Stony Brook University and NewsGuard Team Up for News Literacy Initiative
(November 8, 2018) NewsGuard and the School of Journalism at Stony Brook University have entered into an agreement to advance educational and career opportunities for students while using NewsGuard’s methodologies in an academic setting.
NewsGuard, which uses trained journalists to rate and supply Nutrition Label reviews for thousands of news and information websites, has provided the Center for News Literacy in the School of Journalism at Stony Brook University with proprietary use of its materials including its browser extension for academic use, and will provide internship opportunities for students enrolled in News Literacy classes. Students will use NewsGuard, along with critical thinking skills developed in the class, to judge the reliability and credibility of specific news sources and news sites.
As part of the agreement, students will be able to compare their assessments with those of professional raters and have access to the criteria and judgment that goes into the final decision. Instructors will periodically share with NewsGuard their assessment of the effectiveness of the materials as a News Literacy Tool and a News Literacy teaching tool.
NewsGuard was founded by Gordon Crovitz, former publisher of The Wall Street Journal and executive vice president of Dow Jones, and Steven Brill, founder of Court TV and The American Lawyer Magazine. The company recently launched its free browser plugin for Google Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge and Firefox.
“We are teaming up with K-12 schools and educator organizations to provide free access to NewsGuard for use in the classroom and in school libraries,” said Sarah Brandt, Vice President of News Literacy Outreach for NewsGuard. “We’re thrilled to be working with the School of Journalism at Stony Brook as a university partner, and we look forward to incorporating the expertise of its Center for News Literacy into these efforts.”
The two-year agreement adds Stony Brook to an informal network of schools and public libraries that have installed the NewsGuard application.
In the past decade, the center’s News Literacy curriculum has been taught to more than 10,000 students at Stony Brook across all academic disciplines, at more than two dozen other U.S. universities, and in 10 countries.
With the launch of its browser extension, NewsGuard will make available before the U.S. mid-term elections ratings and “Nutrition Label” write-ups for websites that account for 98 percent of the news and information shared online in the U.S.
When browsing the web, users will see NewsGuard’s green or red icon appear next to headlines in a Facebook or Twitter feed, a Bing or Google search, or on a news or information website itself. By hovering over the icon, users will see a summary write-up and can click to read the full Nutrition Label, which describes the background of the site and, by analyzing its adherence to nine specific journalism standards, fully explains why the site received a red or green label.
In addition to providing materials to the Center for News Literacy, NewsGuard also will offer internship opportunities to journalism students, recruit recent journalism graduates to work for the organization and provide an annual $750 award to a student who excels in News Literacy.
NewsGuard will also be working closely with Michael Spikes, director of the Digital Resource Center at Stony Brook University’s Center for News Literacy, to develop a News Literacy guide for educators and librarians who wish to incorporate the NewsGuard extension into their lessons. This collaborative effort will showcase the use of the extension in conjunction with Stony Brook’s News Literacy curriculum as a research and media literacy tool to be used in schools and libraries across the country.
Launched in March 2018 by media entrepreneur Steven Brill and former Wall Street Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz, NewsGuard provides credibility ratings and detailed “Nutrition Labels,” conducted by trained analysts with diverse backgrounds based on nine journalistic criteria, for thousands of news and information websites. NewsGuard’s ratings are available through NewsGuard’s browser extension for Chrome, Safari, Edge and Firefox browsers and are displayed next to links in users’ search engine results and social media feeds. NewsGuard’s ratings can be licensed by platforms that wish to make NewsGuard’s ratings available to their users. For more information: www.newsguardtech.com.
About the School of Journalism at Stony Brook University:
Established in 2006, Stony Brook’s School of Journalism offers one of the most comprehensive, hands-on journalism programs in the country, and is the only undergraduate journalism school in the State University of New York public higher education system. In addition to its academic program, the school oversees two centers: The Center for News Literacy and The Marie Colvin Center for International Reporting. The School of Journalism is also the founding home of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. For more information: www.stonybrook.edu/journalism.