Media literacy

Poynter Institute’s MediaWise Announces International Expansion of Digital Media Education Program to Address Global Information Disorder

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (December 13, 2021) – When the Poynter Institute launched its MediaWise digital media education initiative in 2018, the non-partisan nonprofit set an ambitious goal. Teach 1 million middle and high school students how to better detect misleading or inaccurate information on the Internet. Today, almost four years later, MediaWise has reached 21 million people of all ages in the United States and continues to expand its list of strong educational programs.

With support from Meta, MediaWise announces a worldwide expansion of its online fact-checking training. The project will develop an international extension to address information disorders in three countries.

MediaWise will adapt its highly effective digital-focused training to slow the spread of disinformation online and help older people in Brazil, Spain and Turkey make informed decisions about the content they interact with and share on. social media platforms.

The program will offer personalized programs and a 10-day WhatsApp micro-learning course for each country to teach adults how to spot conspiracies, scams, hoaxes and fake news on the internet and social media.

“The MediaWise program has a proven track record of successfully connecting older Americans to trusted information and helping them detect misinformation online. We are excited to build on this partnership with Poynter to expand the program internationally so that more people around the world acquire key digital media literacy skills to help them make more informed decisions about what to read, trust and share, ”said Delphine. Reyre, Vice President, Global Political Campaigns and Programs at Meta.

Resident fact-checking partners and research institutes will help locate educational resources with real-life examples of misinformation. Personalities from trusted sources in each country will join an impressive roster of MediaWise ambassadors, including renowned journalists such as Lester Holt, Joan Lunden and Christiane Amanpour to guide users through each lesson, share their expertise and promote the exchange of information. ‘factual information.

Research studies conducted by universities in each country will follow to measure the effectiveness of the program in improving users’ ability to identify and consume information more responsibly, explain different types of disinformation, practice verification techniques facts and discuss misinformation with friends and family.

Participants will explore a variety of topics throughout the micro-learning course, such as the dangers of misinformation, warning signs for identifying bad actors online, understanding how verification and algorithms work, and more.

“Misinformation is not an isolated problem in the United States. In fact, democracies around the world are retreating thanks in part to viral lies, ”said Alex Mahadevan, MediaWise Program Manager. “With the support of Meta, we are excited to bring what we have learned overseas by instilling digital media literacy skills in households across America. “

The pilot will be launched in early 2022. For more information, visit


In Brazil, the program will be led by Projeto Comprova, a coalition of 33 media outlets designed to mitigate disinformation under the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji). Abraji is a non-profit institution dedicated to improving the quality of journalism and defending free speech in South America’s largest country.

“The partnership with Poynter’s MediaWise will allow Abraji to reach a key audience to fight disinformation in the 2022 election year and also to test a new training format,” said Marcelo Träsel, president of Abraji.

Boris Casoy and Lillian Witte Fibe, two of Brazil’s most trusted journalists who have spent their careers in print and digital media, television and radio, will be ambassadors for the program.


In Spain, MediaWise will partner with Newtral to localize the WhatsApp course. Madrid-based Newtral is a media startup for journalism, technology, and data verification and a signatory to Poynter’s International Fact-Checking Network. The effectiveness of the program will be assessed by the Universidad de Navarra, a consolidated research center with several national and transnational projects on digital communication trends and social impacts of topics such as digital journalism, social media, advertising interactive and emerging media business models.

“To fight disinformation, we need to better understand the behavior of citizens when faced with questionable information in messaging applications,” said Ramón Salaverría, full professor of journalism at the University of Navarre. “This research will allow us to know to what extent training in media literacy can help them develop skills to detect bogus content.”

The Spanish ambassadors will be journalist and political analyst Lucía Mendez and audiovisual journalist Ana Pastor.

“Journalism has always been about providing confirmed, contrasting and reliable information. The technological revolution has allowed disinformation and lies to slip through the backdoor of journalism. And besides, disguised as journalism, ”said Lucía Mendez, editor-in-chief of EL MUNDO and columnist. “Citizens must know how to distinguish and discriminate. We journalists must take responsibility for helping them in the task of distinguishing what is true journalism from what is not.


Istanbul Bilgi University will oversee fact-checking efforts and research study in Turkey. The higher education institution was established in 1996 on the principle of learning not for school, but for life. With over 150 programs for associate, undergraduate and graduate students, the university strives to find ways to enlighten people, especially vulnerable parts of the population, on how to distinguish the real false.

“In a rapidly changing world, what really matters is being a part of the change. Education is probably the best, if not the only proven method of being on the safe side, ”said Professor Halil Nalçaoğlu, Dean and Faculty of Communication at Istanbul Bilgi University.

Turkish journalist, presenter and writer İsmail Küçükkaya will help raise awareness and support digital media education as an ambassador for the program.

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About the Poynter Institute

The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global leader in journalism education and a center of strategy that represents uncompromising excellence in 21st century journalism, media and public discourse. Poynter professors give seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, and in newsrooms, conferences, and organizations around the world. Its e-learning division, News University, offers the world’s largest online journalism program, with hundreds of interactive courses and tens of thousands of registered international users. The Institute’s website provides 24-hour coverage on media, ethics, technology and the information world. Poynter is home to the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership, the Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact, the International Fact-Checking Network and MediaWise, a digital information education project for young people, first-time voters and the elderly. . The world’s best journalists and media innovators rely on Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentary filmmakers and broadcasters. This work educates the public about journalism, the media, the First Amendment, and discourse in the service of democracy and the public good. Learn more at

About MediaWise

MediaWise is a non-partisan, non-profit digital media education initiative led by the Poynter Institute: its mission is to teach Americans of all ages how to sort fact from fiction online. MediaWise content has been viewed over 57 million times since the project began in 2018. The MediaWise program teaches people through in-person and virtual training events, online educational videos, review content. facts reported by the MediaWise Teen Fact-Checking Network, and its MediaWise Ambassador program – a group of leading journalists and influencers who help promote the MediaWise mission. In 2020, Poynter launched the MediaWise Voter Project (# MVP2020) to teach new voters how to find reliable U.S. presidential election information online, a new initiative backed by Facebook. MediaWise for Seniors was announced in June 2020 to provide MediaWise advice to people 50 and older ahead of the general election. MediaWise for Seniors has an AARP-funded program to provide resources to their members and a Facebook-funded program providing virtual training and a social media awareness campaign to the elderly population. The MediaWise Foundation was established with support from as part of the Google News Initiative. Learn more at

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