- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The American Federation of Teachers wants its educators to play a bigger role in sorting fact from fiction in the news that students see online.

The union on Tuesday said it is partnering with NewsGuard, a digital tool ranking news sources, to make its ratings widely available to AFT’s 1.7 million members and the tens of millions of students they serve.

Through a new licensing agreement with NewsGuard, schoolteachers will have free access to its “traffic light” news ratings and “Nutrition Label” reviews. AFT president Randi Weingarten said the effort is part of its work focused on middle school, high school and post-secondary students.

“This historic deal will not only help us steer clear of increasingly fetid waters — it will provide a valuable lesson in media literacy and a discussion point for teachers in class on what can, and can’t, be trusted,” Ms. Weingarten said in a statement. 

While she hailed NewsGuard as a “beacon for clarity,” the conservative Media Research Center said it is not to be trusted. 

MRC said earlier this month that NewsGuard “has quickly gained a reputation for falsely attacking conservative sites while promoting biased left-wing sites as objective.”

MRC has said NewsGuard rates liberal news outlets 27 points higher on a 100 point scale than right-leaning news outlets.

NewsGuard has also partnered with the World Health Organization to focus on misinformation regarding COVID-19 and vaccines. On its website, NewsGuard’s list of COVID-19 misinformation “super-spreaders” includes the Facebook page of the late conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh and others who linked to Mr. Limbaugh’s website, including “Colorado for Donald Trump 2020” which was not affiliated with the former president’s campaign.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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