As access to science information in the digital age continues to accelerate, the ability to critically evaluate accurate science information is emerging as one of the core skills necessary for communication students in the 21st century. Therefore, agricultural communicators developed and pilot-tested a six-week, active-learning curriculum to teach critical media analysis skills for this study. The curriculum's primary objectives included: 1) student understanding of foundational media practices and 2) student development of an internal framework to critically analyze controversial science coverage in the news. Researchers utilized four assessment tools to measure and triangulate students' ability to evaluate news coverage of science in the media critically. Quantitative measures included: quiz scores 87% (mean 4.35/5), final paper scores 94.8% (23.7/ 25), final presentation scores 97.3% (14.6/15). Qualitative measures included a final reflection paper. Overall, the quantitative findings both supported and expanded the quantitative findings suggesting that students can be taught to effectively 1) understand media practices that influence credibility of science coverage and 2) internalize and apply a framework to critically evaluate the integrity of science, agriculture, and environmental issues in the media. Implications for the development of a critical media literacy curriculum are discussed.