News is ever-changing. The way we get our news isn't the same as it was years ago.
KATC and our current owner, Scripps Broadcasting, are teaming up for National News Literacy Week. In a generation where the term "fake news" has become a common phrase used by most, we want to educate and teach others the importance of media literacy.
This month we went inside the classrooms to educate some of the youngest who consume news.
St. Thomas More Catholic High School has it's very own news team, called Cougar Cast. The student run broadcast gives their peers a very impressive newscast. So, we partnered with the school for the literacy project, explaining to them how to separate facts from fiction and overall helping them grow as young journalists.
"It's so important for everyone to know what's going on," student Carlin Sekhani-Matthews said. "We actually are at an advantage because we have 24 hour news. You can go on your phone. There's so many different apps and platforms that you can use to find news. It's important to tell the difference of what's real and fake. We also strive to teach those skills through Cougar Cast. "
Our lessons went beyond the classroom. We took some students into the field and helped them shoot a story. We focused on showcasing something that Louisiana is best known for, Mardi Gras. Behind the festive colors and food, there's a story on how the holiday impacts and helps our local economy and students focused on that aspect of the holiday. The News Literacy project brings local journalists beyond the newsroom to help build and grow trust within the community.
"I just learned a multitude of things I'll definitely use in college and in life," Sekhani-Matthews said.
While our time with Cougar Cast was brief, students say they've gained knowledge that will last a lifetime.
"It's definitely a good opportunity," Luc Picard said. "I can say to colleges and future job offers that I've done this before. I worked with a news station to produce a story."
Sekhani-Matthews added, "Working with local journalist is really amazing. It's really cool to see what's going on in the journalism community. It's cool to take my skills and have someone in the business look over it and guide me."
During the final week of January, KATC and other Scripps' stations will air stories related to the topic of news literacy.
Scripps journalists are working directly with high schools in their communities to produce original pieces of student journalism and are teaching them about the standards and principles journalists use to identify, research and produce a story.
To learn more about News Literacy Week visit NewsLiteracyWeek.org