May 19, 2020

The Peace Corps Needs a Media Literacy Program

By Monika Bochert

Last month, a hoax circulated online that people wearing shoes indoors led to a spike in coronavirus cases in Italy. Worldwide, rapidly spreading misinformation and disinformation about COVID-19 is negatively affecting people’s behaviors towards the virus. Action must be taken to curb the spread of false information on a global stage, and the Peace Corps has the capacity to do it.

Media literacy, or the ability to critically evaluate media, is an integral tool that can be used to combat false information online. Despite the need for this skill to discern COVID-19 misinformation and disinformation, there is no formal program geared toward teaching digital skills and media literacy internationally. We need to implement a program to stymie the spread of general misinformation and provide intellectual tools to help discern what is real and what is fake in order to protect public health, trust, and safety.

Read the full article in Inkstick.

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