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La Mesa librarian teaches news literacy

Posted at 10:57 PM, Jan 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-25 01:57:10-05

LA MESA, Calif. (KGTV) — As ABC10 News continues coverage of National News Literacy Week, a La Mesa librarian is on a mission to help students get up to speed with news literacy. This comes as more and more San Diegans get their news from social media.

We've all heard the myth that everything we read online must be true. And it's impacting the way we consume news. So La Mesa librarian Denise Stutzman is giving local students a lesson they don't usually get in the classroom.

"I’ll give them a presentation about what news literacy is, why it’s important, and what entails really looking behind a story or a post they’re seeing on social media," said Stutzman. "News literacy is what helps us become effective contributors to our democracy. News literacy helps us know how the world is working."

And it's an important lesson to teach. Researchers at MIT say people are 70% more likely to retweet a false story than a true one. So misinformation tends to spread six times faster than real news.

Stutzman says fighting misinformation starts with asking questions.

"Are we seeing news, are we seeing an opinion piece? A lot of advertising now looks like a news article," said Stutzman.

You can use tools online to make sure you're getting reliable information.

"Politico is a great source, really reliable. They’re non-partisan," said Stutzman. "Most common for even non-traditional news sources is snopes.com"

She says it's a crucial message for all ages, not just the students she works with.