Turnitin Partners with NewsGuard to Offer Students and Teachers its Media Literacy Tools
Turnitin and NewsGuard today announce a partnership that will help many million students and teachers spot and avoid misinformation, improve their research abilities, and develop critical media literacy skills. Turnitin users now have free access to NewsGuard’s browser extension and mobile apps, enabling them to read NewsGuard’s credibility ratings and detailed “Nutrition Label” reviews that provide background and context about the reliability of online sources.
“Now more than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic it is critical that students and educators can rely on accurate information from their sources,” said Valerie Schreiner, Chief Product Officer at Turnitin. “Turnitin has always been committed to promoting integrity in research and writing. By working with NewsGuard, we now deepen that commitment by also offering our students and teachers a tool to help evaluate the integrity of the sources they are using. Our services are a perfect match.”
Turnitin’s products are used by over 34 million students in over 15,000 secondary and higher education institutions in 140 countries to support academic integrity, to check for text similarity, to verify authorship, and to support teachers and students in developing original thinking skills. Those original research and writing skills include not only how to properly use and cite works, but also how to evaluate the credibility of sources.
“We, too, see this as a perfect match,” said Gordon Crovitz, co-CEO of NewsGuard. “From the start, our mission has been to help people tell the difference between trustworthy sources and the many online sources that have hidden agendas, publish misinformation, or exist to promote hoaxes. We have heard from many teachers how valuable NewsGuard has been to help students in their research and writing find sources that publish with accuracy and integrity and to stay away from the others. To be able to provide that information to Turnitin’s millions of students and teachers is a tremendously important milestone in advancing that mission.”
“NewsGuard has helped my students become more aware of what they’re ingesting,” said Turnitin and NewsGuard user Lisa LaBrake, English Teacher at Sweet Home Senior High School in Amherst, New York. “Their Nutrition Labels have prompted valuable discussion and questions about the agenda of different sources.”
NewsGuard’s experienced journalists have reviewed the more than 4,000 news and information websites that account for 95 percent of online engagement, assessing the credibility and transparency of each source using nine apolitical criteria of journalistic practice. With the extension installed, NewsGuard’s red and green icons indicating a source’s general trustworthiness appear next to links in search results and social media feeds. By hovering over each icon, students can read NewsGuard’s Nutrition Label for the source, which provides a detailed explanation of the source’s background, standards, and its adherence to or violation of NewsGuard’s nine criteria.
NewsGuard recently temporarily removed the paywall for its browser extension, which costs $2.95 per month, in response to the “Infodemic” of misinformation that has proliferated in tandem with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. To use the tool for free now until July 1, 2020 visit https://www.newsguardtech.com/turnitin/. After July 1, schools and universities that use Turnitin will have free access codes allowing students and faculty to continue using NewsGuard at no cost until the end of 2020, with the option to extend free access until the end of the school year in 2021.
“When we began charging for our browser extension earlier this year, our inboxes were flooded with messages from teachers and librarians expressing how valuable NewsGuard’s ratings and reviews had been to their students and patrons,” said Steven Brill, co-CEO of NewsGuard. “We are delighted that this partnership with Turnitin will enable many of those students to continue using NewsGuard as an educational tool.”
Librarians and teachers worldwide have already embraced NewsGuard as a media literacy resource for teaching research skills. More than 700 public libraries globally – from the Los Angeles Public Library to the Milan Library system in Italy – use NewsGuard’s browser extension on the computers they make available to patrons. NewsGuard’s news literacy lesson plans and other materials will also be supplied to schools using Turnitin.
“Media literacy skills are essential to a healthy democracy, but research shows us that students worldwide are lacking in these abilities,” said Sarah Brandt, Vice President of News Literacy Programs at NewsGuard. “By teaching students early how to assess the reliability of sources, and spot those that might be trying to deceive them, we can go a long way toward maintaining trust in media, institutions, and one another.”
To learn more about the partnership, visit this page, which contains free resources to help educators incorporate media literacy lessons into their classes, including Turnitin’s Source Credibility Packet and NewsGuard’s COVID-19 Media Literacy Teacher Packet.