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News Literacy
A Project of the Public Relations Team of the Larimer County LWV
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News Literacy: Vital for Democracy


Everyday, Americans are bombarded with news and information from television, radio, newspapers, as well as from social media, such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and more.


This abundance has created unprecedented challenges to being well-informed. How truthful is our news? How can we tell fact from opinion? Are we hearing and passing along information that is reliable?


We here at the Larimer League encourage everyone to become more news literate. We’ve gathered a wide variety of carefully vetted resources, designed to help you determine the credibility and reliability of your news sources.




Don't Ghost the News:  How to Win the Battle for Democracy


Loss of local news = increased exposure to disinformation

"Americans find their local news sources significantly more credible than national news sources. Yet these are the very same outlets that are rapidly disappearing. That’s especially worrisome at a time when conspiracy theories and misinformation are rampant."
Margaret Sullivan, "What Happens to Democracy When Local Journalism Dries Up?", Washington Post Magazine, November 30, 2021.


In February, the League of Women Voters of Larimer County hosted a program called "Don't Ghost the News:  How to Win the Battle for Democracy." The presentation gave a brief history of journalism; discussed how the loss of local news impacts LWV values, including news literacy; and presented ways citizens can become more news literate and help save local journalism and democracy. That recording can be accessed HERE.





News Literacy 2021:  What is Disinformation?

 In July the News Literacy Group of the Public Relations Team was invited to give two news literacy presentations to students from the summer camp of the Colorado Student Leader Institute. News Literacy 2021:  What is Disinformation? included a history of fake news, from pre-Internet days to the present, and provided fact-checking tips and resources. The students were genuinely interested in the presentation and participated in a lively discussion afterward. About a month later, the News Literacy Group received a package full of thank-you notes from the participants. Here are just a few of their comments:

… I really appreciated hearing about media literacy and how the League of Women Voters is involved! I would love to be a part of the league in the future. Thank you again! -- Emma W.


… The skills I learned will be vital as I navigate my way through this information age… -- Jonah D.


… Your presentation and perspective has given me more pride and confidence in my ability to make change through my eventual vote just as the women before me. -- Kaliah Y.


… I am not very good with news literacy and your presentation was interesting, engaging and helpful. I will definitely be very careful about the media I consume. -- Mo D.


… You helped me understand about media literacy and how voting is essential. -- Sandra B.


fake news


Tools for Spotting Misinformation and Disinformation

Your Guide to Misinformation and Disinformation

Misinformation and disinformation are two of the most insidious tools used to undermine our democracy and the value of every person’s voice. The League of Women Voters has tips on how to recognize and stop them. Read it HERE.

Get Smart About News - The News Literacy Project

How news-literate are you? Test and sharpen your news literacy skills with short activities, engaging quizzes and shareable graphics for learners of all ages. Read it HERE.

DeBunking False Stories - from Factcheck.org

"We provide several resources for readers: a guide on how to flag suspicious stories on Facebook and a list of websites that have carried false or satirical articles, as well as a video and story on how to spot false stories."

Read the article HERE.

Just for Teens

Teen Fact-Checking Network - Poynter

"TFCN fact-checks...debunk misinformation and teach media literacy skills so teens can fact-check on their own. On average, 86% of respondents polled...reported they were more likely to fact-check on their own after watching a TFCN fact-check story." Includes good information about how teens can become better information consumers.  

Check it out HERE.

Ad Fontes…Home of the Media Bias Chart®

Ad Fontes is Latin for "to the source."  Ad Fontes uses rigorous, non-partisan methodology to analyze the source and actual content of news.  Ad Fontes Media is a public benefit corporation with a mission to make news consumers smarter and news media better.  Read about it HERE

How to Analyze Facts, Opinions, Beliefs that You Hear or Read
This classroom "handout" gives brief descriptions of the types information we process, how to begin an analysis of them, and some of the common logical fallacies to watch for. It also includes links to other articles to learn more.  Read it HERE.
Democracy, Disinformation and Distrust: Building Citizen Capacity to Impact
This webinar, presented by the LVW Civil Discourse Network and National Institute for Civil Discourse covers the changing nature of citizen engagement, the changing nature of the information landscape, addressing the proliferation of misinformation and disinformation, and opportunities to be part of the solution NOW.  Watch it HERE.

War on Pineapple:  Understanding Foreign Interference in 5 Steps

This infographic from the Department of Homeland Security is a tongue-in-cheek approach using pizza toppings to teach at how foreign adversaries conduct malign information operations in an attempt to inflame hot button issues in the United States. Read it HERE.


Featured Articles

Recent Articles

Legislation

Colorado House Bill (HB21-1103) - 
Concerning Implementing Media Literacy in School Curricula

Governor Jared Polis signed Colorado House Bill HB21-1103 into law on May 27, 2021. The act requires the department of education (department) to create and maintain an online resource bank of materials and resources pertaining to media literacy. At a minimum, the resource bank must include the materials and resources recommended in the media literacy advisory committee's report. The department shall promulgate rules, if necessary, to implement a procedure through which a person may provide comment on a material or resource within the resource bank, including a comment recommending the removal or inclusion of a material or resource within the resource bank.

The act requires the department, upon the request of a school district, district charter school, institute charter school, or board of cooperative services, and subject to available resources, to provide technical assistance to a school district, district charter school, institute charter school, or board of cooperative services with implementing policies and procedures, best practices, and recommendations related to media literacy.

The act clarifies that a school district, district charter school, institute charter school, or board of cooperative services is not required to adopt or implement any material or resource from the resource bank into its curriculum.

The act requires the state board of education to review and adopt revisions that implement media literacy within reading, writing, and civics standards.

(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)


Read the entire bill HERE


SPJ Code of Ethics


Seek Truth and Report It
 

Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair. Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.

Minimize Harm

Ethical journalism treats sources, subjects, colleagues and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect.
Act Independently

The highest and primary obligation of ethical journalism is to serve the public.

Be Accountable and Transparent

Ethical journalism means taking responsibility for one’s work and explaining one’s decisions to the public.

Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics (long version)

Read it HERE