The News Co/Lab works to
advance media literacy through journalism, education and technology.

We’re based at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Our approach

The News Co/Lab advances digital media literacy through journalism, education and technology. The lab launched in November 2017 with initial funding from the Facebook Journalism Project, News Integrity Initiative, Democracy Fund and Rita Allen Foundation.

Since then, we have partnered with news organizations and community stakeholders to help people better understand the news and information environment.

In a world saturated with data, where misinformation commands the stage alongside truthful and useful information, we focus primarily on the “demand side”  —  helping people better find, understand, act upon and create credible news and information, and to share it with integrity.

We believe media literacy helps ensure an informed citizenry, a fundamental building block of democracy.

The News Co/Lab’s work includes:

  • Conducting research on community media literacy and local news perceptions;
  • Advising newsrooms on improving transparency and engagement to help communities better understand their process and become more discerning news consumers;
  • Developing technology tools to make it easier for journalists to practice transparency; and 
  • Designing digital media literacy curriculum and educational resources to embed media literacy in any subject area.

We collaborate with teachers, journalists, researchers, librarians, technologists, civic leaders, among others  —  all who share our goals and want to work on this. We support the good work that others are already doing, and help connect folks to amplify and extend the reach of efforts in this space.

Our partners

Newsrooms

We help newsrooms try new ways of being open about who they are, what they do and why — and to engage with their communities in ways that help people seek, understand, act on and even create news. Our pilot program included three McClatchy newsrooms: the Fresno Bee, Kansas City Star and Macon Telegraph.

These custom transparency and engagement experiments help both the newsrooms and the communities adapt proven transparency and engagement practices.

Educators

We believe news fluency should be sprinkled throughout all subject areas and ages. After all, it would have more of an impact and better scalability if everyone helped teach it.

We worked with the Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook University to expand its pilot community news literacy training program with local libraries. We have also focused education efforts in science news literacy, collaborating with ASU science professors to test science news education modules. 

 

Tech platforms

Misinformation spreads via poor news fluency and technology platforms. We should all empower people to become better news consumers and sharers. One way to do that? Help tech platforms brainstorm ideas to make these decisions easier for users.

In our newsroom projects, we’ve connected with partners like Hearken and GroundSource to expand their work by adding a news fluency components to their service. In each case, the resulting newsroom experiment is an extension of existing transparency and engagement projects, designed to improve people’s understanding of how news works.

 

Let's work together.

Learn more about our process to help journalism organizations embed transparency and engagement in ways that increase local news fluency.

Our funders

Facebook Journalism Project

Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.

The Facebook Journalism Project was created in January 2017 to establish stronger ties between Facebook and the news industry. FJP focuses on three pillars: collaborative development of new products; tools and trainings for journalists; and tools and trainings for people.

Craig Newmark Philanthropies

Craig Newmark Philanthropies was created by craigslist founder Craig Newmark to support and connect people and drive broad civic engagement. It works to advance people and grassroots organizations that are getting stuff done in areas that include trustworthy journalism, voter protection, gender diversity in technology, and veterans and military families.

Rita Allen Foundation

The Rita Allen Foundation invests in transformative ideas in their earliest stages to leverage their growth and promote breakthrough solutions to significant problems. It enables early-career biomedical scholars to do pioneering research, seeds innovative approaches to fostering informed civic engagement, and develops knowledge and networks to build the effectiveness of the philanthropic sector. Throughout its work, the Foundation embraces collaboration, creativity, learning and leadership.

Democracy Fund

The Democracy Fund is a bipartisan foundation established by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar to help ensure that our political system can withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people. Since 2011, Democracy Fund has invested more than $70 million in support of effective governance, modern elections, and a vibrant public square.

News Integrity Initiative

The News Integrity Initiative at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York is a $14 million fund supporting efforts to connect journalists, technologists, academic institutions, non-profits, and other organizations from around the world to foster informed and engaged communities, combat media manipulation, and support inclusive, constructive, and respectful civic discourse.

