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Fixes looks at solutions to social problems and why they work.
The article, “To Recognize Misinformation in Media, Teach a Generation While It’s Young,” featured Amulya Panakam, a high school student who recently contacted us when she wanted to take action so that students in Georgia would get better media literacy education.
The Instagram post looked strange to Amulya Panakam, a 16-year-old high school student who lives near Atlanta. In February, a friend showed her a sensational headline on her phone that declared, “Kim Jong Un is personally killing soldiers who have Covid-19!” Of course, the news wasn’t real. “I was immediately suspicious,” Ms. Panakam said. She searched online and found no media outlets reporting the fake story. But her friends had already shared it on social media.
Ms. Panakam was startled by how often students “grossly handle and spread misinformation without knowing it,” she said. Yet media literacy is not part of her school’s curriculum.
So Ms. Panakam contacted Media Literacy Now, a nonprofit organization based near Boston that works to spread media literacy education. With its help, she wrote to her state and local representatives to discuss introducing media literacy in schools.
Here’s how our Connecticut advocate was quoted:
Many young people say media literacy is invaluable. Mr. Stallworth’s students said they wished they had learned about the subject earlier. “Why are we waiting until they get to college?” Mr. Stallworth asked. “It makes more sense to introduce them much earlier.”