Talking to a loved one about misinformation? Here’s what to do

In an interview with CapRadio’s Insight, John Silva, NLP’s senior director of professional learning, explained how to speak with loved ones about misinformation. Noting that misinformation can be compelling because it’s designed to evoke an emotional reaction, Silva said, “If we feel our beliefs are being attacked, we’re going to hold on to them a little bit more tightly. The key thing is [what] we call “patience, empathy and persistence.” It’s really important in the sense that we have to recognize that this is something that the person genuinely believes, and we have to find ways to talk to them in a way that’s respectful of this belief and open it as a conversation.” 

To read more, listen to the interview, and learn how to speak with a loved one who believes misinformation, click here. 

To listen to an earlier interview with CapRadio and John Silva about why it’s so easy to fall for misinformation, click here. 

For more on how to approach difficult conversations with family this holiday season, click here.

NLP’s director of educator network expansion and 2021 Educator of the Year share news literacy strategies

On Oct. 28, the School Library Journal held SLJ Summit: In Community, a virtual gathering about how community can mean a lot of things, noting that we all work and live in the context of community.

The summit featured Shaelynn Farnsworth, director of network expansion at the News Literacy Project, and Kelly Vikstrom-Hoyt, director of library services at The Overlake School in Redmond, Washington, and NLP’s 2021 Educator of the Year. Their presentation, “Tips and Tricks for Integrating News Literacy in the 6-12 Classroom,” underscored why it is essential for students to determine fact from fiction, fight misinformation and become smart, active consumers of news and information and equal and engaged participants in a democracy.

Following the summit, SLJ summarized the presentation in this write-up.

NLP’s president writes, “For the sake of democracy, teach more civics in schools”

The News Literacy Project’s President and COO, Charles Salter, recently placed an opinion piece in The Cap Times, For the sake of democracy, teach more civics in schools:

“We must elevate social studies generally — and civics specifically — in our schools, and news literacy must be central to this curriculum. Why? We live in the most complex information landscape in human history, with disinformation being created more easily and spreading faster online than ever before. A 2019 study by the Stanford History Education Group found nearly 70% of students surveyed could not differentiate between news and advertising on a website. This problem continues into adulthood. And in 2018, the Pew Research Center reported that only 35% of adults surveyed could correctly tell the difference between opinion statements and fact-based news. We cannot hope for our democracy to continue unless citizens have the skills they need to sort fact from fiction — a prerequisite to being fully informed, equal participants in all aspects of the democratic process.”

To read the piece in full, click here.

Young people have a right to news literacy – MinnPost 

NLP’s John Silva explained in a piece for the nonprofit news site MinnPost why news literacy education  must be integrated into K-12 education across all subject areas and grade levels and be mandated as a high school graduation requirement. 

“Adults struggle to navigate this overload of information, yet we assume young people, incorrectly called ‘digital natives,’ somehow know how to do so from birth. The fact is, no one is born with innate technology skills; they must be taught and reinforced through practice. We are failing young people by not preparing them for the problematic information ecosystem they are growing up with and inheriting,” Silva wrote. “This is why young people have a right to news literacy.” 

This piece ran in MinnPost’s Community Voices section in advance of NLP’s June 15 NewsLitCamp® with the Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio. Silva is NLP’s senior director of education and training. 

‘Sunday TODAY’ features NLP’s efforts to combat misinformation

When the Sunday Spotlight on NBC’s Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist chose to explore the misinformation crisis and efforts to combat it, the show’s producers turned to NLP. The May 16 segment Misinformation education: How schools are teaching kids to find the truth featured NLP’s Senior Vice President of Education Peter Adams. Correspondent Joe Fryer also spoke to Georgia high school teacher Erin Wilder and New York City educator and NLP Ambassador Sandra Street and two of their students to find out more about how they’re using Checkology® to learn to recognize misinformation.

Then, in a follow up story for NBC News Now on Monday, Fryer interviewed NLP founder and CEO Alan C. Miller about how students — and adults — can challenge the credibility of information.

“While students may be digital natives…they are by no means well-equipped to navigate this incredibly fraught information landscape that they have inherited,” Miller told Fryer. “And what we’ve found is that by giving them the tools to discern credible information, to be more mindful consumers of everything that they encounter wherever and however they encounter it. This is incredibly empowering. They are their own editors. They can be their own publishers. We want them to play these roles in ways that are credible, responsible and empower their voices.”

