Eagle PR launched the “Know Your Facts” campaign to create awareness among college students for news literacy and share resources offered by The News Literacy Project.
According to the National Literacy Project, 59% of Americans say it is hard to identify false information, intentionally misleading and inaccurate stories portrayed as truth on social media, and 63% of people worldwide agree that the average person cannot tell good journalism from rumors or falsehoods. A group of Oklahoma Christian University students are working in February and March to help counter the spread of misinformation amongst students on campus.
During the campaign, Eagle PR students are encouraging their peers to ask questions about news seen online, verify sources of information and share tips for being more news literate, especially with resources from the nonprofit, nonpartisan News Literacy Project. The OC campaign is called “Know Your Facts” because so many students struggle to discern credible information and reject false information. The campaign has three objectives that follow the slogan, which includes “ask questions, verify stories and share knowledge.”
OC’s Eagle PR is a student-led public relations firm on campus. In addition to increasing awareness, they hope to inspire peers to share among their networks how to question things presented online, and how to verify sources, thus encouraging others to be more cautious when reading news online. Eagle PR students also hope to mobilize OC students to share resources among their networks of friends so that more young adults know about resources available from the NLP. These resources include the mobile app, Informable; RumorGaurd, a website created to help fact check headlines and stories and Checkology, a free educational e-learning platform.
Eagle PR invites the community to join the campaign by offering multiple events that will take place on campus. Each event will give students an opportunity to download the Informable app, and start practicing the discernment of credible information. The Informable app helps students practice spotting ads, distinguish news from opinion and identify fact-based statements.
First, a booth will be set up in The Branch and The Brew throughout the week for students to download Informable and post about news literacy on social media. On these days, students can also learn more about news literacy and the Eagle PR campaign by playing interactive games for the chance to win prizes.
Students may also participate in the campaign virtually by viewing the campaign’s website and social media accounts to stay updated with more information and participation in drawings. The campaign is using the Instagram account “@knowyourfacts.oc,” the Twitter account “@knowyourfacts.oc” and the TikTok “knowyourfacts.oc.” During the last week of the campaign, Eagle PR is challenging students to take one of the quizzes on the mobile app and tag one of the campaign accounts on social media with the name of their social club. Each student that does will contribute to the chance of their club receiving a free pizza party at their next club meeting.
The Eagle PR team believes the effort to stop misinformation comes with the ability to evaluate online content. According to NLP, only a minority of adults could correctly classify opinion and factual statements presented to them. Nearly all high school students surveyed did not consider the validity of a source. NLP believes a well-informed public is crucial to a successful democratic society. Therefore, it is even more important to push back against misinformation and equip young adults to become more news literate.
Ciana Fryar, Eagle PR’s co-director, has been leading the team on social media and messaging.
“It has been quite fascinating to see the campaign really flourish on social media, especially on Instagram,” she said. “The social media team, which includes Hope Tugman and Sophie Mae Smith and I, has been working hard to share resources from the News Literacy Project with our fellow peers. I really do think that the messages we post are beneficial, as several students have been participating in the online competition and resharing our posts.”
Eagle PR’s Co-Director Sydney Turner is leading the team through the events on campus.
“The booths and events we have been able to hold have led me to see the lack of knowledge of news literacy, myself included,” Turner said. “The apps and other resources have intrigued many OC students, and I have heard so many new perspectives on how to verify truth in the news.”
About Oklahoma Christian University
Oklahoma Christian University is ranked as one of the best universities in the western United States by The Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report. The school’s mission is to transform lives for Christian faith, scholarship and service. For more information, visit www.oc.edu.