Apple Launches Media Literacy Initiative, Pledges Support to Education...

Media Literacy

Apple Launches Media Literacy Initiative, Pledges Support to Education Nonprofits

By Emily Tate Sullivan     Mar 19, 2019

Apple Launches Media Literacy Initiative, Pledges Support to Education Nonprofits

As misinformation continues to spread, a growing number of organizations are jumping in to help young people develop critical thinking skills, distinguish fact from fiction and become smarter consumers of the news. Apple elevated three groups—the News Literacy Project, Common Sense and Italy’s Osservatorio Permanente Giovani-Editori—on Tuesday when the company announced a new initiative to support the nonprofits’ media literacy programs.

“News literacy is vital to sustaining a free press and thriving democracy, and we are proud to be collaborating with organizations on the front lines of this effort,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement, adding that he’s “been impressed by the important work being done” by the three organizations Apple selected to support.

Exactly what support Apple will be providing is unclear. A spokesperson for the company said she could not provide information beyond what was included in the press release, which neither specified dollar amounts nor confirmed that the support would be financial.

In an email to EdSurge, Alan Miller, founder and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based News Literacy Project, offered some context. “Apple is still working out the details for how it will support each organization,” he said. “What I can say at this point is that the support will be significant and ongoing and will represent the largest corporate contribution in NLP’s 11-year history.”

Apple’s pledged support comes just weeks after the Knight Foundation, which invests in journalism, cities and the arts, provided a $5 million grant to help the News Literacy Project expand its programs, which include Checkology, an online, interactive course that covers the role of the press and the various types of news that exist; NewsLitCamps, which are in-person professional development experiences to help educators identify bias and find credible news sources; and the Sift, a free weekly newsletter.

In a statement on NLP’s website, Miller said Apple’s contributions will help his nonprofit work toward a major milestone slated for 2022—to have more than 20,000 practitioners teaching news literacy skills to more than 3 million middle and high school students each year.

A spokesperson for Common Sense, a nonprofit that helps families navigate media and digital technology, also declined to provide specifics about how Apple will be helping the organization, but said “we’re excited to partner with them to build a meaningful news literacy program.”

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