In the Media

Science News is partnering with News Co/Lab to promote media literacy through transparency

December 12, 2019, Lenfest Institute Solution Set

News Co/Lab director helps public understanding of how news works

December 10, 2019, ASU Now

Science journal walks back claim that smartphones make millennials grow horns

September 19, 2019 , PBS Newshour

Can our corrections catch up to our mistakes as they spread across social media?

March 15, 2019, NiemanLab

Journalists Struggle to Understand Americans’ Relationship to News

March 15, 2019, New America

Press Releases

Press release: Cronkite’s News Co/Lab using Facebook grant to boost media literacy ahead of 2020 elections

The new project will include educational videos with Arizona PBS, community events and a Massive Online Open Course.

Cronkite School Initiative Receives $200k Gift from Craig Newmark Philanthropies

The support from organization of craigslist founder will help the News Co/Lab fight misinformation, improve journalistic corrections.

Our team

Kristy Roschke

Kristy Roschke

Managing Director

Kristy Roschke is a media scholar and educator. She previously served as executive director of KJZZ – SPOT 127 Youth Media Center, a community initiative of the Phoenix NPR member station that mentors and empowers the next-generation of digital storytellers. During her tenure, she launched a successful second location and grew a startup into an award-winning program serving more than 300 teens annually. Roschke has taught journalism, digital media production and media literacy courses at the high school and university level for 15 years. She co-taught a digital media literacy massive open online course (MOOC) with Dan Gillmor, which served as the basis for her doctoral dissertation at the Cronkite School. She earned her Ph.D. in May 2018.
Dan Gillmor

Dan Gillmor

Co-founder

Dan Gillmor is an internationally recognized leader in new media and digital media literacy. He’s author of the 2009 book, Mediactive, discussing media literacy in the digital age from a journalist’s perspective. The book became the basis for his ASU Online courses in digital media literacy and a massive open online course (MOOC) on the topic. A longtime Silicon Valley-based journalist, Gillmor wrote a popular business and technology column for the San Jose Mercury News and launched a weblog in 1999, one of the first mainstream journalism blogs. In 2004, he published We the Media: Grassroots Journalism by the People, for the People, a book that explained the burgeoning field of citizen-based media.
Eric Newton

Eric Newton

Co-founder

Eric Newton is a global leader in the digital transformation of news and a key figure in the creation of news literacy. As the Innovation Chief, he drives change and experimentation at Cronkite News. Prior to joining the Cronkite School, Newton was senior adviser to the president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, where grants he supervised seeded the field that became known as “news literacy.” He expanded the foundation’s journalism and media innovation program, overseeing the development of more than $300 million in grants. He previously was founding managing editor of the Newseum, the first major museum of news, and managing editor of the Oakland Tribune, where he helped guide the paper to numerous awards, including a Pulitzer Prize.
Celeste Sepessy

Celeste Sepessy

Editor

Celeste Sepessy is the News Co/Lab’s digital content editor. The Arizona State alumna brings experience in both traditional magazine journalism and content marketing. Previously, Sepessy served as the editorial lead for national clients at a start-up content marketing agency. She executed strategic editorial plans — across both print and digital platforms — for organizations like Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Marriott and Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Sepessy has taught news writing and reporting at the Cronkite School since 2014.
Lisa Jackson

Lisa Jackson

Project Coordinator

Lisa Jackson is a business professional with more than 20 years of experience in corporate and government finance, accounting, supply chain and project management. She worked at Kraft Foods, Honeywell and ASU.  Lisa also taught four years of high school business/marketing and currently teaches economics at Maricopa Community Colleges.
Serena O’Sullivan

Serena O’Sullivan

Intern

Serena O’Sullivan is a senior at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. For three years, she has written for the Downtown Devil’s Curtain Critic column; last year, she was nominated for an award by the Society of Professional Journalists. When she’s not at her professional program with PBS Catalyst or interning with News Co/Lab, she works as a writing tutor at the Student Success Center or reports for the Phoenix Dog Magazine. She expects to graduate in the fall of 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism.

Contact us

555 N. Central Ave., Suite 555

Phoenix, AZ 85004

602-496-5281

newscollab@asu.edu