Watch the segments to learn more about the impact of NLP’s work.

 

Adams joins discussion on how misinformation spreads

NLP’s Peter Adams, senior vice president of education, and Charles Whitaker, the dean of Northwestern University’s Medill School, took part in an in-depth conversation about how misinformation spreads and what newsrooms and social media companies should do about it. The segment News Educators Say Journalists Should ‘Slow Down’ on Social Media aired April 20 on WTTW, Chicago’s PBS station.

Photo Credit: Lori Lightfoot at MacLean Center by MacLean Center on YouTube is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Adams begins by sharing advice for news consumers. “Our recommendation is to pause, to slow down because misinformation appeals to our emotions. The most important step is to slow down, not amplify anything that isn’t confirmed, and to try to work your way back to the source. So, ask questions about it even if a lot of people are saying it on social media or repeating it on social media—where did it come from and try to figure out if it came from a verified source,” he says.

He also weighs in on the role and responsibility of tech companies. “I think [social media companies] bear significant responsibility for the spread of [misinformation] not only because they built the biggest amplification machines and disinformation networking machines in human history… but also because they profit from the engagement on their platforms.”

Check out the full WTTW segment on its website.

On April 21, Adams was interviewed by John Howell of WLS-AM in Chicago on a similar topic, why journalists need to slow down and check first before reporting false information found online. You can listen to the segment Lightfoot fake resignation tweet exposes reporting flaws on the station’s website.

 

Ms. publishes commentary on pioneering women journalists

NLP’s Ebonee Rice shares the stories of pioneering women journalists and how their work helped make the careers of current women journalists possible. She wrote the piece in honor of Women’s History Month.

“For many years, women played less visible roles in national and international media, doing their jobs while fighting for their seats at the leadership table,” Rice writes in the March 16 Ms. magazine piece, A Tribute to Women in Journalism Who Cracked Glass Ceilings.

“But this month reminds us that we need to do more to ensure young women aren’t excluded and that they have the opportunities to help create a better-informed and more news-literate world,” Rice concludes

Conn. Public Radio: How disinformation preys on our values

Connecticut Public Radio interviewed NLP’s Peter Adams for a March 9 All Things Considered segment, Why Disinformation Preys On ‘Our Most Sacred Beliefs And Values. He spoke about why misinformation has become a significant problem, what he thinks social media companies should do to curb it, why he believes legislation is coming to fight it and why all students deserve news literacy education.

“We have to understand how misinformation works — that it’s fundamentally exploitative, that it seeks to capitalize on our most sacred beliefs and values, our patriotism, our desire for equality, for fairness, our religious faith and seeks to use that against us, right, to provoke a strong emotional reaction, kind of override our rational mind, and get us to click share and reshare without thinking,” Adams says.

On the topic of whether legislation to mandate news literacy education is needed, he says, “It’s too vital, and in my view we really owe it to young people because this is the basis for their civic agency. If they can’t differentiate between something that’s true and something that’s false, they can’t make good decisions for their lives, for their families, for their futures and for the country.”

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 throughout the school year. These are the installments for the 2020-21 academic year.

Adams discusses how to be better informed on ‘Truth for Teachers’ podcast

In the Feb. 21 segment of the Truth for Teachers podcast, host Angela Watson interviews NLP’s Peter Adams on How to be informed media consumer and advocate for truth.

Adams begins by discussing why misinformation is more prevalent and provides a brief overview of how extremists of all kinds have become better networked and influential. He also explains how hate groups and conspiracy theorists have leveraged our polarization to promote their own agendas. The deeply informative conversation goes on to cover several other aspects of the information landscape. These include, among others:

  • Why objectivity does not mean staying neutral
  • What’s actually news-worthy (“How come the media isn’t talking about this?”)
  • The difference between a conspiracy and conspiracy theory
  • Intellectual humility and not demonizing everyone on “the other side”
  • Looking for disconfirming evidence of our beliefs
  • Having open, offline conversations with people who think differently
  • What it means to “do your own research”

Life of Gusto podcast: Salter shares insights on truth and misinformation

The Life of Gusto podcast host Augusto Andres interviews Chuck Salter, NLP’s president and COO for a Feb. 21 segment on truth and misinformation.  Salter shares his insights into how we arrived at this period where truth itself is under siege, the challenges of navigating our complex information landscape, and most importantly, why civics education is a key component to helping preserve our democracy.

