I teach a current events class with a different media resource each day. One day per week I use USA TODAY. On that day, I serve my class coffee and donuts, and we read the paper like we are sitting at our breakfast tables.
I like for them to do an exercise in which they do both a writing activity and a visual-spatial activity using current events from USA TODAY. For instance, they create a political cartoon or a USA SNAPSHOT with information from the newspaper. Then, for the writing exercise, my students draft reviews or summaries of articles that they have read after reading and analyzing the articles with critical eyes. A variation on the writing activity is for students to draft letters to newsmakers.
My students say the day they read USA TODAY in class is one of their favorite days of the week. They really enjoy writing about what they read in the paper and debating the controversial issues.