What is journalism and why does it matter? Democracy requires journalism, which informs the public and holds those with power to account. Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth, and its core is verification. When looking for credible information, you need to know what qualities make a report journalistic.

Lesson 1 – Journalism & Democracy (all levels)



Backgrounder & Lesson Plan (Word)

Activity 1.1 Fact Vs. Opinion (Word)

Activity 1.2 Analyzing Journalism (elementary/secondary) (Word)

Activity 1.3 Analyzing Journalism (secondary) (Word)


As citizens living in a democracy, we have a responsibility to stay informed about the issues that matter to us, and to society. This is true all the time, but especially during elections, when we must make a meaningful choice at the ballot box.

Journalists play a critical role in our democracy. They hold government and other sources of power to account, help inform citizens, foster debate about important issues and give people a voice.

During an election, journalists provide news and perspectives to inform citizens about the parties, candidates and issues, fact-check the statements of leaders and candidates, and place the campaign’s events in context. Without journalists, citizens would miss an invaluable resource to help them decide when politicians are telling the truth or acting in the public’s best interests.

Lesson 2 – Journalistic Standards (secondary)



  • Lesson Plan (Word)
  • Activity 2.1 (Word)
  • Activity 2.2 (Word)
  • Exemplar 2.3 (Word)



In previous generations, news came at specific intervals from print and broadcast media. Today, news and information comes through many channels reaching us at all times of day. On social media, the source of information is not always obvious, and it can be difficult to know what is credible.

To determine which information we can trust, we need to look to the practice of fact-based journalism. It always involves research, assessment and verification where the central goal is to produce an accurate and fair representation of the facts.

Debate | The News