Hanover students learn the importance of news literacy

Posted at 9:11 AM, Jan 27, 2021

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- Every day, students are bombarded with information on social media. Some of it truth, some of it rumor, hoaxes, and misinformation.

The E.W. Scripps Company has partnered with the News Literacy Project in an effort to help students and teachers find the resources they need to be smart, active consumers of news and information.

For Hanover High School journalism teacher Brian Capaldo, nothing is better than seeing his students understand how important it is to get the facts right.

"We do several types of projects at tv99. We're not solely just news projects, but when we do go into our news segment, one of the things we talk about is news literacy," Capaldo said. "Just the importance of making sure the information that you're conveying in your story is vetted and accurate."

The stories they produce involve researching and vetting information they find online.

"You're sharing information with the public and you really want to make sure everyone has the right idea of the message you're trying to get out," senior Ruthie Weeks said.

One thing they learned quickly in researching past stories, is to be careful not to fall for biased or misleading information.

"A lot of the times you have attention-grabbing or click-bait headlines and so I think it's really important to dive into the story," Weeks said. "See what the real issue at hand is and what they're trying to share with their audience."

According to the News Literacy Project, truth, evidence, and facts compete for attention alongside rumors, viral hoaxes, conspiracy theories, and disinformation.

"We definitely make sure those guys are aware that there are some pitfalls to social media. Both emotionally and psychologically in the information, you consume," Capaldo said.

Building a story on a topic of importance in their community and filling it with facts is Building Better Minds.

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