#HumCitizen: Journalism and Media Literacy: Fostering Informed Citizens

Presented by:
North Carolina Humanities Council
Current Initiative: Democracy and the Informed Citizen National Partner: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Pulitzer Prizes Local Partner: Colleges and Universities, Libraries, Nonprofits, Other Subject: Journalism, Other, Professional Development Audience: All, Colleges and Universities, Rural Communities, Young Adult, Youth/Teen

Journalism and Media Literacy: Fostering Informed Citizens develops engaging and accessible programs highlighting the role of media and journalism in illuminating historical, social and ethical issues critical to a flourishing, democratic society. Programming will have an emphasis on providing educators, students, and the general public with news literacy skills, which are essential in today’s fast-paced information society.

Programs will include:

  • A Teen Media Literacy Conference organized by the council’s partner “I AM not the Media,” a leading organization on media education for teens and hosted by the Knight School of Communication at Queens University. The conference will be held July 27-29, 2018 in Charlotte, NC. It will be cross-promoted by SC Humanities.
  • Two Summits featuring panels and discussions with leading North Carolina journalists on the role of the media in creating and maintaining a flourishing democracy by engaging and informing its citizens. The summits will also explore how journalism accomplishes these critical tasks in the digital age. One summit will be in Charlotte, a Knight Foundation city, developed and presented in collaboration with The Charlotte Observer and the other in the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill), developed and presented in collaboration with NC State University and the Raleigh News & Observer.
  • Collaboration with SC Humanities to support plenary speaker Jeff Ballou, president of the National Press Club, at Winthrop University.
  • Digital components will include two webinars and an online course of five modules.
  • Rural outreach programming to include micro-grants targeted to facilitate participation from rural areas of NC to support conversations, workshops, and projects in four to six communities, which highlight the interrelated nature of information and democracy.
  • A new Speakers Bureau theme resulting in at least 10 lecture and discussion events on the theme of democracy and information.

View Announcement of Initiative Here:

Event and Programming Details:


Micro-Grants for Journalism and Media Literacy: Fostering Informed Citizens – statewide – Micro-grants up to $1,000 offered for the implementation of projects related to the following: “What does it mean to be an informed citizen in a democracy?” The council is particularly interested in programs that highlight the role of media and journalism in illuminating historical, social, and ethical issues critical to a thriving democracy, and is also interested in applications from small and rural institutes. Deadline to apply is February 26, 2018. Grant period is May 1, 2018 through March 31, 2019.


Teen Media Literacy Workshop – Charlotte, NC – The council-sponsored teen media literacy workshops with Charlotte-based “I AM not the MEdia” organization will occur at three sites, beginning in August and running through November 2018. These workshops for teens will focus on social media’s influence on mental health, social media safety, and social media and democracy. At the end of the series, teens will produce a photo campaign and present their campaigns in an exhibit and awards reception.  I AM not the MEdia is a leading organization on media education for teens and young adults.


Digital Literacy in the Classroom professional development – Online, NC – The National Humanities Center has launched the first in a new series of online courses for teachers exploring “Digital Literacy in the Classroom.” In this five-week online course, educators will explore digital literacy through a humanities lens, considering how media has evolved in the digital age, how its messages shape our citizenry, and how this understanding can be effectively conveyed in a classroom setting. The course, which will be offered twice this fall, is sponsored by North Carolina Humanities Council.

Academic and Cultural Enrichment Series: Democracy in the Age of Fact-Checking  Sanford, NC – Central Carolina Community College Foundation, Inc.’s project “Academic and Cultural Enrichment Series – Democracy in the Age of Fact-Checking” brings national level speakers into their rural county for a public lecture and student workshops. 


Youth Cyber Citizen Series Finale & Exhibit Launch at the Mint Museum, I am Not the Media – Charlotte, NC