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Apple supports three media literacy programs to fight fake news in the US and Europe

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Just days ahead of Apple’s big March 25 event to unveil a new subscription news service, the company announced plans to support three media literacy programs in the US and across Europe. Each program has a similar goal in combating so-called fake news (fictional stories that are supposed to drive traffic and not spread the truth).

As part of the new initiative, Apple will support the News Literacy Project and Common Sense in the US and the Italy-based Osservatorio Permanente Giovani-Editori across Europe.

Lauren Kern, editor-in-chief of Apple News and former editor of New York Magazine, added that Apple News is committed to providing factual news from reliable publications:

“We’re excited that Apple is helping these important organizations train the next generation on how to find accurate, reliable information in an increasingly complex news landscape.”

Each of the three programs is described as independent and impartial, which is important in order not to accuse Apple of influencing or forcing certain points of view. Apple’s role in the initiative appears primarily to be to support the operation of the three media literacy programs (presumably with a financial donation), though the announcement is sparse on further details.

Retired journalist Walt Mossberg, now a board member of the News Literacy Project, described Apple’s commitment as the group’s greatest corporate gift in over a decade:

Grateful that @Apple announced support for the @newslitproject as part of its new initiative to promote student news literacy. Apple’s grant is the greatest corporate gift in our 11 year history and will enable us to reach more students and teachers. https://t.co/KmKXo0stxH

– Walt Mossberg (@waltmossberg) March 19, 2019

More from the NLP side of the story:

Through this initiative, the News Literacy Project receives a significant contribution and is continuously supported by Apple. This will allow us to expand our programs and resources – specifically Checkology®’s virtual classroom, our signature e-learning platform; The Sift, our free weekly newsletter for educators; and our newsroom-to-classroom program, which connects journalists and teachers who are registered to use Checkology Premium and are starting this year.

Another detail not mentioned in the announcement: Tim Cook has joined the board of the Osservatorio’s International Advisory Board.

Read the full press release below:

Apple partners with media literacy programs in the US and Europe PRESS RELEASE March 19, 2019

New initiative to encourage critical thinking and empower students to be better informed

Cupertino, California – Apple today announced a new initiative to support leading nonprofits in the US and Europe that offer bipartisan, independent media literacy programs. The News Literacy Project (NLP) and Common Sense in the US and the Osservatorio Permanente Giovani-Editori in Italy are each supported by Apple to advance their efforts to teach young people the critical thinking skills required in today’s digital age .

“News literacy is critical to maintaining a free press and thriving democracy, and we are proud to work with organizations at the forefront of this effort,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We were impressed by the important work done by the News Literacy Project, Common Sense and Osservatorio, which enables young people to be active and engaged citizens.”

“Apple News strives to deliver quality journalism from trusted sources,” said Lauren Kern, editor-in-chief of Apple News. “We’re excited that Apple is helping these important organizations train the next generation on how to find accurate, reliable information in an increasingly complex news landscape.”

“We are grateful for Apple’s commitment to combating misinformation and maintaining quality journalism,” said Alan C. Miller, Founder and CEO of NLP. “NLP is committed to equipping the next generation with the critical thinking skills to recognize the news and other information to trust and the tools to become informed and engaged participants in our country’s democracy. We welcome this timely initiative to realize our vision of seeing news literacy embedded in the American educational experience. “

“The lack of news literacy among young people is a growing problem for our country. Revelations about the manipulation of news and its impact on society have shed light on both the importance and scale of the problem, “said James P. Steyer, Founder and CEO of Common Sense. “We need to help our students not only search for legitimate news, but also think critically about the wider world of media and ideas. Apple shares our mission to raise a generation of children who will thrive as learners, leaders, and citizens in the digital age, and Common Sense is excited to be part of this important endeavor. “

“Our mission is to help young people develop critical thinking by comparing different sources of high quality information,” said Andrea Ceccherini, Founder and CEO of Osservatorio Permanente Giovani-Editori. “At a time when fake news is rampant, we can’t indulge the idea that third-party fact-checking services are the only way to gauge the reliability of news sources. We can exercise our own minds and be masters of our own destiny. Our goal is to educate more citizens and to increasingly open our society to a culture of civilized debate and confrontation, which is the basis of any healthy democracy. “

The News Literacy Project The News Literacy Project (NLP), a non-partisan national not-for-profit educational institution, empowers educators to equip middle and high school students with the skills they need to become intelligent, active consumers of news and other information and engaged , informed participants in our democracy. Since the launch of NLP’s unique educational platform, Checkology’s virtual classroom, in May 2016, more than 17,800 educators have registered for use in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, three U.S. territories and 104 other countries, and more than 124,000 students have registered. benefited from his teachings. Students have told NLP that because of what they have learned in Checkology, they have more confidence in their ability to identify and produce credible information, better appreciate the role of a free press in a democracy, and are more likely to become civic by, if they are entitled to vote or become politically active. NLP’s vision is to see messaging literacy – an important life skill – embedded in the American educational experience.

Common Sense Common Sense is the leading non-profit organization dedicated to helping children and families thrive in the digital age. Common Sense Education supports K-12 schools with everything educators need to empower the next generation of digital citizens. The organization’s innovative, award-winning Digital Citizenship curriculum prepares students for lifelong habits and skills, supports teachers with training and recognition, and engages families and communities with helpful tips and tools. To help young people navigate today’s news landscape with a keen and open mind, Common Sense aims to help high school students not only seek out legitimate news but also think critically about the wider world of media and ideas. The Common Sense Message Literacy Initiative provides timely content and resources for parents, educators and young people to improve young people’s messaging skills. Common Sense Digital Citizenship curriculum is taught by more than 700,000 educators in more than half of schools in the United States.

Osservatorio Permanente Giovani-Editori The Osservatorio Permanente Giovani-Editori is Italy’s leading independent citizen education organization with a focus on media literacy projects. For over 18 years, the Osservatorio’s mission has been to help today’s young people become tomorrow’s citizens, participate more in our democracy and develop critical thinking that makes them free. Osservatorio operates in the educational field by training high school teachers who then bring Osservatorio’s media literacy projects into their classrooms with the aim of increasing students’ curiosity, thirst for knowledge and critical thinking. By comparing different high quality news sources, students learn to distinguish between reliable journalism and fake news.

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