Social Media

April 2017


President's Message 

Dear Friends of NLP,

As we did with many of the steps in NLP’s journey, we took a leap of faith when we tied our future to the creation of an online platform. We did so with an abiding belief: If we built it, they would come.

Our faith has been rewarded by the ever-growing global demand by teachers for the checkology® virtual classroom. As many as 5,700 educators who teach more than 870,000 students in every state in the U.S. and 51 other countries have registered to use the platform, making NLP the largest provider of news literacy education in the world.

NLP News highlights the explosive growth of the virtual classroom and describes the innovative pro bono campaign that J. Walter Thompson New York has created for us.

Our Spotlight focuses on the high-profile campaign we are developing with Facebook that will give millions of its engaged users the tools to determine what news and information to trust and share.

Our Profile celebrates the vital contributions of the presidents of two foundations that have been NLP’s most generous funders. Julie Sandorf of the Charles H. Revson Foundation and David Hiller of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation have been instrumental in providing us with the resources and guidance that enable us to serve ever more teachers and students worldwide.

We are also indebted to those of you who have contributed to our success — by supporting us financially, or by telling educators about our programs, or by simply raising awareness about the importance of news literacy. To those who remain on the sidelines, we invite you to learn more about us and help us build capacity at this crucial time for our country and the world.

Bound by our commitments to give facts a fighting chance and to strengthen the grass roots of democracy, we continue to dream big. This is our moment. Together, let’s make the most of it.

All the best,


Alan C. Miller









Watch Craig Silverman

BuzzFeed’s media editor — an authority on hoaxes, rumors and other types of misinformation — joined NLP on March 22 for a Virtual Visit, co-sponsored by Facing History and Ourselves and broadcast to schools participating in the spring pilot of the checkology® Premium platform. Check out this excerpt from his remarks.





NLP News

Exploding Demand for the Virtual Classroom, An Innovative Ad Campaign and a Special Grant Renewal 

George Jackson Academy students (from left) Kalden Lama, Osric King and Cameron Joyner participated last month in Time For Kids’ first News Literacy Boot Camp, a live webinar co-hosted by NLP’s New York program manager, Damaso Reyes, and featuring a lesson from the checkology® virtual classroom. Photo by Damaso Reyes

    Worldwide demand for our checkology® virtual classroom has grown at a remarkable pace.

It has been almost a year since the platform was launched, and as many as 5,700 educators who teach more than 870,000 students throughout the U.S. and in 51 other countries have registered to use it. Every week during our current spring pilot, we’re adding scores of educators who teach thousands of students. You can see the reach of the platform on our interactive map.

We continue to exceed our goals even as we revise them upward. When we released the virtual classroom last May, we aspired to see it used in all 50 states, with a potential reach of 100,000 students, by the end of 2017. We doubled that target number of students at the very beginning of this year. We now believe that the number will exceed 1 million by December, if not well before.

    On April 10, we unveiled a six-month public service advertising campaign developed by J. Walter Thompson New York. JWT approached us earlier this year with an offer to create a pro bono campaign to promote the importance of news literacy, especially among young people. The result — featuring the hashtag #SeeAlltheAngles — includes print and digital ads, a branded and password-protected Headline Maker app, a downloadable keyboard and printable posters. These ads are being placed with major news outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, Fox News and AOL. All media space has been donated by Kargo, a mobile advertising agency, and partners of JWT.

    Finally, the David and Katherine Moore Family Foundation has renewed its $35,000 grant to support NLP. The late David Moore, a grandson of Joseph Pulitzer, was one of NLP’s first funders in 2009 and was an engaged member of our New York advisory committee. We are grateful that Katherine, David’s widow, has maintained this meaningful commitment.

NLP in the News

•     Our checkology® virtual classroom was featured in a front-page article in The Philadelphia Inquirer and in a piece on the KidsPost page in The Washington Post.

•     NLP’s programs and resources are among the “new weapons” that educators are deploying to teach their students how to fight against misinformation in the digital age, Madeline Holcombe reported on
•     #SeeAlltheAngles, the distinctive public service advertising campaign developed for NLP by J. Walter Thompson New York, was the subject of articles in both Advertising Age and Adweek, the leading sources of news about the marketing and media industries. Chicago Public Square also gave a nod to NLP’s latest effort to fight fake news.

For more media mentions of NLP, go to NLP in the News on our website.

NLP Spotlight

NLP Teams Up With Facebook to Advance News Literacy

Mark D’Arcy (right), chief creative officer at the Facebook Creative Shop, pitched concepts to NLP's Darragh Worland, Alan Miller and other participants during a March 30 meeting about the public service advertising campaign. Photo by Damaso Reyes

In the aftermath of the November election and the disclosures about the prevalence of “fake news” on its platform, Facebook came to the News Literacy Project with an intriguing invitation: to collaborate on a high-profile public service advertising (PSA) campaign that would give millions of Facebook’s engaged users the tools to determine what news and information to trust and share.

