Be informed, not misled: News Literacy Project launches campaign to counter election misinformation
Washington, D.C., Sept. 15, 2022 — The News Literacy Project, a nonpartisan education nonprofit, has launched “Be informed, not misled,” a campaign to counter misinformation related to midterm elections by empowering voters to recognize false information and verify what’s authentic.
“Misinformation, disinformation and conspiracy theories surrounding the 2022 midterms pose a major threat to fair elections and to the ability of voters to make informed decisions when they head to the ballot box,” said Charles Salter, NLP’s president and CEO. “We can help protect the right to vote and strengthen our democratic systems by ensuring that Americans have the news literacy skills they need to be well-informed and not misled this elections season.”
The campaign will culminate with three free virtual training sessions that teach voters about the most common misinformation tactics and offer strategies to resist them. Two of the sessions are presented in partnership with the League of Women Voters.
“We’ve seen the harm caused by mis- and disinformation that is directly targeted to Black and Latino voters, older adults and people living in rural news deserts,” said John Silva, NLP’s senior director of professional and community learning. “Much of this campaign will focus on reaching those communities and empowering voters to spot misleading information designed to sway their vote.”
The campaign kicks off today in recognition of Democracy Day, a collaborative journalism effort to shine a light on the threats and opportunities facing American democracy.
Shareable resources and PSAs
NLP’s campaign empowers news consumers to actively push back against misinformation with a dedicated section of its website featuring easily shareable content related to voting and the elections. Resources include a compilation of sources where voters can find reliable elections information. The page will be updated regularly to include short video clips featuring journalists and election and misinformation experts who share tips for how to avoid being fooled. Visitors can also expect to find a quiz and infographics to help them test their ability to recognize false information as well as links to recently debunked elections claims.
The campaign includes public service announcements, co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters, which will air in Spanish and English on television stations across the country and on social media channels. The ads encourage voters to break out of their information bubbles and seek out news that may challenge their beliefs by providing different, fact-based perspectives; to verify information before sharing it on their social media feeds; and to be on the lookout for hoaxes. A similar campaign run by NLP in 2020 resulted in more than 2 million online impressions, with ads that aired on television more than 75,000 times.
Leveraging expertise and reach
The hourlong webinars will be led by experts from NLP and will address the following topics:
- Oct. 18: Are you being informed or influenced? News literacy skills to prioritize information from credible sources.
- Oct. 25: Spotting election misinformation and understanding motivations behind how and why it spreads. Presented in partnership with the League of Women Voters.
- Nov. 1: How to debunk misinformation and engage in productive conversations without confrontation. Presented in partnership with the League of Women Voters.
NLP is uniquely positioned to take on the challenge of countering elections misinformation this fall. For more than a decade, the organization has provided educators with lessons and materials to teach students how to think critically about the news. Last year, educators using NLP’s programs and resources taught an estimated 2.4 million students in all 50 states. This campaign marks the organization’s latest push to expand its reach to the general public and build a movement for news literacy.
About the News Literacy Project
The News Literacy Project, a nonpartisan national education nonprofit, provides programs and resources for educators and the public to teach, learn and share the abilities needed to be smart, active consumers of news and information and equal and engaged participants in a democracy.