- Listen to Ron's Interview with Howard Schneider -
How a Renowned Journalist Became a Champion of ‘News Literacy’
The news media has come a long way—a very long way—since the late 1960s, when Howard Schneider began his career as a newspaper reporter at Newsday on Long Island. It was a time when TV news was dominated by three major news networks. Cities across the country had multiple daily newspapers, slugging it out for readers and advertisers, while cable TV stations were just emerging—and few experts thought they would ever successfully compete with “free TV.” Young reporters were inspired by the “New Journalism” of Tom Wolfe and the Watergate investigative team of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Since that time, of course, the media landscape has undergone dramatic changes, and Howard Schneider witnessed—and successfully navigated—these currents of tumultuous change. In today’s episode, Schneider will reflect on his 35 years as a journalist at Newsday, where for 18 years he served as managing editor and then editor. Under his editorial leadership, the newspaper won eight Pulitzer Prizes and, as the newspaper industry faced the “creative destruction” of the internet, Newsday became one of the first newspapers in the nation to create news websites. In the early 2000s, Schneider undertook another major transition, leaving his career as a working journalist to become an academic journalist, as Founding Dean of the Stony Brook University School of Journalism. At Stony Brook, Schneider continued to “break news,” developing the nation’s first undergraduate course where students across all disciplines could learn how to become discerning consumers of news. And recognizing the critical role of science and technology in our lives, he co-founded of the school’s Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, along with actor and writer Alan Alda, which trains future and current scientists on how to communicate more effectively with the public. In an age of public skepticism and a pandemic of misinformation and “fake news,” Schneider will talk about the lessons he’s learned over his wide-ranging career, the growing impact of news literacy programs at universities and high schools across the U.S., and his vision for journalism that not only teaches the journalists of the future, but also trains the audience of the future.
Howard Schneider is the Executive Director of the Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism, which developed the nation's first undergraduate course in how to become a discerning news consumer. To date, the Center's news literacy course has been completed by more than 25,000 students across the United States, in 11 countries and online through Coursera. Howard is the Founding Dean of the Journalism School and Co-founder of the school’s Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, along with actor and writer Alan Alda, which trains future and current scientists on how to communicate more effectively with the public. Howard previously had spent 35 years as a journalist for Long Island’s Newsday, where for 18 years he served as managing editor and then editor. Under his editorial leadership, in categories including investigative reporting deadline reporting, arts criticism, specialized beat reporting and foreign affairs reporting. Under his leadership, Newsday was among the first newspapers in the country to create news websites; he also led efforts to introduce TV and radio into what had been an all-print newsroom. He has been a member of the Pulitzer Prize judging panel three times.
To learn more about the Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook’s School of Communication and Journalism, click here: https://www.centerfornewsliteracy.org/
To enroll in the free news literacy course on Coursera, offered jointly by the State University of New York and the University of Hong Kong, click here: https://www.coursera.org/learn/news-literacy