Scholastic journalism repurposes the “3 R’s” as responsibility, reality and relevance – vehicles through which students learn and practice civic engagement.

• Responsibility means students will develop accurate, thorough, balanced and coherent content.
• Reality means students will pursue meaningful coverage that helps engage audiences with substantive issues.
• Relevance means students will create localized coverage that informs and empowers audiences to participate in their communities.

Journalism programs provide authentic learning experiences in which students make final decisions and take responsibility for their actions by cultivating these 3 R’s.

Journalism students participate in society because their training develops attitudes of civic engagement. In Blur: How to Know What’s True in the Age of Information Overload, Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel refer to this attitude as “skeptical knowing.” A sound journalism program helps develop this approach in journalists as well as community members.

Journalist and co-founder of the magazine New Republic Walter Lippmann argued the key to democracy is an aggressive reportorial press, according to Kovach and Rosenstiel. The authors also report educator and philosopher John Dewey said the only justifiable role for the press is to help educate citizens to make them more capable of participating in a democratic society.

Authentic learning and civic empowerment represent fertile soil for the growth of these 3 R’s for the 21st century

And that is where capable and empowered scholastic journalism can be at its best.

See also: The value of empowering student decision-making

Print resources
The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect, Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, Three Rivers Press, 2007.
Blur: How to Know What’s True in the Age of Information Overload, Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, 2010, Bloomsbury.
• Dewey, J. (1916/1938). Democracy and education. New York: Macmillan.

Online resources
• 10-point checklist for well-informed communities
• Civic engagement 2.0
• The Constitution: a pathway to civic engagement
• Developing a model for service and civic engagement,d.dmQ
• Fault lines study and
Hazelwood: time to assess its impact on educational process, civic engagement
• Feigning free speech on campus
• Journalism requires civic engagement
• Journalism students and civic engagement: Is there still a connection?
• Improving public dialogue: media and citizen responsibilities
• O’Connor civic commission draws a road map toward freedom of expression. Will schools follow it? and
• The responsibilities of journalists
• Values reside at the core of journalism

See also:
Journalism Educator Standards
The value of empowering student decision-making
Six principles behind news literacy
Media literate consumers
Career Technical Education (CTE)
Partnership in 21st Center Skills
Common Core Standards
Ties to educational initiatives
Informed communities



Visual: examples of each of the 3 Rs….Lori can help find.