A group of high school seniors in Arlington County, Virginia, are learning how to determine fact from fiction.
Wakefield High School teacher Patricia Hunt has stressed the importance of a free press in her U.S. and Virginia government class.
“'The people must know before they can act and there’s no educator to compare with the press' - Ida B. Wells,” Hunt told students in her classroom.
But in an era of "fake news" and "alternative facts," not all press is created equal.
Hunt's students said they are overwhelmed by the amount of information they see on Twitter, Instagram and other social media outlets.
"Because half of it’s probably lies and it’s hard to differentiate," senior Sarah Peck said.
A new program called Checkology has taught the students how to navigate through all of the misinformation.
“This is the life that they’re living. And so, this helps them make sense of their world," Hunt said.
Checkology is a visual learning platform in which veteran reporters explain how to verify news sources through interactive lessons.
“News literacy is really a survival skill in a digital world,” said Alan Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter.
Miller left the Los Angeles Times 10 years ago and started the News Literacy Project, which started Checkology. The Facebook Journalism Project kicked in funding for upgrades this year.
“So they can know what news and information they can trust, they can share and they can act on,” Miller said.
“And now, we're getting to the age where we can vote, so we kind of need to know what’s going on," Peck said.