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Lesson | 50 Minutes

How to Combat Political Misinformation


In the aftermath of the divisive 2020 presidential election, PBS NewsHour and Student Reporting Labs (SRL) aired "We the Young People", a half-hour virtual special highlighting the impact of young voters. The show featured teen voices and conversations with experts focusing on issues that affect young people.

In the first video, Jevin West, an Associate Professor at the University of Washington who studies the spread of misinformation, talks to student reporter Bridgette Adu-Wadier about the ongoing problem of misinformation online and in our society and how it has impacted democratic processes. In the second video, multimedia reporter Heather Taylor-Wynn talks to two teen fact-checkers from Poynter’s MediaWise program about solutions to slow down the spread of misinformation.



Discussion Questions

Watch the videos below with students and then answer the discussion questions to learn about the impact of misinformation and tips for combating mis- and disinformation in your daily life.

  • What is misinformation?
  • What is disinformation and how is it different from misinformation?
  • How does misinformation play a role in weakening democracy?
  • How can you find reliable information online and on social media?
  • What are tips you can share with family and friends to slow the spread of misinformation?

Empowered Learner

Students leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving, and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences. (ISTE)

Digital Citizenship

Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and ethical. (ISTE)

Determining Helpful Sources

Determine the kinds of sources that will be helpful in answering compelling and supporting questions, taking into consideration multiple points of view represented in the sources, the types of sources available, and the potential uses of the sources. (NCSS D1.5.9-12)

Analyze the legal and ethical responsibilities required in the arts, audio/visual technology and communications workplace.

Creative Communicator

Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals. (ISTE)

Speaking and Listening - Comprehension and Collaboration



Media Literacy

Digital Literacy/Citizenship







Estimated Time

50 Minutes