Spread of fake news prompts literacy efforts
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Alarmed by the proliferation of false content online, state lawmakers around the country are pushing schools to put more emphasis on teaching students how to tell fact from fiction.
Lawmakers in several states have introduced or passed bills calling on public school systems to do more to teach media literacy skills they say are critical to democracy.
The effort has been bipartisan but has received little attention despite successful legislation in Washington state, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Mexico.
Several more states are expected to consider such bills in the coming year, including Arizona, New York and Hawaii.
“I don’t think it’s a partisan issue to appreciate the importance of good information and the teaching of tools for navigating the information environment,” said Hans Zeiger, a Republican state senator in Washington who co-sponsored a bill that passed in his state earlier this year. “There is such a thing as an objective source versus other kinds of sources, and that’s an appropriate thing for schools to be teaching.”