The Infodemic

After The Fact


Ellen Miller directs the news literacy project. You're just outside. Washington DC welcome. Good to be with. You hope you are staying safe of during all of these difficult times, so let's just take a moment for our listeners. Who maybe didn't join us the last time you and I spoke? Tell us what the news literacy project is. How you work with students and people can believe what you're telling them right now. The News Literacy project is a national educational nonprofit that produces resources and empowers. Eaters to teach middle and high school students how to know what news and information to trust, and to give them an appreciation of the vital role, the First Amendment and a free press in democracy. Our goal is to give students. The tools to be informed. Engage participants in the country civic life. We are rigorously nonpartisan. We have a commitment to. Forty transparency and accountability and. To, giving the next generation, the tools to fully and effectively participate in the country civic life so Allen. Misinformation is not something real new. It's always seemed to exist. Sometimes we call it propaganda Sometimes it's just plain misinformation or disinformation for a lot of different purposes. It feels like a bigger deal today in society. Why is that well? In fact, we're living in the most of complex information landscape in human history. We have more verifiable and credible information available to US literally at our fingertips than ever before, but it is being overwhelmed by a Sioux Nami of misinformation that seeks to mislead US exploited US and divide us, young people today are inheriting an information ecosystem created by another generation that did not fully foresee just how it would unfold. Therefore, we feel we have a responsibility to give them the tools to successfully navigate this landscape in a way that can bring us together around their fireable agreed upon facts. Why Teaching News Literacy is in an essential life skill today the World Health Organization has in addition to declaring this pandemic. Declare something called an Info democ problems with information. Can you talk a little bit about what what an Info Democ might be and how we can live through that, too? Yes, so the World Health Organization coined the term in for democ to refer to the overwhelming and rapidly evolving amount of information, including a torrent of misinformation about the corona virus outbreak fact more recently united, Nations Secretary General Antonio Gutierrez went further, and he called this dangerous epidemic. Epidemic of misinformation, a poison that is putting lives at risk full statement. How can we is consumers of news and sure we're reading real news and not looking at fake information or manipulated images video. The responsibility really is on the consumer to be vigilant in checking what we're seeing, and particularly what we're sharing to make sure it's credible. There are some really basic concepts that I think we can all apply The first thing is to pause. Pause to look at what we're seeing in to check our emotions. Is this something that is provoking anger or fear or amazement? When information causes that kind of response, it makes us particularly vulnerable to manipulation, then examined the source take a moment to do a quick search on the person or the organization to see what else they they have created, and whether they are credible. Check replies and comments anything. You're looking at to see if they confirm. Confirm or debunk what you're viewing. We generally would say find a wide variety of credible news sources with different points of view to consume and follow and follow a story over time don't take I source that you that you see and share it particularly. If you're uncertain, do not share it, and then finally used readily available online tools like Google reverse image, searching or fact, checking sites like fat, check, fact or slopes. If, there's something that you're uncertain about. You've talked a little bit about ways to sort of down and how people can try to determine what's what's true or false? Are there particular sources that people should be able to realize I? Mean I guess we should we be giving credence to government sources over private sources, or should we what are what are some of the more detailed nuances that people can look at to help them? Make up their mind well, certainly in the context of the pandemic there are sources that went to public health sources. The World Health Organization the CDC Of Public Health Agencies One can certainly look for you know fact, base credible news sources at the end of the day I mean it's incumbent upon all of us to not only search for credible sources, but to push back against those who are sharing things that misinform because the virus itself is a kind of hard and immutable truth, and it is impervious to spin or falsehoods or magical thinking. So I think the only effective way that we can combat. It is with science and fax and hard truths, and in this respect to we're all in this together.

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