My name is Najee Walker. I am a Communication Studies graduate who has focused on journalism and writing for all of my college career.
During my college career, I was told “this is the best time to be a journalist.” For the most part, I agreed. Even now as I slowly work to find my place in the journalism world, I still remember those words.
However, it has become hard, especially now, to sit and watch as we share the hard work of many other journalists, without really understanding what we’ve read. It is hard for me to believe that this is a great time to be a journalist, when it is perhaps the worst time to be a news consumer.
I believe it should not be enough to read a headline and pretend that you suddenly know about a story. It should not be enough to share a story on social media without understanding what it is you’ve read. It should not be enough to share a screenshot from what just might be actual “fake” news.
I believe that, when you read news, or watch a video that is based on some kind of news, you should be thinking critically. Who does the story speak to or who does it effect? I believe that you should always know what you are reading.
Though it doesn’t stop there. You should always be curious, you should always know what the “other side” is saying, or what other news outlets are reporting. You should be researching. Reading one article does not mean you know everything.
That is where the Know Your News Project comes in.
The Know Your News Project (KYN) is a media literacy project that does the research, looks for similar articles, and evaluates the validity of articles, so that you, the reader, are better informed about what it is you’re reading. Similarly, KYN promotes critical thinking about your news and an appreciation of credible news and credible news sources.
On KYN you will find pieces about news both mainstream and under-reported.
I realize what I have set out to do is nothing special, and admit that this idea was indeed inspired by Project Censored, and that there are other news sites who have set out to do the same before me. However, I feel that this is something that I can do. Media literacy is an important piece of being a consumer of media, and I feel this is my contribution to the narrative in the United States and globally.