Miller talks news literacy, media credibility on ‘The Trusted Web Podcast’

NLP founder and CEO Alan C. Miller discussed news literacy and its role in democracy on The Trusted Web Podcast, hosted by Sebastiaan van der Lans. When introducing Miller in the Feb. 10 segment, Creating News Literacy with Alan Miller, CEO of the News Literacy Project, van der Lans said, “Alan and I share a passion for a more truthful internet, and we both chose the route of building a whole category as an important way of achieving it, in Alan’s case: news literacy.”

Alan’s advice to listeners includes key first steps for becoming more news-literate, including being mindful of emotions and pausing before trusting, sharing or acting on information. “The first thing is to check your emotions, because when we see something that really inflames our emotions, whether it makes us angry or anxious or even joyful, we tend to let down our guard in terms of our skepticism about what we are seeing.”

Trust in the media

He also addresses the need for news media to work to build the public’s trust through accountability and transparency. “We live in such a hyper-connected time that things move so rapidly and move out on social media, it’s just so difficult to put the horse back in the barn when mistakes are made and then they spread and get amplified so readily,” says Miller.

Miller also stresses the need for the American education system to require the teaching of critical thinking and related news literacy skills, as part of civics education or another discipline. “If we don’t teach this to the next generation, we are denying them the ability to be full and effective participants in the civic lives of their communities and their countries. It’s not only a survival skill  that advantages those that are able to discern credible information today, but it’s an essential skill for them to participate in civic life,” he tells van der Lans.

Listen to the full conversation here.

School Library Journal spreads word about educator network

The School Library Journal spoke with Ebonee Rice on Feb. 3 about NLP’s new educator network. “We really understand that educators are the experts and educators are really on the front lines in the fight against misinformation, so we wanted to create a community where educators who are doing this work can talk to each other,” Rice says in the article News Literacy Project Launches NewsLit Nation, a National Educator Network. “The end goal is to incorporate news literacy into the American education experience, allowing people to use best practices to figure out the best way to incorporate news literacy into their specific context.”

Blavity commentary: Misinformation harming black communities

In a Feb. 2 commentary for the multi-cultural news site Blavity, Ebonee Rice, vice president of NLP’s educator network, discusses how misinformation targets minorities. In Misinformation Is Harming Our Black Communities. We Must Become News-Literate To Stop It. – Blavity, she writes:
“Last year, America confronted its legacy of racial injustice and endured the most contentious election in recent history — all during a global pandemic. And the insurgent attack on the U.S. Capitol to overturn a free and fair election only underscores how important it is to have sources of information that provide us with accurate and verifiable news, so that we’re not misled by falsehoods, hoaxes and conspiracy theories.
“If America is to move forward as a country, our democracy depends on our collective ability to sort fact from fiction. And that goal is particularly crucial for Black Americans.”

NewsLit Week | Enrique Acevedo: Urge un consumo responsable de información entre la comunidad latinx
 en Estados Unidos

Enrique Acevedo es periodista en Estados Unidos. Es el primer corresponsal latino en la historia del programa ’60 Minutes’ y miembro del consejo directivo de The News Literacy Project.

Unas semanas antes de la elección presidencial de noviembre pasado aquí en Estados Unidos, comenzaron a circular mensajes con información falsa en Facebook y WhatsApp sobre la supuesta posición respecto al aborto de los entonces candidatos demócratas a la presidencia y vicepresidencia, Joe Biden y Kamala Harris. Entre los mensajes destacaba una imagen que aseguraba que ambos apoyaban el aborto hasta minutos antes del nacimiento. Si la criatura sobrevivía al aborto, decía falsamente el meme, los demócratas estaban de acuerdo en que el bebé fuera asesinado.

