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Navalny and the post

October 18, 2023

Freedom of the Press in a Changing Media Landscape: Teaching Journalism Ethics via Navalny and The Post

How can you teach about the freedom of the press in a constantly changing media landscape? Check out these free resources to explore journalism ethics, mis- and disinformation, and learning guides for Navalny and The Post.

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By Jen Fischer

In today's crowded 24/7 media world, it should be a high priority to educate students about the value and importance of the freedom of the press within the context of a constantly changing media landscape. Educational resources focused on journalism ethics, mis- and disinformation, and fake news are essential classroom tools for educators in various subject areas. 

Media literacy education is relevant for students across grade levels and overlaps with English language arts, social studies, civic education, journalism and more. 

Journeys in Film is a nonprofit organization that seeks to help students develop deep knowledge of global issues and current challenges, mitigate existing attitudes of cultural bias and racism, cultivate human empathy and compassion, and prepare for effective participation in the world economy as informed global citizens. Journeys in Film partners with Share My Lesson on webinars and shares educational content on the Share My Lesson website. 

We have curated a list of free downloadable resources, lessons and activities focused on the freedom of the press, journalism ethics, mis- and disinformation, and fake news and related various topics, including Daniel Roher’s documentary Navalny. These resources come from credible organizations like Journeys in Film and the American Federation of Teachers as well as Edutopia and Annenberg Classroom Resources. 

Using Navalny in the Classroom

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Enthralling and intimate, director Daniel Roher’s Navalny unfolds with the pace of a thriller as it follows Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in his quest to identify the men who poisoned him in August 2020. Filmed in Germany as the story unfolded and offering extraordinary access to the investigation, Navalny is a fly-on-the-wall documentary that is also a study of Navalny the man—a portrait of a leader intent on reform who will not be cowed by anything, including his own poisoning.

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Use our flexible learning guide to explore social media, censorship and propaganda.

Download the Journeys in Film discussion guide to explore various current events raised through this Oscar-winning film.

Explore Freedom of the Press with The Post

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The Post, directed by Steven Spielberg, reveals the partnership between the Washington Post’s Katharine Graham, the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and editor Ben Bradlee, as they race to catch up with the New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets spanning three decades and four U.S. presidents. The duo risk their careers—and their very freedom—to bring long-buried truths to light.

Journeys in Film created key lesson plans for this film that focus on the importance and history of freedom of the press. Each can be used with or without the film in the classroom.

Journeys in Film's free standards-based curriculum guide for The Post also features lessons on journalism ethics and fake news as well as the First Amendment and student journalism. This curriculum guide is consistently one of the most downloaded guides on the Journeys in Film website and is a powerful tool for journalism classrooms, ELA classrooms, and social studies and civics classrooms. These lesson plans can be used even if students are not available to view the film fully in class. A summary of the film and the historical event at its center would suffice. 

Freedom of the Press Resources from Annenberg Classroom 

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This list of six resources from Annenberg Classroom includes videos, book excerpts, timelines and more, including the Supreme Court’s key case New York Times Co. v. Sullivan and the landmark ruling in New York Times Co. v. United States, aka the Pentagon Papers case.

New Mis- and Disinformation Toolkit from the AFT 

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People of all ages, especially many of our students, are bombarded with mis- and disinformation, often lacking the media literacy tools to effectively discern fact from fiction. This AFT-sponsored toolkit is based on extensive conversations with educators, parents and experts in mis- and disinformation. This free toolkit offers invaluable resources and lesson plans for grades 6-12.

Teaching Students to Analyze Fake News

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This four-step process shared by Edutopia helps students identify and analyze fake news. Along with tips on developing analytical skills, it outlines the degree of bias that should be recognized in most information.

A Free Media Literacy Tool

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This Share My Lesson webinar co-hosted with NewsGuard features a free media literacy tool for educators and students. 

Lesson Plans for Digital Citizenship and Safety

Foster digital literacy and safety online and explore the algorithmic biases that can cause direct harm to young people online.

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Journeys in Film

The mission of Journeys in Filmis to use the storytelling power of film to help educate our next generation with a richer understanding of the diverse and complex world in which we live.

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