By Art Moore(WND NEWSCENTER) The nation’s second largest teacher’s union is partnering with the left-leaning media watchdog Newsguard to combat “misinformation” and “disinformation” on the internet.
The American Federation of Teachers said in a statement it will provide its 1.7 million members with access to the “news literacy tool” NewsGuard “to protect and champion legitimate journalism and fact-based reporting.”
The teachers will in turn be able to give free access to Newsguard’s browser extension to their students in an effort to “help educators and their students navigate a sea of online disinformation.”
NewsGuard evaluates news sources to “fight misinformation and teach media literacy,” rating them on a scale of 0-100 according to how “trustworthy” the watchdog’s “trained journalists” judge them to be.
AFT President Randi Weingarten said the union is “constantly trying to help our students, particularly our middle, high school and postsecondary students, separate fact from fiction, as we help them develop their critical-thinking and analytical skills.”
NewsGuard’s services, she said, provide “a beacon of clarity to expose the dark depths of the internet.”
She said Newsguard will alert students and educators to “dubious outlets.”
Mark Hemingway, who writes for RealClearInvestigations, alluded in a tweet to the criticism that Newsguard reflects the establishment media’s left-leaning political bias.
“Ah, I see. Newsguard protects against misinformation by using ‘trained journalists’! Like every other fact-checking service Newsguard is deeply flawed and often a source of misinfo itself. The crisis in American education is really about failing to teach critical thinking,” he wrote.
A Media Research Center study found that Newsguard rates left-wing outlets 27 points higher on average for trust than news organizations on the right. Left-wing outlets saw an average rating of 93% and right-wing outlets received 66%.
Newsguard co-founder Steven Brill said the service is used by more than 800 public libraries and “dozens of public schools and universities, as well as independent schools.”
“Now, with the AFT arranging for all of its member-educators to have free access to NewsGuard — at a time when misinformation is such a growing threat to public health and our democracy — millions more of America’s students will also be ‘NewsGuarding’ it,” he said. “Everyone should appreciate the AFT’s leadership.”