This represents an opportunity for NLP to reach a far larger and wider audience in collaboration with the world’s biggest social media company

Campbell Brown, a former NBC News correspondent and CNN anchor who is now Facebook’s head of news partnerships, said that the company was impressed by the track record of NLP President Alan Miller — and of NLP itself — as a national news literacy leader.

“Alan is a passionate ambassador for news literacy,” Brown said. “His experience and expertise are highly respected throughout both Facebook and the news industry, and we believed he and his team would be invaluable partners for this important effort to support informed communities. We’re excited about what we’re creating together.”

The collaboration was announced in January, and for the past three months, NLP has been working closely with top-notch copy writers, analysts and designers from Facebook’s Creative Shop. The campaign is expected to launch later this year.

Unlike NLP’s current programs, which are designed for students in grades 6 through 12, these PSAs will be aimed at the general population. They will target a core audience of adults over the age of 40 who are heavy consumers of online content and who have used Facebook to engage with, or frequently comment on, fake news.

The campaign will use humor to encourage these Facebook users to reject fake news when they find it and to resist the urge to share information that hasn’t been verified. According to Facebook, 80 percent of fake news distribution on the social media platform comes from re-shares. Stemming this flow of misinformation is a key goal of the campaign.

The PSAs — which are expected to reach an estimated 8 million Facebook users four times each over a two-week period — will feature easy-to-follow tips on separating false information from quality journalism, along with a quiz for users to test their newly developed news literacy skills. The ads will appear in the users’ news feeds and will also be on NLP’s Facebook page.

And that’s not all: Earlier this month, NLP was named as a founding participant in the News Integrity Initiative, a global consortium of 19 tech industry leaders, academic institutions, nonprofits and other organizations that are teaming up to advance the cause of news literacy and increase trust in journalism. Facebook has spearheaded this effort as well.

NLP Profile

Julie Sandorf and David Hiller: Major Funders and Valued Partners

Geraldine Baum (left), a member of NLP's New York advisory committee, welcomed Julie Sandorf, president of the Charles H. Revson Foundation, to her home for an NLP cocktail reception in April 2012. Photo by Meredith Whitefield 

For a fledgling nonprofit, a major funder who becomes a true partner is a godsend.

For NLP, Julie Sandorf, the president of the Charles H. Revson Foundation, and David Hiller, the president of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, are such funders.

Together, the two foundations have been our most significant donors, accounting for nearly 30 percent of all the funds raised since NLP was founded in 2008.

Under Sandorf’s leadership, the Revson Foundation has helped to expand NLP’s New York program and to dramatically increase its national capacity with seven grants totaling $1.4 million over the past seven years. Sandorf has also served as an engaged member of NLP’s New York advisory committee.

Since 2009, the McCormick Foundation has helped to build NLP’s Chicago program and develop and pilot NLP’s virtual classroom with 11 grants totaling more than $1.2 million. Hiller has also been actively involved as an ex officio member of the Chicago advisory committee.

Sandorf’s and Hiller’s contributions have gone well beyond such generous funding. They are valued advisers, sources of ideas and introductions, and participants in NLP events. They have expressed compelling public support for NLP on numerous occasions (Sandorf once memorably called NLP “the James Brown of nonprofits”).

Both have forged particularly close ties to Alan Miller, NLP’s president and founder.

David Hiller (left), president and CEO of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, was one of the VIP guests at an NLP breakfast with Peter Sagal of NPR’s “Wait, Wait … Don't Tell Me!” in Chicago in May 2014. Photo by Mary Owen

“Alan had the vision to see this emerging challenge to our democracy and devise an innovative way to tackle it, and the foundation welcomed the opportunity to support this vital work early on,” Sandorf said. “We’ve been proud to serve as a partner and catalyst in the impressive growth of NLP and its virtual classroom that is meeting this urgent need throughout the country and now the world.”

Hiller noted that NLP was ahead of the curve as an antidote to “fake news” long before anyone coined the term.

“The involvement of active citizens informed by credible news has never been more important in our country,” he said. “The era of fake news makes this more difficult and more critical. The News Literacy Project has been on the front lines of this work for years, and their pathbreaking work to equip our young people with the critical-thinking skills to sort out what to believe has never been more needed.”

NLP — along with all the educators and students worldwide who benefit from our work — owe Sandorf and Hiller (and their foundations) a tremendous debt of gratitude. Thank you!


The News Literacy Project (NLP) is an innovative national education program that equips middle school and high school students with the tools to be smart, active consumers of news and information and engaged, informed citizens.

Click here to learn more about NLP, and visit NLP's YouTube channel.

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to support NLP, you can do so here.

NLP thanks its major funders and all those whose support makes our program possible.


Copyright © 2017 The News Literacy Project. All rights reserved.

The News Literacy Project
5525 Devon Road
Bethesda, MD 20814

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