On Friday, Reuters hosted a Media Literacy Week event with the National Association for Media Literacy (NAMLE), bringing together students, educators, researchers and journalists to discuss the importance of media literacy in shaping how students can actively participate in the democratic process of voting and lessons learned from the 2018 midterm elections.
Reuters President and Editor-in-Chief Stephen J. Adler gave the welcome remarks, saying “media literacy couldn’t be more important than it is today – when falsehoods masquerade as facts every day, and even some people in power take the view that everyone is entitled to their own facts.”
Kicking off the event was a panel titled ‘2018 U.S. Midterms—What Did We Learn?,’ moderated by Reuters U.S. Managing Editor of Reuters.com Leela de Kretser. The panelists discussed the importance of information, specifically factual information, to make informed decisions and the role that social media played in encouraging young people to vote in the recent 2018 midterm election. Leela was joined by Reuters Editor-in-Charge David Gaffan, the New School Professor Liesl Schillinger, Wall Street Journal Social Media/Off-Platform Editor Patrick Hedlund, and Reuters Producer Stephanie Brumsey.
Next, first time voters in the 2018 midterm election took the stage to discuss youth engagement in politics, the importance of voting and how the use of the media as a platform to make student voices heard. NAMLE Executive Director Michelle Ciulla Lipkin was joined by senior at Hofstra Universit, Sarah Baum, seniors from Lankenau Environmental Science Magnet High School Jordan Gilchrist and Qhidir Rashid and Livingston High School senior Isabella Gonzalez.
A third panel discussed the 22x20 Initiative, a movement set to encourage the 22 million teens who will turn 18 by the 2020 election to vote. Catherine Burgess, Operations Manager at the ‘Learning About Multimedia Project’ (LAMP), led an exercise that asked students to create memes to raise awareness about a political issue.
Finally, attendees participated in an interactive fact-checking session lead by Katy Byron, editor & MediaWise program manager.
[Reuters Press Blog]
Heather.Carpenter @ tr.com