Bites Media: The News Our Students Deserve

Bites Media gives middle to high school students a trusted digital news foundation that deepens engagement and critical thinking skills required to become literate media consumers.

 

 

The Problem

Fake News. Alternative Facts. Misinformation. Whatever you call it, widespread mistrust in the media poses one of the greatest present threats to a healthy democratic society. Sadly, it has poisoned more than adult political discourse—kids are being harmed by fake news, as their trust in media has plummeted. Shockingly, fewer than half of students ages 10-18 polled in 2017 were confident that they could identify fake news. Only 25% said they trusted the news media “a lot”. (www.commonsensemedia.org/research/news-and-americas-kids-infographic) Compare that to the 70% of students who reported that engaging with news makes them feel smart and knowledgeable. But they’ll never get that benefit if we leave them to the murky world of social media as their only source of information.

By not prioritizing media literacy in schools, we risk raising a generation catastrophically disengaged from the news media—one of the pillars of modern democracy and critical to personal and professional success in the 21st century.

Slowly, policy makers are addressing media literacy. Over the next decade, we expect a growing number of cities and states to mandate media literacy curricula. However, there are not enough tools yet to support those efforts.

The Solution

Bites Media is tackling the problem of “fake news” by helping educators, schools and nonprofits make media literacy more engaging. We are building a platform of trusted digital news that deepens immersion in current events and encourages the critical thinking skills required to become literate consumers of media.

Through the Bites Media news platform, we craft and publish interactive multimedia news stories that provide the facts with rich context from diverse viewpoints. Our platform invites students of any level or learning style to learn about the world while supporting critical media literacy skills.

Bites Media articles always publish a mix of text, video, audio, and graphics to engage students of differentiated learning styles. Our content is sourced by professional educators from a curated list of the world’s most trustworthy journalistic institutions. We always provide a direct link to where we found the fact so students and teachers can dive deep to learn more.

Our content is also uniquely structured around two competing but mainstream interpretations of a story—for instance, offshore oil drilling poses unacceptable threats to the environment vs. it’s strategically crucial for energy independence and jobs. By comparing multiple viewpoints, students are taught to weigh competing interpretations of facts and the importance of coming to their own independent and informed conclusions.

In addition, we are developing a system of meaningful data tracking to equip educators and administrators with individual and group-wide intelligence that helps make smarter instructional choices for all learners.

Stage of Development

  • Early Stage
  • Established Prototype
  • Scaling
  • Other

Organization to Receive Funds

The funds would go to Bites Media for further development of the content technology, and will help push to have the solution in classrooms nation wide.

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