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The University of Hong Kong

Making Sense of the News: News Literacy Lessons for Digital Citizens

The University of Hong Kong and State University of New York via Coursera


Never before has the need for News Literacy been more urgent. As news consumers are bombarded with a constant stream of fake news, propaganda, hoaxes, rumors, satire, and advertising — that often masquerade as credible journalism — it is becoming more and more difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. While the public’s faith in the news media erodes, purveyors of misinformation have helped give rise to troubling cultural trends and alarming political movements.

This six-week course will help learners develop their critical thinking skills to enable them to better identify reliable information in news reports and to become better informed about the world in which we live. The course will discuss the key elements of journalism from the viewpoint of the news audience.

The language of instruction is English, but Chinese and Spanish subtitles will be available. Each week will tackle a challenge unique to the digital era:

Week 1: The power of information is now in the hands of consumers.
Week 2: What makes journalism different from other types of information?
Week 3: Where can we find trustworthy information?
Week 4: How to tell what’s fair and what’s biased.
Week 5: How to apply news literacy concepts in real life.
Week 6: Meeting the challenges of digital citizenship.


  • Making sense of the news is more important than ever
  • What is news and who decides?
  • Where can we find trustworthy information?
  • Says who?
  • How do I apply news literacy skills?
  • Meeting the challenges of digital citizenship

Taught by

Masato Kajimoto and Howard Schneider


5.0 rating, based on 1 Class Central review

4.8 rating at Coursera based on 226 ratings

Start your review of Making Sense of the News: News Literacy Lessons for Digital Citizens

  • Terry Sanders
    An increasingly-vital skill for anyone who values truth and desires to be informed rather than led like a lost sheep. The course challenges assumptions while defining the differences between verifiable facts from assertions from outright distortions and lies.

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