Boosting media literacy in Europe’s public libraries: PL2030 partnership with NewsGuard

‘NewsGuard is basically an attempt to spread media literacy, have people start asking themselves critical questions about the things they’re seeing online and ultimately fight disinformation and stop the spread of false news.’
Sarah Brandt, Vice President, NewsGuard.

Public Libraries 2030 are partnering with NewsGuard to help introduce their media literacy tool to European libraries. Beginning in France, Germany and Italy, we are encouraging libraries to add this vital tool to their internet browsers and to use the NewsGuard ratings to support their work around media literacy.

NewsGuard was launched in the US in March 2018, by journalists and media entrepreneurs Steven Brill and Gordon Crovitz. Brill is the founder of the monthly magazine The American Lawyer, as well as the cable channel Court TV. Crovitz is a former publisher of The Wall Street Journal. Their diverse group of trained journalists have spent their careers dedicated to the profession and use apolitical, basic criteria of journalistic practice to rate the news sites.

A Gallup study released in early 2019, shows that NewsGuard has been effective in ‘countering false information, misinformation, and disinformation’ with its ratings of news websites. In fact, 91% of those surveyed found NewsGuard Nutrition Labels helpful, and 83% of respondents said that they want social media sites and search engines to integrate NewsGuard ratings and reviews into their news feeds and search results.

NewsGuard also carries out its own feedback surveys with its partner libraries. In their most recent survey, 90% of library staff thought that NewsGuard helps them to better understand news websites, and 80% said that it helps their patrons to do the same.

To find out how to bring NewsGuard to your library, visit their libraries page.

‘With so much misinformation and fake news online, it is increasingly important for students and adults to be more discerning about the news they encounter on social media and in their search engines.

 

NewsGuard is a free tool for assessing online sources and teaching children and adults which websites they can trust and which are unreliable sources.

 

NewsGuard’s strength is that it does not censor or block sites but gives the option to users of an unobtrusive alert via an icon that the site has been assessed by Newsguard.  Users can then see at a glance if the site is reliable or not and make their own judgements about how they ‘take’ the information on that site.

 

It is easy to install by downloading a browser extension for Chrome, Edge, Firefox or Safari from their website. Once installed, NewsGuard’s red and green icons appear next to headlines in social media feeds and search results. Hovering over the icon reveals a short description of the website and a link to access the full ‘Nutrition Label’ review of the site.

 

Each website is rated by experienced journalists using nine standards of credibility and transparency. The Nutrition Label review explains each rating and discusses the site’s ownership, financing, content, credibility, transparency and history.’

Stella Thebridge
Principal Librarian: Schools and reading
Warwickshire Library Service