December 13, 2021

Poynter and MediaWise are pleased to announce that they have selected a third group of college students to be the next Campus Correspondents — a unique cohort who teach their peers to tell fact from fiction online.

The program, funded by Instagram, teaches college students to lead dynamic, virtual fact-training workshops as requested by college instructors. These one-hour sessions offer students the insight, techniques and know-how to debunk online misinformation.

Over the course of the 2021/22 school year, our students will also produce media literacy tips and fact-checking videos across social media platforms.

The students in our third cohort chosen for the 2022 school year are:

Vanessa Handy, New York University

Samantha Latson, Indiana University

Kobe McCloud, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

Kyle Davidson, Michigan State University

Gabbie Puzon, California State University Northridge

Mia Uzzell, Florida A&M University

Returning to the program for another year are:

Hayden Masia, Colgate University

Karly Graham, Michigan State University 

Lauren Yang Brown, University of Oregon 

Loren Miranda, University of Florida

Maddie Herron, University of Maryland

“This is an exciting program that we’re thrilled to offer to even more classrooms,” said Barbara Allen, director of college programming for Poynter. “We got top-notch applicants this time around and that means teachers are going to get top-notch training.”

This is the third time that MediaWise — a digital media literacy initiative — chose college students to teach crucial digital literacy skills to their peers.

The MediaWise team trains Campus Correspondents how to spot misinformation online, and where to find reliable, quality knowledge. By leading interactive workshops, the Campus Correspondents will train their peers on these important skills in trainings on campuses across the country. Campus Correspondents will conduct virtual media literacy workshops to schools nationwide, produce a range of educational social media content and create a 10-part Instagram PSA campaign.

If you are interested in having a Campus Correspondent visit your campus virtually (or IRL at some locations), there may still be a limited number of opportunities available if you fill out this form. This one-hour training is provided to student groups, classrooms and other college-related entities entirely for free.

The first iteration of the MediaWise Campus Correspondents program was central to the success of the MediaWise Voter Project, a nonprofit and nonpartisan program of The Poynter Institute that taught digital literacy skills to more than 1 million first-time voters in 2020.

That inaugural group of 10 college students conducted more than 80 virtual digital literacy trainings to more than 2,000 of their peers across campuses in more than 20 states.

In addition to training their peers through Zoom, the Campus Correspondents created more than 50 fact checks, TikToks, and Instagram posts that garnered hundreds of thousands of views.

The 2021 Campus Correspondents carried on that work, with a special focus on COVID-19 mis- and disinformation, over the fall semester in 35 trainings.

Now, we are back with funding for 100 more trainings: 50 in the spring and 50 in the fall. Fall slots will be opened up at a later date.

The Campus Correspondents program is made possible thanks to support from Facebook and Instagram.

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