Well, you can hear the pronounciation (although it's not always that good) by hovering your mouse pointer over the words, but still, you don't need to restrain yourself to duolingo to learn another language - nor should you.
The website "Forvo" (google it) shows you how to pronounciate over 2 million words in over 3 hundred languages. If you're ever in doubt about how to say something, you can always use it.
Watching videos or movies in Italian is also a good option to show you how people actually speak full phrases.
In English, you either need it to be plural, or with the article. For example, "we read newspapers" means that even in this crazy electronic world, we still read newspapers, while "we read the newspaper" means that we are sitting around together sharing one newspaper (the only way I can envision multiple people reading a single newspaper without one or more of them staring over someone's shoulder). It is definitely a confusing exercise, but in this case, it does have to be plural since the article was not said. Hope this helps!
Ohhhh...that is because in this case, you are to write what you heard, not translate a sentence. I agree completely that if it was a "translate this sentence from English to Italian" exercise, it should accept the article. But in this case, the speaker did not include the article, and we were to write what she said.
(BTW, I also had trouble with it and had to listen over and over to be sure if the article was there...I was completely expecting it to be there, but even after multiple attempts could not hear one, so I write it without...turns out in this case that was the correct answer.)
I think the difference in this case is between "we read the newspaper" (which to me means that we are all sitting around with various parts of the Sunday paper, for example) and "we read newspapers" (which to me means that, even though the rest of this young crazy world has given up on the newspaper and gets their news through the internet, we still read newspapers.)