PBS NewsHour Health Literacy and Student Reporting Labs

PBS NewsHour Health Literacy and Student Reporting Labs
  • Project Description

    To increase public health literacy, all sectors of society must have access to the highest-quality health science news and information possible, suited to their learning needs, cognitive capacities, and health concerns. Translation, packaging and broad dissemination is important to this goal: the stories matter. PBS NewsHour, the most trusted news in America, is ideally positioned to raise the level of discourse and decision making around public health issues through production of targeted health news stories and emerging issues in the biomedical field. Through SEPA funding, adaptation of PBS NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs and youth mentoring program has the potential to address health disparities and science literacy deficits and to build a new cadre of minority youth and youth from low socio-economic status communities who will have the discipline, creativity and critical thinking skills needed to be successful health science-literate citizens and advocates in their communities and for their peers.

  • Abstract

    For public health to improve, all sectors of society much have access to the highest quality health science news and information possible. How that information is translated, packaged and disseminated is important: the stories matter. Our journalism and mentoring program will grow the health science literacy of the nation by building the next generation of science communicators, ensuring that cadre of youth from historically disadvantaged groups have the discipline, creativity and critical thinking skills needed to be successful health science-literate citizens and advocates within their own communities.

    Using a combination of youth-generated videos, broadcast reporting and online curriculum resources, PBS NewsHour will engineer successful educational experiences to engage students from all backgrounds, and particularly underserved populations, to explore clinical, biomedical, and behavioral research. The PBS NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs program, currently in 41 states, will create 10 health science reporting labs to produce unique news stories that view health and science topics from a youth perspective. We will incorporate these videos into lesson plans and learning tools disseminated to the general public, educators and youth media organizations. Students will be supported along the way with curricula and mentorship on both fundamental research and the critical thinking skills necessary for responsible journalism. This process will ensure the next generation includes citizens who are effective science communicators and self-motivated learners with a deep connection to science beyond the textbook and classroom.

    PBS NewsHour will develop a STEM-reporting curriculum to teach students important research skills. The program will include activities that expose students to careers in research, highlight a diverse assortment of pioneering scientists as role models and promote internship opportunities. The resources will be posted on the PBS NewsHour Extra site which has 170,000 views per month and our partner sites on PBS Learning Media and Share My Lesson—the two biggest free education resource sites on the web—thus greatly expanding the potential scope of our outreach and impact.

    NewsHour broadcast topics will be finalized through our advisory panel and the researchers interviewed for the stories will be selected for their expertise and skills as effective science communicators, as well as their diversity and ability to connect with youth. Finally, we will launch an outreach and community awareness campaign through strategic partnerships and coordinated cross promotion of stories through social media platforms.

Project Audience

K–12 students and educators, PBS NewsHour broadcast audience and Web users

Subjects Addressed

Clinical, biomedical and behavioral research, science education, STEM literacy and curriculum materials dissemination