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CJC Journalism Student Wins First Place in National RJI Student Innovation Competition

Dana Cassidy, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Journalism senior with an emphasis on artificial intelligence (AI), is the $10,000 first-place winner of the 2022 Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) Student Innovation Competition.

Dana Cassidy

Cassidy created The News Literacy Toolkit to help teach the next generation of news consumers. The 2022 competition focused on improving news literacy. Students were tasked with creating a low-tech or high-tech game, app, event or partnership with a local news organization to help build more understanding and trust into the public’s relationship with journalism.

Cassidy was the sole member of her team, competing against seven teams of students from six universities.

Her toolkit provides a journalism and media curriculum for fifth graders. It includes interactive readings, a social media guide, a national newspaper locator, a news literacy quiz, in-person activities and news for kids.

According to Cassidy, “I’m a firm believer that news literacy is a systemic problem that needs to be addressed at a young age. I received my K-12 education at public schools and never learned what journalism was until I began at the University. I realized that a lot of doubt, hesitancy, and misinformation is rooted in a lack of news media comprehension. Children receive a foundation in civics from a young age, and I believe that media literacy should be a part of that curriculum.”

While at UF, Cassidy has served as a researcher in machine learning and AI in the Consortium on Trust in Media and Technology and as a data researcher on First Amendment and media issues for the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information. Upon graduation, she will serve as a news engineering intern for The Washington Post.

Posted: March 22, 2022
Category: College News, Student News
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