Certificate in News Literacy

Clickbait. Deepfakes. Disinformation. Bias. Conspiracies. Hoaxes. The media, especially the news media, shapes what individuals know about their community and the world, and being literate about the information they receive is essential to making good decisions. There is no better time to learn how to navigate the news, as disinformation isn’t going anywhere. Our democratic society needs as many people as possible — citizens as much as journalists, educators, and other professionals — to wade into the digital world equipped with concepts and tools to help them recognize the difference between truth and falsehoods. 

About the Certificate

With a start date of Fall of 2022, this certificate program enhances students’ ability to discern between credible information and information disorder through critical examination of how we access, analyze, verify, create, and share media messages with an emphasis on news. Students study the critical role news organizations play in our marketplace of ideas and will explore journalistic responsibility and important ethical constructs of the news and information ecosystem. 

Offered by the James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management, and Leadership with support from the broader Journalism Department and faculty, the Certificate in News Literacy is open to all students enrolled at the University of Georgia, the certificate will require completing 12 academic credit hours, including an introduction course and a capstone course. 

If you are interested in completing the Certificate in News Literacy, register for JOUR 3030 (see courses below), and then go to Athena to declare the certificate.

Certificate Requirements
Students are required to take a total of four courses to complete the certificate.
Required hours: 12

Introductory Course:  JOUR 3030 – Media, News, and Consumers (3 hours)
The relationship between media and society. Because of the First Amendment’s commitment to freedom of press and speech, attention is focused on news. Students will become critical consumers of media and will explore how media create and disseminate messages. Focus on current issues in all media forms. 

Intermediate Courses:  JOUR 5320 – Journalism Ethics and Diversity (3 hours)
Exploration of complicated issues related to ethics and diversity, which inevitably arise in the news media but defy clear-cut answers. The course considers social responsibility and presents a contemporary framework for transparency and community with a focus on diversity as a guiding journalistic principle. 

JOUR 5420 – Credibility, the News Media, and Public Trust (3 hours)
Examination of what has become the central conflict in journalism: how to sustain credible practice in a time of wrenching change. This class will be taught from the perspective that understanding the changes offers the best chance of resolving the conflict in favor of credible practice. 

Capstone Course:  JRLC 3600E — Media Savvy: Becoming Digitally Literate (3 hours)
The media shapes what an individual knows about their community and the world, and being savvy about the news is essential to making decisions. This course enhances the ability to discern between news and misinformation through critical examination of how we access, analyze, verify, and create media messages. We will look closely at the critical role news organizations play in informing us and its significance for our democracy. This course’s purpose is to be a project-based survey of concepts, techniques, and tools that guide those who are media savvy, such as journalists, to make educated decisions about digital content. 

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about the Certificate

Do I have to be a journalism and/or Grady College major to complete the certificate?
No! This certificate program is open to all majors.

Do I have to apply to this certificate program?
No! All you have to do is declare the certificate in Athena once you’ve registered for the introductory course, JOUR 3030. When you apply to graduate, you will include the certificate in your application.

Do I have to take these courses in order?
You must take the introductory course first and the capstone last. The intermediate courses can be taken in any order.

Do I need a POD (permission of department) to take these classes?
No! You simply need to register for each course normally through Athena.

Who do I contact if I have more questions? 
You can contact your advisor with registration questions or Charlotte Norsworthy, the program coordinator, with program questions at norsworthy@uga.edu.