The News Literacy Project’s Checkology: Is It Biased And How Is It Being Used In Schools?

Fear not, the News Literacy Project is here to help steer, lead, cajole, and even force your child into not only understanding what they think misinformation is but also to help them sift through the muck.

By John Keating | Published

Is NewsGuard An Unbiased Way To Deal With Misinformation For Kids?

news literacy project bias checkology

Misinformation is everywhere and there seems to be no end. There also seems to be no firm way of deciphering what’s misinformation and what isn’t. Fear not, the News Literacy Project is here to help steer, lead, cajole, and even force your child into not only understanding what they think misinformation is but also to help them sift through the muck.

What the News Literacy Project claims, and most of us know this to be true, is that it is getting harder and harder to separate fact from fiction. They, of course, are talking about what is being presented online as news facts versus news fiction. According to the News Literacy Project, over 96% of the high school students that were surveyed failed to challenge how credible the sources were in the news material they read.

These high school students were not alone. Many adults could not distinguish between legitimate news and other stuff created to mislead, persuade, exploit or even sell. We are in a time of the Big Mislead and many fall in lockstep with it.

The News Literacy Project claims they have but one goal – to determine the credibility of the news being presented. By digging deep into identifying the various types of information, they look to use fact-based journalism to determine who and what to trust, what they can truthfully share, and eventually act on. Their sights are set high.

Is The News Literacy Project Unbiased?

News bias

The News Literacy Project is a nonprofit. They claim to be nonpartisan, as they provide programs and resources for various entities that include educators and the public at large. Their stated mission is to be able to teach, learn and share the abilities necessary to be smart when it comes to the information being presented on the internet.

For that, they have partnered with numerous media organizations. We’ll let you decide how many of these outlets live by what the News Literacy Project is promoting. Some of the media organizations include CBS News, ABC News, Vice, CNN, Politico, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Vox Media, and NPR. You may have noticed that what isn’t on that list is any conservative leaning news outlet. There’s no Fox News, The Daily Wire, Newsmax, Breitbart, and so on. Every news organization involved has a reputation for leaning in one, specific direction on the political spectrum.

So while we can’t tell you whether the News Literacy Project will attempt to sort misinformation without bias (we hope they will), we can tell you that their claims of being nonpartisan are totally false. The News Literacy Project has specifically partnered with one partisan group of news organizations and excluded news organizations with dissenting points of view. That could be good or bad, depending on your personal point of view.

The News Literacy Project Molding Your Child’s Mind With Checkology

News literacy project checkology

The News Literacy Project is finding its way into schools more and more. By 2022, they aim to build a community that comprises 20,000 educators across the country. The hope then is for these educators to use the Project’s programs and resources to teach their brand of news literacy skills to 3 million middle and high school students every year. They also plan to lead the effort to increase awareness of news literacy and to also give people the tools they need to determine fact from fiction.

Educators are given numerous resources in order to get started or even seek help. They have access to an online learning platform, a News Literacy Project free weekly newsletter, opportunities for professional development, a number of different classroom materials, and much more. One of their big resources is called Checkology.

Checkology is the News Literacy Project’s free e-learning platform. It is designed to help teachers and students hopefully become more news literate. It offers over a dozen interactive lessons that are brought to teachers and students by respected journalists. Teachers will have a guide that aligns with national standards and also comprehensive e-learning strategies. Students will be given their own individual accounts to get one-on-one instruction if needed.

The third annual National News Literacy Week kicked off earlier this week (January 24-28) and the News Literacy Project is front and center. They, along with the E.W. Scripps Company, have been tackling misinformation issues in various ways and through various events throughout the country. It’s a very informative and important event that isn’t relegated to one certain place but seen in numerous schools across the nation.

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Big Goals, Will They Achieve Them?

The News Literacy Project has big goals. Important goals. Stamping out misinformation being presented across the internet is a heavy task and maybe one that will never be accomplished. Teaching kids and adults how to identify misinformation is a skill that everyone should have. What’s unclear is whether The News Literacy Project will actually teach kids how to independently identify misinformation without bias, or whether they’ll simply teach kids to listen to them.