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Philadelphia, PA | March 20, 2019 — La Salle University (“La Salle”) announced today that it is partnering with MediaWise to bring a series of digital literacy trainings to Philadelphia-area high school and middle school students.
Led by The Poynter Institute and funded by Google.org, the MediaWise project is part of the Google News Initiative. The goal of the non-profit project is to teach one million teenagers – at least half from underserved communities – how to sort fact from fiction online by 2020.
La Salle will be MediaWise’s exclusive higher education events partner in the Greater Philadelphia area, with the first of the teen trainings scheduled for April 6 at La Salle University as part of a Blue & Gold Day open house for high school students accepted to La Salle. La Salle will bring MediaWise back to the region in the fall for at least three additional presentations at local schools. Dates and locations for those trainings will be announced in the coming months.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with MediaWise to bring this innovative and important training to our region,” said Colleen Hanycz, Ph.D., president of La Salle University. “Explorers navigate the world around them with clarity and confidence. Today, particularly in the digital environment, that means knowing how to separate fact from fiction and approach content critically. La Salle wants to equip every teen with that skill set.”
Research has demonstrated that fictitious stories often drown out the truth on social media, with falsehoods circulating more quickly and receiving more shares than accurate news. The MediaWise curriculum is being developed by Stanford History Education Group and is rooted in research on how professional fact-checkers, historians and college students navigate the bevy of digital information available. Researchers quickly discovered that the fact-checkers were far better than the other two groups at identifying which information was reliable and trustworthy. The curriculum seeks to teach students those fact-checking skills to help them become more discerning content consumers.
“We are pumped to bring MediaWise to the City of Brotherly Love with the help of La Salle University,” said Katy Byron, editor and program manager of MediaWise. “Our teaching events are fun and interactive, using Instagram, Snapchat and other platforms that they’re already using every day. It’s important to us that we speak their language and use real-life examples of misinformation, so they come away feeling empowered to use these skills on their own.”
MediaWise is led by The Poynter Institute in partnership with the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG), the Local Media Association (LMA) and the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE). It is part of the Google News Initiative and funded by Google.org. The program aims to teach 1 million teenagers how to learn fact from fiction on the internet by 2020, with at least half of them coming from underserved or low-income communities.
About The Poynter Institute
The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global leader in journalism education and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media and 21st-century public discourse. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, and at conferences and organizations around the world. Its e-learning division, News University, offers the world’s largest online journalism curriculum, with hundreds of interactive courses and tens of thousands of registered international users. The Institute’s website, poynter.org, produces 24-hour coverage about media, ethics, technology and the business of news. Poynter is the home of the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership, the Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact, the International Fact-Checking Network and MediaWise, a teen digital information literacy project. The world’s top journalists and media innovators come to Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians and broadcasters. This work builds public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment and discourse that serves democracy and the public good. Learn more at poynter.org.
About La Salle University
La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Brothers of the Christian Schools teaching order, which St. La Salle founded in 1680. La Salle University is an educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values and has been consistently recognized for excellence and value by U.S. News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education, Money magazine, Forbes, and The Princeton Review. The New York Times ranked La Salle in the top 6 percent nationally for median income of its graduates at age 34. Globally, Lasallian education reaches over one million students in 77 countries on six continents; this includes more than 1,000 schools, universities, and centers of education, and 65 colleges and universities with six located in the United States. www.lasalle.edu