Es posible que este y otros mensajes falsos hayan terminado en las manos de algún lector, por medio de las redes sociales o de aplicaciones de mensajes instantáneos y que, al verlos, cualquiera haya asumido que lo que dicen es verdad. No lo es. Mensajes como este abundaron durante la campaña presidencial y muestran la escala de la información falsa o desinformación que inunda nuestras vidas. Se trata de contenido manipulado, distorsionado, incompleto o fuera de contexto, y si no tomamos medidas para reducir su impacto, seguirá siendo una amenaza seria a la vida de millones de personas, como ha ocurrido durante la pandemia, así como para el orden democrático.

Durante el proceso electoral de 2020 se intensificaron los esfuerzos deliberados para manipular votos y para crear divisiones dentro del electorado latinx. Individuos y organizaciones se dedicaron a difundir falsedades y mentiras para limitar su habilidad de tomar decisiones basadas en hechos verificables. Aunque gran parte de esta desinformación estuvo enfocada en la contienda presidencial, también sobran ejemplos de información falsa sobre el movimiento Black Lives Matter y sobre la pandemia de COVID-19.

Opinion: Urge un consumo responsable de información entre la comunidad latinx
 en Estados Unidos

NewsLit Week | Editorial makes the case for news literacy

The Jan. 27 editorial in the Hutchinson Leader of Minnesota, This National News Literacy Week, pledge to be a more discerning consumer of media, makes the case for news literacy and offers readers advice on how to become more news-literate.

The editors write:

“Do you know how to read the news?

“We don’t just mean reading, but do you know how to discern what is legitimate news and what is not? Do you know the difference between news stories and opinions? Is this even important?

“To answer our own question, yes, it’s extremely important. That’s why we’re joining other media organizations this week to promote the second annual National News Literacy Week.”

NewsLit Week | Worland tells columnist, need for fact-checking not going away

Now is no time to let down our guard on fact-checking, Darragh Worland, NLP’s vice president of creative services, tells Bob Oswald of The Daily Herald, a newspaper outside of Chicago.

“It would be a mistake to go too easy on Biden because (fact checkers) are fatigued from Trump fact checking,” she says in the Jan. 27 piece The News Literacy Project keeps pressure on fact checking. “People need to know what their leaders are doing.”

In his column, Oswald notes: “Although misinformation has been flowing since the beginning of time, Worland admits that fact checking over the past four years has been even more exhausting for news consumers and journalists.”

Getting to the facts is not easy for anyone, she notes. “With the opposing narratives, it has been hard for anybody to wrap their head around the truth,” Worland says. “But we’re not going to stop until every American is news literate.”

Worland: Recent events underscore urgent need for news literacy

Darragh Worland lays out the urgent need for news literacy education to readers of The San Francisco Chronicle in the Jan. 27 piece We need news literacy education in our schools — now! (Please note: Article is behind a paywall.)

She opens the piece by noting the role of conspiracy theories and misinformation in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. “Dear reader: By now you likely know that the shocking Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was largely the result of millions of Americans believing in an alternative reality (that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen, even though it wasn’t). The attack was a terrifying example of the destructive, harmful impact of disinformation.”

“The reality that an alternative information ecosystem can come dangerously to life provides even more urgency to the need for news literacy education as a national priority, taught in schools across the spectrum, from Bangor, Maine, to San Diego, Miami and Seattle. Failing to provide our children with the knowledge and skills needed to recognize credible and accurate information is more than a disservice — it’s disempowering, putting them at a significant civic disadvantage as they face a more complex information environment than ever before.

“If a student doesn’t understand the difference between a news story and an opinion column or how to spot dangerously misleading disinformation, the consequences can be dire. Those who believe falsehoods about COVID-19 have flouted public health guidelines, endangering family members and friends. Some have been sickened by ingesting bleach, touted falsely as a COVID-19 treatment; others have died as a result of taking false cures (one example).”

Worland also explains how the loss of standards-based sources of news is only worsening the problem.

“The number of quality, standards-based news organizations — especially at the local level — is shrinking. As news consumers let newspaper subscriptions lapse, gravitating instead to free online sources (many of which are not standards-based), advertisers follow. One in five newspapers across the country has closed, leaving communities across the country with little to no coverage and stripping them of their local watchdogs. By some estimates, 1,300 communities across the country lack any local news outlet, leaving them with no independent oversight of local government and business.

