Combatting Fake News in Asia: JMSC's News Literacy Initiative
In 2012, the JMSC began its international collaboration on news literacy education with the Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook University in the United States. Our goal was to jointly develop teaching materials and pedagogical methodologies that incorporate critical thinking skills suitable for the culture and media landscapes in different countries and regions around the world.
Since then, the JMSC has been serving as the main hub for the Asia Pacific, taking the leading role in organizing workshops and seminars to exchange ideas with like-minded educators, journalists, NGOs and students in the region for the last five years.
Our efforts have made an impact on more than 15,000 university and high school students in 10 countries who have been immersed in our materials through face-to-face teaching.
News Literacy Massive Open Online Course For The Public
Seeing the need for public education in critical thinking towards news, the JMSC pioneered online news literacy education through massive open online courses (MOOC) distributed through edX and Coursera.
The JMSC's two MOOC courses have provided education to 4,500 students from 145 countries. As of January 2017, the number of participants is still growing steadily with the ongoing course on Coursera. The MOOC courses have been mentioned in numerous media outlets, including Slate, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
Making Sense of News on edX
This course was offered in May 2015 and February 2016 in English with Chinese subtitles. More than 2,500 learners have completed the six-week course.
(See more at https://www.edx.org/course/making-sense-news-hkux-hku04x-0) During the course, students learned the following topics:
- * What makes news?The blurred lines between news, promotion and entertainment.
- * Why does news matter? Social sharing and the dynamics of the news cycles.
- * Who provides information? How to evaluate sources in news reports.
- * Where is the evidence? The process of verification.
- * When should we act? Recognizing our own biases.
- * How do we know what we know? Becoming an active news audience.
Making Sense of the News: News Literacy Lessons for Digital Citizens
This course started on January 9, 2017, and is open to enrollment throughout the year. The ongoing session currently has more than 2,000 active learners, while a similar number have signed up for future sessions. The course has also been selected for Coursera’s Education for Social Impact campaign, which started in mid-2017.
Subtitles for the course are available in Chinese and Spanish. Other languages such as Vietnamese, Russian and Polish will be included in 2017. (See more at https://www.coursera.org/learn/news-literacy.) During the course, students examine the following topics:
- * The power of information is now in the hands of consumers.
- * What makes journalism different from other types of information?
- * Where can we find trustworthy information? How to tell what’s fair and what’s biased.
- * How to apply news literacy concepts in real life.
- * Meeting the challenges of digital citizenship.
News Literacy Workshops and Seminars in Asia
About 60 journalism educators have been trained in our curriculum. Subsequently, some of the participants have become core members of our initiative and have contributed to improving the course materials.
Those educators come from Hong Kong, mainland China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, the Philippines, Russia, Poland, the United States and Australia.
Workshops in the region:
- What’s Wrong with Fake News? How Would News Literacy Help?” Journalism in the Age of “Fake News” seminar series, Hong Kong, October, 2017.
- "Ahead of the e-curve in verification education: An update from HKU’s Cyber News Verification Lab" Journalism in the Age of “Fake News” seminar series, Hong Kong, September, 2017.
"A Fulbrighter’s experience at the MIT Media Lab during the US presidential election" Journalism in the Age of “Fake News” seminar series, Hong Kong, September, 2017.
“HUMS1810 Making Sense of Journalism: News Literacy Lessons for Smart News Audience,” Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education, Hong Kong, August 2017
Summer Institute for News Literacy Fellows in Asia 2017, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, August 2017
- Institute for News Literacy Fellows in Asia 2015, Yangon, Myanmar.
- News Literacy Educators’ Conference, Hong Kong.
- Summer Institute for News Literacy Fellows in Asia 2014, Hong Kong.
- News Literacy Summer Institute for Teachers, New York.
- Summer Institute for News Literacy Fellows in Asia 2013, Hong Kong.
Project Leader of the Asia Pacific Digital Citizens Project and Assistant Professor of Practice
Researcher and Teaching Assistant
PhD Candidate, Researcher and Teaching Assistant
Ongoing Projects for News Literacy in Asia
Misinformation ecosystem mapping in Asia Pacific - Supported by research grant from Google News Lab
The project’s goal is to catalogue and analyse the misinformation and disinformation ecosystem in the Asia Pacific region. The set of reports will allow academics, media professionals, non-government organizations and government agencies obtain a better understanding of how digital misinformation and disinformation is being created and distributed and their impact on communities.
Cybernews Verification Lab
The Cyber News Verification Lab is a new project at the JMSC with the aim of bolstering traditional reporting and writing classes to focus on, and apply, verification of online sources. It collaborates with Meedan, a Google News Lab partner, and is piloting the company’s Check verification platform.
Making Sense of the News: News Literacy Lessons for Digital Citizens - MOOC on Coursera
The course has been ongoing since January 9th, 2017 and is currently open for enrollment. In addition, the course has been selected for Coursera's Education for Social Impact campaign starting in the middle of 2017.