Annual report: Working toward a national movement
Today, we are sharing our annual report for fiscal year 2023 (July 2022-June 2023) with our stakeholders. The report showcases what we’ve achieved during the initial months of a four-year strategic plan to transform our mission into a movement. We hope you feel inspired reading about our progress. We appreciate the continued support from our community of news literacy champions who helped make this possible.
By Greg McCaffery and Chuck Salter
As we’ve seen in recent years, the continued decline of local journalism, the rise of conspiratorial thinking around a wide variety of subjects, and persistent efforts to sow distrust regarding the 2020 election results have created an increasingly urgent threat to the country’s public life. Now, artificial intelligence looms as the latest challenge to knowing what to trust.
At a time when mis- and disinformation can cause harm on a scale previously unimaginable, news literacy empowers people with the skills to navigate our complex information landscape, mitigating the detrimental effects of falsehoods about public health, democracy, social cohesion, economics, climate change and more. By elevating news literacy as an essential skill for all, we not only protect the rights and well-being of individuals — we also safeguard the fundamental values that underpin society.
As we aim to build a national movement for a more news-literate country, we are especially proud of our accomplishments this past year.
Engaging more people with engaging resources
With your support, 13,450 educators in all 50 states used our news literacy resources, reaching an estimated 2 million students.
More than 34,000 people attended our live news literacy community learning events throughout the year, and we drew more than 8,000 educators to educator-specific events and trainings.
In October 2022, we launched RumorGuard™, an interactive website that fact-checks the latest rumors and provides concrete tips for building the news literacy skills necessary to confidently evaluate online content. The public also can sign up to receive RumorGuard alerts to help push back against misinformation. In its first nine months, the website had more than 390,000 unique visitors, more than double our expectations.
Our newest Checkology® virtual classroom lesson, “Harm & Distrust,” explores how mainstream news coverage of marginalized groups has historically done significant harm, resulting in legacies of mistrust that persist today. Using coverage of Black Americans as a case history, we explore the larger topic and bring it into focus for students. The lesson explains what aspects of the practice of journalism require trust, details the harmful coverage of Black Americans throughout history, and highlights the role of the Black press. Even as it draws attention to these challenges, “Harm & Distrust” clearly acknowledges the demonstrable progress that has been made in newsrooms across the country.
We hope you feel pride as you read these accomplishments and take heart in the growing community of people using our news literacy resources. Thank you for being a champion of NLP, and we hope you will continue to share our resources with your family and friends as we pursue a more civically engaged, information-savvy America.
Greg McCaffery is the chair of NLP’s board of directors.
Chuck Salter is NLP’s president and CEO.