Local Journalism and the Citizens’ Agenda
by Mary Ellen Daneels, Civics Instructional Specialist
IllinoisCivics.org hosted reporters from WBEZ in Chicago to explore the role of local journalism in preparing voters for #Election2020. Political editor Alex Keefe, state politics reporter Dave McKinney, and investigative reporter Dan Mihalopoulos provided unique insights to educators on:
- What races and issues WBEZ is covering this election cycle, and why
- “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.”
- WBEZ’s Citizens’ Agenda & audience engagement journalism
- Featured Stories for Elections 2020 and Citizen’s Agenda
- Field Guides and Explainers
- Latest Election Updates from WBEZ and NPR
- Voter Resources
- Live results on election night and beyond
- Congress, Civic Participation, and Primary Sources Projects from the Library of Congress provide young people with engaging and meaningful opportunities to learn about Congress and civic participation using primary sources from the Library’s online collections.
- Who Are My Representatives? from Teacher Vision equips students with the necessary tools to craft a letter or email to their local, state, and federal officials.
- Environment Illinois is a great resource for students who are interested in environmental issues.
- Why do American Newspapers Endorse Candidates? from VOA enables students to choose regions within the state and then do online research to see which candidate the local newspaper is endorsing. Students can create a map of the state and shade in the party that the paper is endorsing in the election.
- It’s time for newspapers to stop endorsing presidential candidates is an editorial from The Hill that is ready to be used for a current and societal issue discussion around issues of bias and journalism.
- iCivics.org has some great resources for teaching about local and state government. They have lesson plans, games, and great resources by grade level. To prepare for local elections, check out The Capable County game, Who Represents Me Webquest, and The County Solution Action Plan.