News Literacy: Videos to Spark Conversation

News literacy is a hot topic these days, as it should be with the “fake news” buzzword flying around at every turn. I’ve been digging in on news literacy resources this year, as know that this is another avenue for librarians to step up and become experts in our schools in a topic that isn’t necessarily embedded in the curriculum just yet. It’s very much in the vein of digital citizenship — we have to help prepare our students for the world they live in now and the unknown future where they will be adults.

Research shows that this is a growing issue facing society, and it’s something we as school librarians can step up and address. We know that our students struggle to evaluate sources they find online for credibility, and this research by the Stanford History Education Group confirms what we already know. This article by The Atlantic shares the findings of an MIT study on the spread of fake news on Twitter, and the battle that we are fighting is up a very steep hill.

I’ve presented on the topic of news literacy several times this year, and I have collected several videos that are great points of introduction and discussion on the topic. I think that news literacy is one of those concepts that should be grounded in discussion with students — it’s not as cut and dry as other topics may be and complex issues like this require awareness, thought, reflection, and some solid strategies.

I have a few videos that make great discussion starters when introducing the topic of news literacy with students.

This video describes how a town in Macedonia has become a hub for publishing fake news articles. Hearing the anonymous poster talk about how and why he is publishing these articles is sure to stir up discussion with your students.


This short minute and a half video describes how filter bubbles work and how social media algorithms tailor what you see based on your history. I think it’s important to note that as adults, we remember a time before social media. When our Facebook accounts show ads for things we’ve searched for on Google, it freaks us out. For our students, though, this is all they’ve ever known.


This video by Teaching Tolerance outlines how a “fake” news story can go viral. It specifically tells the story of a Tweet during the 2016 presidential election that took on a life of its own — and that even once the guy who posted it realized what he shared wasn’t true, he couldn’t pull it back.


This TED Ed video describes how news is spread, the history of how news was shared to how we access news today, and the phenomenon of circular reporting. TED Ed has a number of videos that can be used to facilitate discussions with students on news literacy.

The road ahead for tackling the issue of news literacy isn’t going to get easier, but as educators we must give serious consideration to what we can do to equip our students with the tools they need to be news and social media savvy.

5 thoughts on “News Literacy: Videos to Spark Conversation

    1. Sorry, after I updated the layout of my blog I forgot to add the widget back. It’s on the right sidebar on the main page of the blog now!

  1. Hi Tiffany,
    I am new to your blog and the world of Teacher-Librarianship so I really appreciate this post and your curation of videos on this topic. I can see myself using all of these videos in lessons with students at the intermediate level or higher.

    I agree that news literacy is “very much in the vein of digital citizenship — we have to help prepare our students for the world they live in now and the unknown future where they will be adults.” In my experience working with Grades 4-7 students, they are well versed in using technology for leisure, such as gaming, but very ill-equipped to filter information or to critically think about what they see online. I also think that in the past, lessons based on websites such as “Save the Endangered Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus” ( were enough to help students navigate websites and information they found online, but this is no longer the case. Fake news is so rampant in our modern world and it looks so much like read news! We really need to focus on subtleties in information and sources that were simply not a factor when assessing sources 10 years ago. I agree with you that these videos and examples of fake news should be introduced in discussion with students and not presented as comprehensive learning on the topic.

    I wonder what your experiences have been like using these videos with students. What kinds of conversations or questions did they inspire? Do you have any suggestions for projects or further learning related to news literacy?

    Thanks again for sharing your expertise; I’ve enjoyed exploring your blog and look forward to more posts moving forward.


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