Get The Scoop
Get the Scoop is a public relations campaign dedicated to spreading awareness surrounding news literacy to rural Nebraskans.
News Literacy Public Relations Campaign
6 months (Nov 2022-May 2023)
Creative Director and Designer
Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign
A mnemonic device “SCOOP” will help to inform, engage and empower our target audience to spot and stop misinformation. We utilized various strategies throughout our campaign including but not limited to radio, booths, digital signage, social media and press releases.
As The News Literacy Project has grown beyond classrooms, an opportunity exists to reach often neglected or ignored populations, specifically people ages 18-34 who have frequently been targets of misinformation, including Black, Latino and rural news consumers who may or may not live in news deserts. After researching these demographics, “GET THE SCOOP” elected to leverage our unique access to rural college-aged students to focus our efforts on rural news consumers aged 18-22. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln not only has a large student body population but also the target age group, which is the next generation of news consumers, making them the perfect group to enact change. Students can also act as a channel to spread what they learn about news literacy by sharing it with friends and families from their rural communities.
According to a PBS NewsHour poll conducted in 2020, 59% of Americans find it difficult to idenitfy misinformation (PBS 2023). Because of this, many people are unaware they are contributing to the continued spread of misinformation online and in person. However, this gap in awareness provides the ideal opportunity for The News Literacy Project to educate and engage people to learn how to identify misinformation.
The UNL Bateman team designed and conducted a pre-campaign poll via Google Forms to gain insight into our immediate audience, which got 261 responses (A1).
55% of survey respondents consider themselves to be from rural communities
83% of respondents use social media to get their news
75% of respondents who identify as rural Nebraskans trust information from their friends, family or aquaintances either some or a lot.
The UNL Bateman team conducted interviews with three experts on news media, information sharing and rural areas.
Becky Vogt, UNL Agriculture Survey Research
- When we asked high school students in rural communities how they would prefer to get their community information, their top choices included: Facebook, website, newspaper, radio, and Twitter, Thus, outlets should use those sources to push out their news to young adults.
Jill Martin, UNL Assistant Professor of Journalism
- misinformation spreads like wildfire on social media platforms. Educating the public is the first step in working against this.
- It’s going to take community conversations and everyone banding together to make reliable news and information a top priority.
Dr. Kirstin Hoerl, UNL Communication Studies
- Rural communities are susceptible to misinformation because of the decline of local ounalism and the limited access to broadband and high-speed internet. When sources are limited, there are fewer opportunities to access different perspectives.
-Students are generally not taught media literacy skills in primary and secondary education in the U.S., so they don’t understand how information circulates.
- People draw opinions on the basis of information that is most immediately available to them. They tend to believe the information in front of them when they don’t have access to other perspectives and/or the skills to think critically about the information available to them.
Secondary Research Key Findings
59% of Americans say it is hard to identify misinformation (NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll).
Young people’s reaction to media literacy campaign launched by TikTok tended to be political, which emphasized the politicized nature of the issue of misinformation. Negative comments far outweighed positive ones. These comments were caused by confusion at the purpose of videos, annoyance at the videos being placed on viewers’ feeds and disliking the content and aesthetics of the videos (Harvard Kennedy School).
92% of college students surveyed were unable
to accurately identify if a website was funded
by one side of an issue. Further testing revealed
that most middle school, high school, and
college students surveyed were news illiterate
(Stanford History Education Group).
From 2017-2021, rural Nebraskans’ trust in news
sources decreased (UNL Center for Agricultural
Educators are recognized as the most effective
literacy sponsors in their community. This
sponsorship was based on interpersonal
relationships created by educators and the trust
educators built in their community. (Journal of
Language and Literacy Education).
Research shows the use of a mnemonic device, such as an easily memorable acronym, enhanced learning when participants were given a certain task to complete. The mnemonic device allowed for a hierarchical representation of the task at hand and often helped participants complete the task more quickly. (Institute of Psychology and Ergonomics, Berlin Institute of Technology).