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Becoming People Who Are News-Literate

My last post, The House that Covid Built, sparked plenty of conversations in our house about which news articles are true and helpful and which aren’t. We live in a time where anyone can produce and widely share a convincing video on a topic with zero editorial oversight. This means we all have to hone the skills to recognize quality information, which is no easy task — especially for kids. And with schools starved for funding to teach basic reading and math skills, media literacy education falls by the wayside. Enter the News Literacy Project (NLP). They are a national nonpartisan nonprofit that guides students in knowing what to trust in the digital age.

NLPs vision is that news literacy becomes embedded in American education. They create programs to help educators teach critical thinking when it comes to evaluating news stories. Their abundant resources include: a weekly newsletter highlighting current “misinformation” trends; a virtual classroom that trains students to assess news stories; and a program that brings journalists to the school environment. There are even tools for adults who want to sharpen their skills.

As someone with a degree in Radio-TV-Film and a career involving various media formats, I am no stranger to the importance of media literacy. Years ago, my husband and I were active participants in a former local media literacy nonprofit — and so I appreciate the significance of News Literacy Project’s offerings. I’m thrilled that NLP is making inroads into today’s classrooms and I hope you will join me in supporting them. If you’re unable to donate, then perhaps sit with a student (or become the student) to take one of NLPs quizzes (or download their free app). See just how savvy you are when navigating the world of news information. I bet you’ll be surprised.

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