Social Media

Take this viral: Fighting for trust, truth and a strong democracy

#GivingTuesday
Of the many ideas that have gone viral on social media, Giving Tuesday is a standout as a positive force for good. In the six years since New York City’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation joined forces with a vision of a day focused on charitable contributions and social awareness, Giving Tuesday has enabled individuals to demonstrate their commitment — through donations of money and time — to nonprofits that provide solutions to our collective societal challenges.

On this day, people are taking a break from internet shopping and surfing to join a worldwide philanthropic movement — one that supports organizations and causes that reflect their values and address their concerns.

Thanks to our supporters, we at the News Literacy Project are able to help students in middle school and high school use the power of social media to positive ends by providing them with tools, tips and resources to separate fact from falsehoods in everything they read, watch and hear. Through our innovative checkology® virtual classroom, available anywhere there is an internet connection, they learn to apply the standards of quality journalism to discern credible, verifiable information from rumors, spin, propaganda and outrightlies.

Our goal is to provide students (and, increasingly, adults) with the skills  to be smart, active consumers of news and information today and empowered, engaged participants in our nation’s civic life in the future.

While teens may be technologically savvy, many lack the critical-thinking skills needed to navigate today’s challenging information and news ecosystem. The potential for misinformation has never been greater, and the concept of news literacy is not widely taught in the nation’s classrooms.

More than 9,500 educators in every state in the U.S. and in 77 other counties have registered to use the virtual classroom since its launch in May 2016. We’re a lean organization, and our resources have been primarily directed to program development, so much of our success to date has come from our programs going viral.

And it’s worked! Teachers and students praise the checkology® platform for its innovation, engagement and results.  Students have told us repeatedly how it has changed the way they think about what they read and share on social media — and how it has increased their interest in local, national and world news.

You can help us as we race to meet the demand and continue to develop new material and programs.  Take a moment on this day, Giving Tuesday, and join our effort by making a tax-deductible contribution to the News Literacy Project. Post and share your support and affirm your values as we work together to give facts a fighting chance.