Democrats seek to bolster media literacy for students and veterans with two new bills
A trio of Democrats introduced two bicameral bills aimed at building the media skills of students and veterans by funding educational programs nationwide.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), a leading sponsor of the Senate bills, said Thursday that the effort “will help combat disinformation and disinformation campaigns that seek to manipulate perceptions and sow division”.
“These bills will provide students and veterans with the skills they need to make informed decisions about online content and protect themselves from exploitation,” Klobuchar said in a statement.
The bills, introduced with Sen. Michael Bennett (D-Colo.) and Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) in the House, would together provide $40 million to federal agencies to fund education programs aimed at to improve media literacy for Americans. students and veterans.
The Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy Act would provide $20 million over four years to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to create a grant program that supports digital citizenship and media literacy for students from kindergarten to 12th grade.
The grants would be available for local and state educational agencies, nonprofit organizations and public libraries to develop programs to improve media literacy skills for students.
The proposal is co-sponsored by Sens. Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (DR.I.).
The Veterans Online Information and Cybersecurity Empowerment (VOICE) Act would provide $20 million over three years to the Department of Veterans Affairs to administer a grant program aimed at teaching veterans media literacy skills. The program would also teach veterans cybersecurity best practices to identify misinformation and help them avoid scams and online hacking.