National News Literacy Week encourages us all to recognize misinformation and not to spread it

As misinformation spreads at alarming rates and puts our health and democracy at risk, the News Literacy Project and The E.W. Scripps Company are continuing to promote the need for greater news literacy, a fundamental and important skill that empowers people to make fact-based decisions about their lives and their governance.

The third annual National News Literacy Week began on Monday, with “Stop the flood of misinformation … care before you share” as its theme. This initiative is backed by more than 30 news organizations that have signed a letter in support of news literacy, agreed to publish it and/or donated ad space to help promote the week. The letter says: “In our role as the Fourth Estate, it is our mission to keep the public well-informed and to provide high-quality journalism that holds those in power accountable… We pledge to double down on efforts to be fair, accurate, representative and transparent in our journalism — and crystal clear on what is opinion and analysis and what is straightforward news reporting.”

“We asked news organizations all over the country to unite behind this cause, which we believe is crucial for a healthy democracy,” said Alan Miller, founder and CEO of NLP. “Their response underscores that journalists recognize that they too have a stake in ensuring that the public is able to discern credible, verified and impartial information in today’s challenging information landscape.”

This year’s National News Literacy Week features a public service announcement conceived of by the global communications and advertising firm Saatchi & Saatchi. The campaign stresses the role everyone plays in sharing information and everyone’s responsibility to do so mindfully and responsibly. This theme is reflected in the video of people in an elevator who are nearly drowned by a flood of misinformation before they work together to stem the rising water.

Throughout the week, the News Literacy Project will engage educators, students and the public with quizzes, tips and tools through the organization’s social media channels and at NewsLiteracyWeek.org.

The public, educators and journalists can get involved with National News Literacy Week in several ways:

  • Visit NewsLiteracyWeek.org to learn about events happening during the week and specific actions you can take to improve your own news literacy skills.
  • Share your support for news literacy via social media by using this social media toolkit.
  • Consider running a letter supporting news literacy signed by numerous news outlets.
  • Attend any of the educator events taking place throughout the week.
  • Watch and share the public service announcement.
  • Join the conversation on social media using the #NewsLiteracyWeek hashtag.

The E.W. Scripps Company is a presenting sponsor for the third year.

“My colleagues and I talk about this all the time, within our organization and throughout the industry,” said Adam Symson, Scripps’ president & CEO. “We need our communities to be informed and to share news responsibly. This is something we all agree on.”

  • Print, digital, broadcast and social media assets are available in support of the five-day campaign or for ongoing placement throughout 2022. For print assets, contact Darragh Worland, NLP’s vice president of creative services, at dworland@newslit.org.
  • Journalists interested in covering the campaign or news literacy can connect with NLP to learn more about its resources for the public and educators, including The Sift®, a weekly newsletter covering topical news literacy issues, the Checkology® e-learning platform, the Newsroom to Classroom program, and NewsLitCamp® — a professional development event for educators, hosted by news organizations and taught by journalists and NLP experts. For more information, contact gphysic@newslit.org.

Below is an open letter from the members of National News Literacy Week presented by the News Literacy Project and The E.W. Scripps Company:

Dear Reader,

“With imperfect information, we make imperfect decisions.”

That line, taken from the Aspen Institute’s Commission on Information Disorder, neatly summarizes why the crisis of mis- and disinformation demands urgent attention from all sectors of society — including the news media.

Our newsrooms are supporting the third annual National News Literacy Week (Jan. 24-28) to help more people learn to determine the credibility of content they encounter and use the standards of fact-based journalism to know what to trust, share and act on.

It is vital that news consumers attain the skills to discern fact from fiction, understand how our newsrooms decide what is newsworthy, and recognize the standards we follow to ensure trust in what we publish or broadcast. This is essential if fact-based information is to remain central to our discourse and the functioning of our democracy.

In our role as the Fourth Estate, it is our mission to keep the public well-informed and to provide high-quality journalism that holds those in power accountable. In addition, our audiences must be news literate — and empowered to make fact-based decisions about
their lives.

We pledge to double down on efforts to be fair, accurate, representative and transparent in our journalism — and crystal clear on what is opinion and analysis and what is straightforward news reporting. Everyone — including educators, students, parents, community members, business leaders, politicians, and social media influencers — relies on the fact-based information we provide every day.

We urge you to take a moment to become news literate. Visit NewsLiteracyWeek.org to learn more about what you can do to avoid spreading misinformation.

Please join us in securing a fact-based future where we can all make the best decisions for our communities and our country.

Sincerely,       

 
   

Michael A. Anastasi,                                         

Terry Leonard,

Editor and Vice President, Tennessean         

Editorial Director, Stars and Stripes

   

Nancy Barnes,                                                     

Beryl Love,

Senior Vice President for News and Editorial Director, NPR 

Executive Editor, The Cincinnati Enquirer

   

Todd Benoit,                                                        

Alan Miller,

President and COO, Bangor Daily News              

Founder and CEO, News Literacy Project

   

Peter Bhatia,                                                         

Amalie Nash,

Editor and Vice President, Detroit Free Press     

Senior Vice President of News and Audience Development, Gannett

   

Greg Burton,                                                         

Chris Quinn,

Executive Editor, The Arizona Republic                 

Editor, cleveland.com/The Plain Dealer

   

Nicole Carroll,                                                       

Michael Shearer,

Executive Editor, USA Today                                 

Editor, Akron Beacon Journal

   

Chris Dolan,                                                             

Ethan Shorey,

President and Executive Editor, The Washington Times     

Editor, Valley Breeze

   

Timothy C. Dwyer,                                               

Dylan Smith,

President and Publisher, The Day                         

Editor & Publisher, Tucson Sentinel

   

Stephen Engelberg,                                           

Staff, CNN

Editor-in-Chief, ProPublica                                 

 
   

Patti Epler,                                                           

Adam Symson,

Editor and General Manager, Honolulu Civil Beat 

President and CEO, The E.W. Scripps Company

   

Richard A. Green,                                             

Irving Washington,

Executive Editor, The Press Democrat           

Executive Director and CEO, Online News Association

   

Pascale Fusshoeller,                                         

Amanda Zamora,

Editor, YubaNet                                                   

Co-founder and Publisher, The 19th*

   

Mary Irby-Jones,                                             

Jose Zamora,

Executive Editor, The (Louisville) Courier Journal   

Senior Vice President, Univision News

   

Scott Kraft,                                                         

Laura Zelenko,

Managing Editor, Los Angeles Times               

Senior Executive Editor of Standards, Training, Diversity, and Talent, Bloomberg News

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