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Free news literacy resources for the public

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Since 2008, NLP has helped students across the U.S. and beyond learn to sort fact from fiction. Now, to meet the urgent need for news literacy among people of all ages, we are unveiling free tools and resources for the public. This includes a customized version of our signature e-learning platform, Checkology®.

This expansion of our mission comes in response to the growing crisis of false information in America.

“We believe misinformation and a lack of news literacy skills and knowledge pose an existential threat to our democracy,” said Alan C. Miller, NLP’s founder and CEO. “We recognize the critical need for people of all ages to have the ability to determine what news and information to trust and to understand the importance of a free press as informed and engaged participants in a democracy.”

News literacy lessons for all

We have developed a version of Checkology that provides the public with a comprehensive news literacy program. And it is now available at no cost. Launched in 2016, Checkology is widely used by educators to teach middle and high school students news literacy skills, habits and mindset.

This new public version includes foundational lessons, supplemental practice opportunities and fact-checking tools for reverse image searches, geolocation and more. In addition, it teaches users how to identify credible information, seek out reliable sources, understand media bias — as well as their own. It also helps users learn to apply critical thinking skills to differentiate fact-based content from falsehoods. And users gain an understanding of the importance of the First Amendment and the watchdog role of a free press.

Learn more by watching our video:

New podcast

And today, we launched the podcast Is that a fact?, featuring experts who address the question, “How can American democracy survive and thrive in our toxic information environment?” The first episode, featuring writer and professor Brendan Nyhan of Bright Line Watch, is available on our website and on various podcast platforms. Upcoming guests include Kara Swisher of Recode and The New York Times, Maria Ressa of Rappler and Michael Luo of The New Yorker.

The 10-episode season is hosted by Darragh Worland, NLP’s vice president of creative services. The show will include conversations with leading American thinkers, journalists, foreign policy experts, psychologists and authors. It will seek to help listeners understand how they can become part of the solution to the misinformation crisis. Future segments  will drop every Wednesday.

Additional resources

Also, starting Tuesday, Sept. 22, we will publish a free weekly newsletter for the public called Get Smart About News. This publication is adapted from our popular free newsletter for educators, The Sift®. It will highlight and debunk timely examples of the most widespread conspiracy theories, hoaxes and rumors. Readers will find tips and tools to help navigate today’s complex information landscape. Get Smart About News will arrive in subscribers’ inboxes every Tuesday.

Finally, in 2019, we launched a free mobile app Informable®. Updated in 2020 to address COVID-19 misinformation, Informable helps people of all ages practice four distinct news literacy skills in a game-like format using real-world examples.

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