checkology Help Center.