Empowering global citizens to identify credible information online
After reaching 21 million people in the United States within its first four years, Poynter’s MediaWise took its digital media literacy training abroad.
With support from Meta, MediaWise added international programming to its slate of dynamic educational resources. The expansion aims to slow the spread of misinformation online and help older adults in Brazil, Spain and Turkey make informed decisions about the content they engage with and share across social media platforms.
About the expansion
MediaWise International features customized lessons within a 10-day WhatsApp microlearning course for each country to teach adults how to spot conspiracies, scams, hoaxes and false news stories on the internet and social media.
Participants can explore various topics such as:
- Identifying and consuming online news responsibly
- Dangers of misinformation
- Warning signs to spot bad actors online
- Understanding how verification and algorithms work
- Practicing professional fact-checking techniques
- Talking to friends and family who share misinformation
Resident fact-checking partners and research institutions help to localize the learning experience with real-world examples of misinformation dominating the news cycle in the three regions. Prominent figures from trusted sources in each country join an impressive roster of MediaWise ambassadors to guide users through each lesson, share expertise and promote the exchange of fact-based information.
Research studies from universities in each country will follow the pilot to measure the program’s success.
Projeto Comprova, a coalition of 33 media designed to mitigate misinformation under the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji), leads the Brazil pilot. Abraji is a nonprofit institution dedicated to improving the quality of journalism and defending the freedom of expression in South America’s largest country. The association hosts the most sought-after event for journalists every year, Abraji Congress, and serves more than 6,000 students and professionals through free journalism training programs.
“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.”
— Marcelo Träsel, President, Abraji
Newtral will localize the WhatsApp course in Spain. The media startup focuses on the production of programs for television and platforms, new narratives in social networks, innovation in journalism through fact-checking, and research based on artificial intelligence protocols. The program evaluator is Universidad de Navarra, a consolidated research center with several national and cross-national projects on digital communication trends and social impacts of topics such as digital journalism, social media, interactive advertising and emerging media business models.
“Journalism has always been about providing confirmed, contrasted and reliable news. We, the journalists, have to assume the responsibility of helping citizens in the task of distinguishing what is truthful journalism from what is not.”
— Lucía Mendez, editor-in-chief of EL MUNDO and columnist
Istanbul Bilgi University oversees the fact-checking efforts and research study in Turkey. The institution for higher education was established in 1996 under the principle of learning not for school, but for life. With more than 150 programs for associate, undergraduate and graduate students, the university works to find ways to enlighten people, especially vulnerable portions of the population, on how to distinguish truth from falsity.
In a rapidly changing world, what really matters is to be a part of the change. Education is probably the best, if not the only proven method in being on the right side of it.”
— Professor Halil Nalçaoğlu, Dean, Faculty of Communication, Istanbul Bilgi University