“Why should we care? that the loss of local news outlets results in greater polarization in voting, as residents retreat to those echo chambers online where their biases are encouraged and left unchallenged.

“Add to that a lack of appreciation for the role of a free press in a democracy and growing public disdain for journalists, and you have a recipe for what we saw on display at the Capitol.

“If we don’t teach the next generation of Americans what sets quality journalism apart, give them an appreciation for the central watchdog role journalists play in holding the powerful to account, or help them understand why democracy can’t function without a working independent news media, then we have no hope of turning this dangerous situation around.”

 

 

NewsLit Week | Michigan students committed to fact-based journalism

Michigan students tell FOX 17 how they are committed to fact-checking and getting the whole story in the segment Rockford High School students showcase news literacy skills, which aired on Jan. 25. The students produce their own broadcast program Beyond the Rock.

NewsLit Week | TV station KATC takes part in news literacy campaign

KATC participates in second annual News Literacy Week, the television station based in Lafayette, Louisiana, reports on Jan. 25. The station will premiere stories related to the topic of news literacy on-air and online at katc.com.

NewsLit Week | Advice for all news consumers

The Long Beach Post helps spread the word about National News Literacy Week in the Jan. 25 piece It’s News Literacy Week. Here’s 5 ways you can be a better news consumer. The article offers readers simple and actionable tips for becoming more news-literate, quotes NLP founder and CEO Alan C. Miller and advises the public on ways to get involved in National News Literacy Week.

NewsLit Week | In Fortune, Eskew calls for corporate accountability on misinformation

In the piece Facts over PACs: How corporate America can fight political misinformation for Fortune magazine on Jan. 19, NLP board member Tucker Eskew calls on executives to take a stand against misinformation. He cites NLP’s work and urges business leaders to use their voices to promote facts over fiction during National News Literacy Week (Jan, 25-29).

“Corporate leaders don’t need to be Clark Kent—much less ignore the global aspects of this infodemic—to see how every worthy business goal, from profit-making in a stable nation to the social cohesion that is essential to freedom and prosperity, is at risk.” he writes. “This is a fight we cannot afford to lose. As we say at NLP, we must have a future founded on facts.”

 

Column in Cleveland Plain Dealer touts NLP’s work

Ken Wood, a former journalist and director of communications for Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio, writes about the importance of NLP’s work in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Dec. 20. In Empower yourself to stop the spread of false information, he tells of learning about NLP after meeting Director of Communications Carol McCarthy at a conference last year and notes that the ability to sort fact from fiction is an “evident and urgent” need not limited by age.

“”So what is at stake here? Why is this important?

“A healthy democracy depends on a free press — warts and all — and whether people have the ability to determine whether information is credible,” Wood says.

He ends with a call to action for readers. “Let’s all get better at separating fact from fiction. There is a lot more at stake here than you might think.”

Miller discusses media, partisan divide on ‘Washington Journal’

On C-SPAN’s Washington Journal” today, NLP founder and CEO Alan C. Miller called on the public, the nation’s education system and news media outlets to step up and help combat the virulent spread of misinformation threatening American democracy.

John McArdle, host of the call-in show, spoke with Miller about his recent commentary on how misinformation is creating “alternative realities” for some Americans.

“I think this is one of the great existential challenges of our times. It is a question of whether facts will continue to matter,” Miller said.

During the hour-long program, callers across the nation asked Miller a wide range of questions – from baseless claims of election fraud to instances of media bias. One caller decried the lack of civics education in our nation’s schools, Miller endorsed his view. “I completely agree about the need to bring back civics, to give the next generation a grounding in American government. At the core of that should be critical thinking skills to know how to sort fact and fiction and what information to trust and share,” Miller said. “Our democracy depends on an electorate that is informed and engaged, not misinformed and enraged.”

What the media can do

Turning to questions about the media, Miller warned against painting the industry with a broad brush. He pointed out that standards-based journalism and highly partisan outlets cannot be viewed through the same lens. But he also noted that journalists need to do a better job as the nation transitions to a new presidential administration.

“I think that journalists need to double down on verification, accuracy, transparency and accountability. They need to tell the truth and call out lies and avoid false balance,” he said, calling for tough but fair coverage of President-elect Joe Biden’s administration.

