The Sift featured weekly in blog by Valerie Strauss of Washington Post
The Washington Post’s Valerie Strauss features content from The Sift® in her blog Answer Sheet weekly through the school year. This is the first installment of the 2020-21 academic year.
- Teaching kids to spot misinformation on social media — and whether enough is being done to get rid of it (Oct. 22, 2020)
- It’s been a week for Trump conspiracy theories. Here’s how to teach students to identify them — and more news literacy lessons. (Oct. 8, 2020)
- No, antifa supporters aren’t setting fires in the West — and more lessons on fake news about covid-19, Trump and Biden (Sept. 16, 2020)
WPIX TV addresses threat from misinformation before election
Alan Miller addresses the threat from misinformation in the run-up to the presidential election on WPIX TV in New York City on Oct. 16.
“Misinformation is not only a threat to our public life, but to our public health,” Miller says in the segment, Fact-checking the ‘tsunami’ of misinformation flooding the web before the election.
Miller tells viewers how they can help stop the spread of misinformation, noting that voters have a responsibility to avoid sharing content without verifying it. “Part of hitting that ‘pause’ button is not to immediately share or ‘like’ or forward, because this viral information cannot get the reach it gets without us — often inadvertently — infecting others,” Miller says.
He also highlights NLPs election misinformation “public service announcements in English and Spanish designed to get voters to be cautious about the ‘tsunami’ of political posts flooding the web.”
Slow down and be skeptical, Adams tells New York Times readers
When consuming news and other information, slow down and be skeptical. That’s the advice NLP’s Peter Adams shares with the New York Times in the Oct. 14 article. How to Deal With a Crisis of Misinformation.
“The No. 1 rule is to slow down, pause and ask yourself, ‘Am I sure enough about this that I should share it?’ If everybody did that, we’d see a dramatic reduction of misinformation online,” Adams advises readers.
Generation Z voters susceptible to conspiratorial thinking
NLP’s Senior Vice President of Education Peter Adams discusses the cynicism of Generation Z voters in an Oct. 11 POLITICO article. “Trust in institutions is down across the board, but teens experience even more cynicism about institutions just as a function of their time of life. That can easily lend itself into falling into conspiratorial thinking traps,” he says.
This cynicism that potential first-time voters experience makes it even more imperative that teens receive news literacy education. Such education helps young people learn how to find trustworthy sources of information. If people understand how news works, they’re less likely to fall into cynical thinking, Adams says.
Podcast The Playbook: David Meltzer features Miller
NLP’s founder and CEO Alan C. Miller addresses news literacy on the podcast The Playbook: David Meltzer on Oct. 6. In Meltzer & McCourt Get Out and Vote Show #2 , Miller discusses the difficulties of navigating today’s complicated information landscape and how news literacy can help.
The Journalism Salute podcast speaks to Worland about NLP’s work
Darragh Worland, NLP’s vice president of creative services, speaks with Mark Simon, host of the podcast The Journalism Salute, about Becoming a Better News Consumer. In the Oct. 6 episode, Worland discusses NLP’s mission and work. She explains how students, educators and the public can use NLP’s Checkology® e-learning platform and other resources. She also provides advice on how to handle disinformation and misinformation on social media.
Worland’s Daily News piece discusses social media, news judgment
In the N.Y. Daily News, NLP’s Darragh Worland writes on how social media use has been shown to skew news judgment. The commentary, Don’t let social media spoil your news judgment: A guide to navigating our information jungle, ran on Sept. 30. The piece also addresses how news consumers may be falsely confident about the ability to spot unreliable information.
“It is simply dangerous to be misled and falsely confident about content you encounter. This is particularly true when it relates to information on which you base decisions that can impact your health (COVID-19), safety (wildfires) and future (government elections),” Worland writes.
She also offers readers advice on how to strengthen news literacy skills and be more savvy news consumers.
“In this digital age, no one can expect a total eradication of misinformation. But you can learn to counter harmful content and help others do the same by becoming news-literate. Armed with these skills and habits, you can make decisions and take action with confidence, knowing that the information and sources you rely on are credible and reliable.”
Rice: Education is solution to combating misinformation
Education is the solution to combating misinformation, NLP’s Ebonee Rice says on the Arlington, Va., radio show Choose to Be Curious. Her interview, The News Literacy Project, with Ebonee Rice, aired on Sept. 30.
Host Lynn Borton asks, “With so much coming at us, how are we to tell fact from fiction, truth from fabrication?”
“We believe that education is the solution to help combat misinformation, and educators are on the front line of that fight,” says Rice. She is the vice president of NLP’s educator network.
SLJ promotes news literacy webinars
School Library Journal (SLJ) led its Sept. 29 news section with a write-up promoting NLP’s upcoming webinar series.
Professional Development Course on News Literacy describes the free, four-part series as a way to “hone your skills in helping students make sense of news and other types of information. Essential concepts for students to be reliably informed begins Oct. 6, with What it means to be ‘news-literate’: introduction to news literacy education. Learn key news literacy skills that students must know to be reliably informed. Essential concepts for students to be reliably informed begins Oct. 6, with “What it means to be ‘news-literate.'”
Misinformation exploits our emotions, Silva tells media platform
NLP’s John Silva explains how misinformation exploits our emotions in the Sept. 29 article Fact or Fake? How to Help Kids & Adults Spot Misinformation Online on the website 30 Seconds. The media platform’s target audience is busy women, and particularly moms.
“Misinformation manipulates our emotions into believing something is true,” Silva says. “If you find yourself experiencing a strong emotional reaction, pause what you’re doing, open a browser tab and search for key details to verify if what you are seeing is accurate.” It turns out that anger, sadness and even humor can make us accept things as true without evaluating them closely enough, especially if it lines up with something we already believe.
Datanami: SAS, NLP create data literacy quiz
Datanami, a news site that provides insight, analysis and information on big data, writes about the partnership between data firm SAS and NLP. The Sept. 29 article, Testing Data Literacy on Main Street, focuses on data literacy quiz that NLP and SAS developed. The quiz allows the public to test their data literacy in news consumption. The five-question quiz asks test-takers to gauge the validity of claims based on the supporting evidence or the lack of it.
Election misinformation targeted at Latinx communities
Election misinformation is the topic of a Sept. 25 article in The Hill, Disinformation, QAnon efforts targeting Latino voters ramp up ahead of presidential election. NLP founder and CEO Alan C. Miller weighs in on why NLP and the Open Mind Legacy Project joined forces on an election misinformation PSA campaign. “We know that in the current climate disinformation is rampant and we wanted American voters to have very clear guidance, especially during the pandemic, on how to vote,” Miller says.
“We all need to become upstanders for facts and give facts a fighting chance,” he says. “I think that we need a new sense of personal responsibility around the news and information that we consume, and particularly that we share.”
Miller likened it to shifting the ethos around other issues, such as drunk driving, littering and smoking.
“Because ultimately, the consumer is really in charge of what they see and where and when and how they see it, and most important what they do with it. I think people need to play a more responsible role and also push back against those who are sharing and creating and sending things that they should not be.”