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LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS 
of
Larimer County, Colorado
HomeNews Literacy

News Literacy
A Project of the Public Relations Team of the Larimer County LWV
Contact Public Relations

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 recognizing misinformation and disinformation and being well-informed.


The League of Women Voters is committed to the ideal that a democracy depends on the informed participation of citizens in their government. The purpose of our News Literacy page is to provide nonpartisan resources and tools that will empower citizens of all ages to recognize false or misleading items and become better informed.


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. The presentation 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.


I have a newfound respect for news research and literacy. It is incredibly important to look at sources with a clear, unbiased mind before blindly trusting them. Unfortunately, I’ve fallen victim to this before, but I understand now the importance of checking facts before trusting. -- Allison T.


… 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.


Tools for Spotting Misinformation and Disinformation

What are misinformation and disinformation?


Misinformation is inadvertently sharing false information

without the intent to harm.



Disinformation is intentionally sharing false information

with the intent to harm.



While disinformation may seem like the worse of the two,

it’s frighteningly easy to spread misinformation.


We are all susceptible to misinformation and disinformation;

click the links below for tips on how to spot them.



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.

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 andReport 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

Try Your News Literacy Skills Here

Using the questions to the right as a guide, analyze this piece. Remember, it doesn't matter whether you agree or disagree with the writer's position. You're trying to determine the the validity and reliability of the information presented.







No statehood for Washington DC

"51st state? Why on earth would a tiny city of about 700,000 be allowed to be a state? Would they be allowed two senators like Hawai‘i?

The Constitution says Washington DC is a federal jurisdiction and cannot become a state. Washington DC has too much power now! Adding statehood will give them more.

Why are our own Senators Hirono and Schatz in favor of this? Don’t we have enough problems at home to be wasting time giving DC more power?"

Source: Garden Island News, February 15, 2021


1. Is this piece: News? Opinion? Entertainment? Something else?

2. Does the writer present any facts? How would you check the reliability of these items?  Is the population of D.C. under 700,000? What other facts are there?
3. Is the writer justified in the claim that having 700,000 people is too small to be a state? How would you verify that no state currently has a small population like this?
4. Consider the logic of the writer's claim about the "power" in Washington, D.C.  What is the "source" of her perceived power?  Is this a logical conclusion?

5. What does the writer want you to do or feel as a result of this piece?
6. Would you feel comfortable passing this piece along to your contacts? Why?


We’d love to know your answers. Drop us an email at pr@lwv-larimercounty.org. We may even share your comments on this page, so be sure to include your name and contact information.