While acknowledging that President Trump will remain a legitimate news story regarding his political influence and legal challenges, Miller recommended that reporters turn off their notifications of his tweets.

Personal responsibility is key

Miller encouraged viewers to be responsible news consumers and to become part of the information solution instead of the misinformation problem. “Everybody has a responsibility to look at anything we encounter, any piece of news and ask ourselves who created this, for what purpose? Is it intended to inform or divide? Is there bias? What about the bias I bring to what I’m looking at? Step back and ask yourself, ‘is this something I should trust, share and act on.’ ”

In asking the public to verify the credibility of the content they consume, he noted that fact-checking organizations can be valuable resources. ”I think the independent fact-checkers play an important role,  and by and large they are credible forces for people to look to when things are in dispute,” he said. He pointed out that they do not ask the public to simply trust their conclusions. “They show their findings and the basis for their determinations and are transparent on where their funding comes from.”

And he urged the public to pledge, “false information stops with me.”

You can watch the full conversation here.

NLP founder named a Washingtonian of the Year

Alan Miller

Photograph by Jeff Elkins

Every year, Washingtonian magazine chooses a handful of local residents “who give their time and talents to make this a better place” and names them “Washingtonians of the Year.”

NLP is proud to announce that Alan C. Miller, our founder and CEO, is a 2020 Washingtonian of the Year honoree. Below is an excerpt from the piece recognizing his achievements.

Origin story

When Pulitzer-winning LA Times reporter Alan Miller conceived of the News Literacy Project in 2006, the media — and the world — was in a different place. Facebook and iPhones were just taking off, phrases like “fake news” and “alternative facts” weren’t mainstream, and the educational field of news literacy didn’t exist. But after speaking to his daughter’s sixth-grade classmates, Miller felt it was essential to teach youth how to be “smart, active consumers of news and information”—a goal that has never felt more urgent.

“I was concerned about how they were evaluating a tsunami of information from sources with varying credibility, accountability, and transparency—and that was on a PC,” says Miller, who launched NLP, a national education nonprofit, from his Bethesda home in 2008.

‘Rigorously nonpartisan’

Those tools have come to fruition in Checkology, a free virtual-learning platform for middle- and high-schoolers that teaches how to discern credible information, bias, and misinformation. Checkology, which like NLP is “rigorously nonpartisan,” has been used by educators in all 50 states and dozens of other countries. By 2022, NLP’s goal is to reach 3 million students annually. The news-literacy mission has become even more dire in the pandemic, when discerning fact from fiction can truly be a matter of life or death.

Read the full profile.

TV news features Staying Sharp Online infographic

KXLY-TV, serving the Spokane, Washington, and Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, region built a segment around NLP’s infographic Seven Steps for Staying Sharp Online. The Dec. 14 segment, Is this true? Here are some tips to fight off misinformation you see online, featured the full graphic and described its contents. “The tips include not letting feelings getting in the way of finding the real information. It also suggests not confusing memes with actual news. The checklist also says “remember that credible information doesn’t ask you to trust it – it shows why you should by clearly attributing the facts it provides to reliable sources.”

 

Washington Post quotes Miller on press freedoms

The Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan quotes Alan Miller’s column on how the U.S. can restore its global standing as a leader in press freedoms. “Bring back the daily press briefings. Make Biden available through periodic news conferences and interviews with a wide range of outlets. Tell the truth,” Miller is quoted in Sullivan’s Dec. 6 column Trump is leaving press freedom in tatters. Biden can take these bold steps to repair the damage.

Salter calls for better civics education

“There is a solution, and it’s a matter of restoring something we chose to abandon not very long ago: comprehensive, robust civics education,” NLP’s President and Chief Operations Officer Charles Salter says of the public’s lack of understanding and distrust in American institutions.

His commentary piece, We Americans Risk Losing the Ability to Govern Ourselves. Better Civics Education Can Help, appeared in EdWeek on Nov. 25.

Causepods show interviews NLP’s Worland

NLP’s Darragh Worland was a guest on a segment of the show Causepods. “I think it’s a fundamental life skill,” Worland says of news literacy. “It’s essential that all schools be teaching some form of news literacy.” The segment Misinformation with Darragh Worland of the Is That a Fact Podcast  aired on Nov. 23.

