Thursday, August 21, 2008

The democratization of the news

I just read a good article by Joyce Valenza in School Library Journal about a new site called NewsCred. NewsCred has aggregated credible online news sources so you can get the best information quickly and easily. They provide a mix of mainstream newspapers and blogs.
What is a credible news source you say? NewsCred has made an initial selection of online newspapers and blogs based on several factors you can read about on their site. Then, in true Web 2.0 fashion, NewsCred lets users rate sources and customize the site to display the sources they prefer.

As time goes on, the data for each article, news source, and journalist will grow as more readers give them the thumbs up or thumbs down. Who can predict who will come out ahead? What criteria readers will use to make their judgments? And how will these ratings feed back onto the way content is being produced? This is the democratization of the media.

And, as Valenza aptly notes, NewsCred is an excellent tool to use for teaching students how to be critical consumers of news. She suggests reviewing NewsCred’s analytic algorithms with students and asking them to decide if they agree or disagree with the methods being used. Students can also review the user rating data to look for trends and come up with their own criteria. The possibilities are endless and the result is a compelling curriculum that can truly prepare our young people for the world they are entering.

Take a look at NewsCred yourself. Remember to weigh in!


Shafqat said...

Thanks for the review. We're truly excited about NewsCred's capabilities as a learning/research tool. In fact, that was one of our early visions of the site. Please let us know what features we could add to make it more useful to students and teachers!

Once again, many thanks for spreading the word.

CEO NewsCred

Karyn Vogel said...

Hi Shafqat,

Thank you for writing! I am wondering if there is a way to suggest a particular blog entry, rather than an entire site for inclusion. I am reading Clay Shirky's book, Here Comes Everybody, and he cites a time when the traditional news outlets were being censored and an excellent news source ended up being a college student's personal blog.