Journalism in Action: Teaching Resources for Civic Engagement from PBS

The Broad Ax. Salt Lake City, Utah. July 14, 1917. Library of Congress

Dr. David J. Childs, D.D., Ph.D.
Northern Kentucky University


“This week we are spotlighting a great new resource by our friends at PBS entitled Journalism in Action: Civic Engagement and Primary Sources through Key Moments in History.


Headline in the Caledonian-Record. St. Johnsbury, Vermont, Aug. 18, 1920. Library of Congress

In their own words, the website states that “Journalism in Action allows you to learn about ten key moments in US history through a journalistic lens. In this interactive website designed for middle and high school students, you will analyze primary sources such as newspaper articles, videos, and photography to determine what happened and how such culture-shifting events affected civic life. The goal is to develop critical and creative thinking skills including media literacy by getting an up close and personal look at some famous and rare journalistic documents from American history.”

The website allows an option for completing the assignment for a class by clicking on Launch Investigation. This allows students to register, so that they can download and save materials. One can also browse as a guest. Here are links to some of the primary sources and other resources available on the site.

The Civil War through the Journalist’s Lens
Dorothy Dix and Mental Health Reform
Campaign for Women’s Suffrage
Investigating Journalists: The Muckrakers
Gender Equality

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