Briggs proposes media literacy curriculum

HARRISBURG, Feb. 1 – Citing the rise of fake news on social media during the 2016 General Election, state Rep. Tim Briggs, D-Montgomery, is working to craft legislation that would require the Pennsylvania Department of Education to draft a media literacy curriculum for Pennsylvanian students.

“During this past election cycle, it’s undeniable that we saw a rise in fake news on social media that put misinformation out into the public sphere for the purpose of misleading voters,” Briggs said. “There are also those who call legitimate news stories fake news simply because they don’t like what it says.”

Other states have introduced similar legislation, and colleges have begun developing courses on the subject. Briggs’ bill would require the Department of Education, in the next revision of instructional materials or curriculum frameworks, to include the implementation of a media literacy curriculum.

“It’s frightening the amount of effort that goes into creating fake news solely to distract and confuse the general public,” Briggs said. “Regardless of what your opinions are, I think it’s imperative for our country that those opinions be grounded in fact. This legislation would hopefully help Pennsylvanians recognize fact from fiction, and avoid being misled on very serious issues.”