‘The Journalism Game: Scaling Practices to Middle School Youth to Support Democracy’ receives Baldwin funding

The environment, health care, democracy. These are just a few of the important subjects addressed by eight projects selected for grants from UW–Madison’s Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment.

One project receiving support this year, “The Journalism Game: Scaling Practices to Middle School Youth to Support Democracy,” is utilizing expertise housed within the School of Education and its Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER).

The Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment is a competitive grant program that fosters public engagement and the advancement of the Wisconsin Idea, the notion that the knowledge and solutions generated at UW–Madison will benefit the people of Wisconsin, the nation and the world.

All of these projects were proposed before the COVID-19 outbreak and will make adjustments as needed to follow safety guidelines.

Sarah Gagnon is the creative director of WCER’s Field Day Lab.

“The Journalism Game” is being led by Susan Robinson a professor with the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and Sarah Gagnon, a university relations specialist with WCER.

A preview of the project explains: “In an age of widespread fake news and rampant distrust in public institutions, media literacy is crucial to preserve the values of our state. A partnership between the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Field Day Lab at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) will collaborate with Wisconsin teachers and journalists to produce and disseminate a digital learning game that helps students improve their critical media literacy skills, without which they may be misled by non-credible media sources, be confused about facts, or ignore the news altogether.”

The preview of the project adds: “In the game, which will be disseminated in Wisconsin and nationally, players will assume the role of a journalist and perform the act of journalistic inquiry. Other face-to-face programs have found success using a similar approach but are only able to do so at a small scale.”

To learn about all of the projects receiving funding this year, check out this University Communications report.