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National News Literacy Week: Where local students turn for accurate information

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Posted at 6:00 AM, Jan 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 18:44:56-05

Scripps is partnering with the News Literacy Project, a nonpartisan national education nonprofit, to build awareness and educate our communities about news literacy. Through this initiative we aim to help you discern credible information from misinformation in today’s media. To learn more about this project, visit wrtv.com/newsliteracy.

Today’s students are tomorrow's voters and decision-makers.

That is why the News Literacy Project aims to educate our youth on being smart, active consumers of news.

WRTV’s parent company, Scripps, is teaming up with the News Literacy Project for the second year in a row to share stories as an effort to raise awareness that news literacy, the critical thinking skills necessary to find reliable sources and information, is an essential life skill.

With so much information at our fingertips, we talked with local students at four different high schools in central Indiana about where they get their news and how they trust the information they are consuming.

“I get a lot of my news from social media, from TikTok and Twitter,” Victoria Suggs, a Ben Davis High School senior, said. “But I always make sure I check on reliable sources like my news stations and the Washington Post to make sure that everything I am seeing is true.”

“When I’m on social media I try not to look for news and stuff, I just follow sports pages,” Nick Frank, a Southport High School senior, said. “I don’t want to get overwhelmed with a bunch of facts. I don’t want to mix the facts with the opinions of everything.”

“I have a lot of Instagram pages that I follow like that promote positive agenda, what’s going on in the world today,” Naomi Eastman, a Warren Central HS senior, said. "What do we need to care about that may be major new sites are covering?”

The News Literacy Project is a nonpartisan national education nonprofit. It provides programs and resources for educators and the public to teach, learn and share. The focus is on the abilities needed to be smart, active consumers of news and information and equal and engaged participants in a democracy.

During National News Literacy Week, we are all encouraged to correct misinformation and reinforce facts, a practice those behind the national campaign hope continues beyond this week.

Most of the students we talked to said they try to double-check the facts and information that they consume on social media, before sharing and spreading the information.

“I think a lot of the time relying on the story isn’t always the best of ideas,” Amy Garrido, Center Grove High School senior, said. “I think in order to actually believe something you read online you have to do your own research.”

“With social media everyone has a voice," Suggs said. “Some people are very adamant about using them and they are very loud. Even if they are spewing wrong information it is so loud and such a surplus of information that you get overwhelmed and don’t know where to look and don’t know what to believe.”

Resources can be found for students, educators and the general public at NewsliteracyWeek.org.