Commentary: Misinformation generation gap closes

The misinformation generation gap closes, NLP’s Carol McCarthy writes in a Nov. 20 commentary for the Florida Sun-Sentinel.  “While we may never know which generation is best at recognizing fact from fiction, it’s pretty clear to me that no age group is immune to misinformation, she writes.

“Adopted early in life, the skills and mindset of becoming more news-literate will last a lifetime. But the learning must extend beyond the classroom, too,” McCarthy writes in the piece Neither youth nor maturity makes you immune to misinformation.

 

Panel addresses: Should schools require news literacy?

Should schools require news literacy? NLP’s Peter Adams joined Jaclyn Siegel, New York State chapter leader for Media Literacy Now, and Mike Johansson, principal lecturer in the School of Communication at the Rochester Institute of Technology, to discuss that question in a pubic radio segment Should news and media literacy be required courses in schools?

The program aired Nov. 9 on Connections, a program on WXXI in Rochester, New York.

Educator, board member writes of urgent need for news literacy education

“We cannot afford to delay in providing young people with the ability and confidence to navigate our complex information landscape,” says California educator and NLP board member in the Nov. 7 op-ed for EdSurge, The U.S. Election Underscores the Need for Teaching News Literacy in Our Schools.

“News literacy … is a fundamental life skill, as essential to success in the classroom and in life as reading or math,” Ramos says.

KGTV in San Diego talks conspiracy theories with NLP’s Silva

NLP’s John Silva was interviewed by KGTV in San Diego  on Nov. 5 for the segment Election rumors permeating social networks underscores need for media literacy. “We don’t like this idea of being uncomfortable that there’s some big thing that we’re not aware of. In the discomfort and the anxiety of not knowing, we might accept [the false information],” he says in order to explain the appeal of conspiracy theories and viral rumors about the 2020 election.

Adams quoted in two high-profile outlets day before 2020 election

On Nov. 2, the day before the historic 2020 election, NLP’s Peter Adams is quoted in the MIT Technology Review piece How to talk to kids and teens about misinformation and in the New York Times piece Stopping Online Vitriol at the Roots.

 

Miami NewsLitCamp featured in local TV segment

WLRN TV in Miami devoted a Nov. 1 segment to covering the NewsLitCamp held for Miam-Dade area educators the previous week.  In ‘It’s A Necessity’: Miami-Dade Teachers Learn How To Spot Misinformation Online, participating educator Silvia Villacis says she looks forward to passing her new skills on to her students. She teaches civics at West Miami Middle School. “If you don’t bother to talk about what’s real, what’s not real, what’s trustworthy, authentic, … you’re doing a disservice to them,” Villacis says, referring to her students. “It’s not a choice anymore. It’s a necessity.”

 

Segment on ‘The List’ warns viewers to watch out for ‘red flag phrases’

NLP’s John Silva highlights some of the “red flag phrases” to look out for online in Jimmy Rhoades’ irreverent take on The List. The human need for togetherness and an “us vs. them” framework are triggers that allow red flags to enter our psyche and fuel the spread of misinformation, Silva says in the Oct 29 piece How to Spot Red Flag Phrases in Online Content.

Times Tech Fix column features NLP lesson

This Media Literacy Week activity created by NLP’s Peter Adams pushes students to ask such questions as, “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 says

It was included in the The New York Times Oct. 26 Tech Fix column, Lesson of the Day: ‘How to Deal With a Crisis of Misinformation.’

EdSurge calls NLP website “treasure trove of resources”

“Young people have a right to news literacy education,” NLP’s John Silva says in the piece  Can Your Students Tell the Difference Between Fact and Fiction? for EdSurge on Oct. 20.

Reporter Kimberly Rues directs readers to NLP’s educator-focused digital material, saying “their website is a virtual treasure trove of resources.” She also recommends NLP’s Educator Resources Library. “These materials provide ready-made content that supports the professional development offered in the webinar, but that could also be used independently of NLP’s professional development offerings,” she notes. “One final News Literacy Project resource to mention is Checkology, an interactive platform that provides students with standards-aligned lessons, presented by information experts, including real world examples, Rues says.”

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.