12th in a 2022 Series*
Local newspapers are in a prime spot to improve the news literacy of their communities. Newspapers that commit to becoming THE Community Forum also know news literacy is one of three legs that support their sustainable future with renewed purpose and vigor. The others are strengthening trust in local journalism and helping communities solve key problems and issues. The News Literacy Project and The E.W. Scripps Co. declared that Jan. 24-28 is National News Literacy Week. This year’s theme is “Stop the flood of misinformation … care before you share.” Today’s The Wall Street Journal includes a related full-page message that states: “Mindlessly sharing information can be harmful to others and our society. Remember to check your sources and verify facts before sharing information.” That’s a perfect Community Forum topic that blends news literacy and trust in newspapers, while also demonstrating why high-quality and Relevant journalism is the best way to keep the public well-informed so they can make fact-based decisions to improve their lives — and democracy. The News Literacy Project does excellent work. Newspapers should consider partnering with the group to advance local news literacy. The closer: This week is the third annual celebration and it comes complete with several recommended actions. Step back for a second: Improving news literacy isn’t a one-and-down exercise. Rather, it should be a daily commitment sharpened by the urgency to stop toxic misinformation. Be THE Community Forum on this mission. Go ahead and start this week.
–-Tom Silvestri, Executive Director, The Relevance Project
*ABOUT THE SERIES: Our goal is to share a Relevant Point of the Day (RPD) each weekday throughout 2022. Our target is at least 222. Thank you for supporting The Relevance Project. Your success is our focus.