March 30, 2022

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 30, 2022) – MediaWise, the social-first digital media literacy program of the nonprofit Poynter Institute, released a new mobile course in Brazil today. With support from Meta, the 10-day WhatsApp course teaches older adults how to responsibly engage with the content they see and share online at no cost. 

“Our priority is to contribute to an open, safe and transparent internet. Misinformation is the opposite of all of that,” said Murillo Laranjeira, Meta’s public policy director in Brazil. “This is why we are so happy to welcome the MediaWise educational program in Brazil. Our goal is for this initiative to have the broadest impact possible, and to help our community look at information on the internet with a strong critical sense.” 

Portuguese speakers can sign up to improve their digital acumen with daily text messages that feature lessons and videos on identifying and reducing the harm of false or misleading claims found on the internet and social media. 

For 10 days, participants practice simple techniques to debunk real-world examples of viral misinformation. The course, which is an adaptation of MediaWise’s time-tested digital-first training for senior citizens in the United States, covers a wide range of topics such as recognizing the threat of misinformation, detecting the warning signs of conspiracies and scams, seeking reliable sources, and talking to friends and family who share falsehoods online. 

“Misinformation is a global issue that can have serious consequences, especially in high-stakes situations,” said Alex Mahadevan, MediaWise program manager. “This new course is an easy way for Brazilians who value truth and transparency to own their roles in creating a future based on facts.”

Each lesson was localized by Projeto Comprova, a nonprofit coalition of journalists from 40 media outlets under the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji). The collaborative group works to mitigate misinformation by investigating suspicious information about public policies, presidential elections and the pandemic spreading across the internet, social feeds and messaging apps.

“The partnership with Poynter’s MediaWise will allow Abraji to reach a key audience to fight disinformation in the 2022 election year and also to test a new training format,” said Marcelo Träsel, president of Abraji. 

The course is instructed by MediaWise’s newest ambassadors Lillian Witte Fibe and Boris Casoy, two of Brazil’s most-trusted journalists who have spent their careers in print and digital media, television and radio. They join a community of prominent journalists, influencers, entrepreneurs and best-selling authors who champion and help promote the MediaWise mission including Lestor Holt, Christiane Amanpour and Joan Lunden.

The course is a part of MediaWise’s growing international expansion efforts. The program is designed to address global information disorder and currently serves citizens in Brazil, France, Spain and Turkey. Learn more at

Media Contact:

Tina Dyakon
Director of Marketing
The Poynter Institute

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 newsrooms, 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 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 digital information literacy project for young people, first-time voters, and senior citizens. The world’s top journalists and media innovators rely on 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 U.S. First Amendment, and discourse that serves democracy and the public good. Learn more at

About MediaWise

MediaWise is a social-first digital media literacy initiative of the nonprofit Poynter Institute. The program teaches people of all ages and backgrounds how to responsibly engage with online content in the age of information overload. The fact-checking enterprise was created in 2018 to empower citizens to find trusted sources and make sense of the vast amount of information at their fingertips. We bring simple, yet effective, digital media literacy tools to people where they are — whether they’re on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter or TikTok or in one of the five countries where MediaWise operates — and walk them through every step to determine what’s real and what’s not on the internet. Through MediaWise, everyone can do their part to reduce the spread of misinformation and elevate the truth. Follow MediaWise on social media to learn how to debunk viral claims and be more critical consumers of online information. Explore programs and be part of the solution at

About Projeto Comprova

Projeto Comprova is a collaborative, nonprofit initiative created in 2018 that brings together journalists from 40 Brazilian media outlets to discover and investigate suspicious information about public policies, presidential elections and the COVID-19 pandemic that were shared in social networks or through messaging apps.

Support high-integrity, independent journalism that serves democracy. Make a gift to Poynter today. The Poynter Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and your gift helps us make good journalism better.

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