CINCINNATI, Ohio — The News Literacy Project and The E.W. Scripps Company are teaming up to launch a national public awareness campaign to promote news literacy and the role of a free press in American democracy.
This comes as information – and misinformation – surge around recent national events.
The campaign is part of the second annual National News Literacy Week, which runs from Jan. 25 to Jan. 29. The week aims to promote news literacy as a fundamental life skill and to provide the public with the tools needed to be an informed and empowered populace.
The public service announcement, a vibrant animated video that challenges people to test their “news literacy fitness” and to resolve to be healthier news consumers, will run in both Spanish and English across Scripps’ social, digital and broadcast channels, including its 60 local broadcast television stations; national networks Newsy, Court TV, Bounce, Laff, Grit and Court TV Mystery; and promotions from the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Simplemost and Triton Digital.
Media partners large and small are offering pro-bono ad space to further amplify the campaign’s message. The Associated Press, BuzzFeed News, the Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, The New York Times, NPR, ProPublica, Vox Media, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and members of the Local Media Association and Local Media Consortium are among the organizations committing space to the effort.
The News Literacy Project (NLP) will engage its educators, students and the public throughout the week with quizzes, tips and tools featured through its social media channels and on the NewsLiteracyWeek.org landing page.
A national professional development event, NewsLitCamp, will be held on Jan. 26 in partnership with CNN, as well as a #NewsLiteracyWeek Twitter chat on Jan. 25 at 3 p.m. ET and an edWeb session on conspiratorial thinking with NLP’s education team on Jan. 27 at 4 p.m. ET. NLP will also formally launch its NewsLit Nation educator network, which will support local ambassadors advocating for news literacy to be taught in their local schools.
“In today’s complex information and media ecosystem, the proliferation of rumors, lies and the deliberate spread of misinformation has devastating consequences for our democracy,” said Scripps President and CEO Adam Symson. “At the same time, it’s harder than ever to distinguish verified facts and objective journalism from opinion, propaganda and even total fiction. It is our urgent responsibility – as friends, coworkers, teachers, parents and fellow citizens – to equip ourselves and younger generations with the tools necessary to discern truth from misinformation. With our partners at the News Literacy Project, Scripps is committed to bringing discussions about what it means to be news-literate into newsrooms, classrooms and living rooms across the country to empower the public to be stronger news consumers.”
“The corrosive threat of misinformation now permeates every aspect of our civic life,” said Alan C. Miller, founder and CEO of the News Literacy Project. “We’ve seen it surge in the past year around the global pandemic, racial justice protests and during the presidential election. As the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol demonstrated, this contagion of viral rumors and conspiracy theories can have deadly consequences. It’s time to confront this rising tide that threatens our democracy. Together, we must take personal responsibility for the news and other information we consume and spread to assure a future founded on facts.”
During National News Literacy Week, Scripps’ news teams will premiere stories related to the topic of news literacy on-air and online across Scripps’ platforms, with a selection available at the campaign landing page, NewsLiteracyWeek.org.
The public can get involved with National News Literacy Week in a number of ways:
- Visit NewsLiteracyWeek.org to test your “news literacy fitness” and take the pledge to be news-literate.
- Watch NLP’s new Checkology virtual classroom lesson “Conspiratorial Thinking” to learn how and why conspiracy theories develop and how to prevent people from falling for them.
- Join the conversation on social media at #NewsLiteracyWeek.
National News Literacy Week is part of an ongoing partnership between Scripps and NLP to advance awareness of news literacy.
Journalists who are interested in covering the campaign or news literacy can connect with NLP to learn more about its resources for the public and educators, including its weekly misinformation newsletter, The Sift, the Checkology platform, the Newsroom to Classroom program, and NewsLitCamp — a professional development event for educators, hosted by news organizations and taught by journalists and NLP. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
News outlets interested in participating in the public awareness campaign can contact Kari.Wethington@scripps.com. Print, digital and broadcast assets are available in support of the five-day campaign or for ongoing placement throughout 2021.