No, a military band did not play ‘Hit the Road Jack’ to Trump — and other news literacy lessons


The material comes from the project’s newsletter, the Sift, which takes the most recent viral rumors, conspiracy theories, hoaxes and journalistic ethics issues and turns them into timely lessons with discussion prompts and links. The Sift, which is published weekly during the school year, has more than 10,000 subscribers, most of them educators.

The News Literacy Project also offers a program called Checkology, a browser-based platform designed for students in grades six through 12 that helps prepare the next generation to easily identify misinformation. Checkology is available free to educators, students, school districts and parents. Since 2016, more than 29,000 educators and parents in all 50 states and Washington have registered to use the platform. Since August, more than 1,000 educators and parents and more than 34,000 students have actively used Checkology.

You can learn more about the News Literacy Project and all of the educational resources it provides in this piece, but here is a rundown:

Founded more than a decade ago by Alan Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning former reporter at the Los Angeles Times, the News Literacy Project is the leading provider of news literacy education.

It creates digital curriculums and other resources and works with educators and journalists to teach middle school and high school students how to recognize news and information to trust — and it provides them with the tools they need to be informed and engaged participants in a democracy. It uses the standards of high-quality journalism as an aspirational yardstick against which to measure all news and information. Just as important, it provides the next generation with an appreciation of the First Amendment and the role of a free press.

Here’s material from the Jan. 25 edition of The Sift:

For adherents of the collective conspiratorial delusion called QAnon, Inauguration Day was all part of the plan — until the plan fell apart.

President Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20 was widely seen among the QAnon faithful as the last chance to realize their outlandish and baseless core belief — that Trump would rise as their champion to order mass arrests of members of a satanic, child-trafficking cartel run by prominent Democrats and Hollywood celebrities. In the hours leading up to Biden’s swearing-in, QAnon believers were unfazed, predicting that the inauguration was just a ploy to bring together those who would face arrest, and that the so-called “Great Awakening” would begin just before Biden took the oath of office.

NO: A military band did not play “Hit the Road Jack” in front of the White House during Trump’s final days in office.

YES: The audio track on this video has been replaced.

YES: The fact-checking organization Lead Stories found that the source of the “Hit the Road Jack” audio is a 2012 recording of the Ohio State University Marching Band.

Note: Copies of this doctored video went viral on multiple platforms, including TikTok, Twitter and Facebook. It is increasingly common for misinformation to cross platforms, including iterations from one platform circulating on another.

NO: President Biden’s administration is not affiliated with the “antifa” (anti-fascist) movement.

NO: This is not evidence of any relationship between the antifa movement and the White House.

YES: Anyone can purchase a web domain and redirect it to any other website they choose.

★ Featured rumor resource: These classroom-ready slides lead students through a “digital forensics” investigation of the antifa.com domain using the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.





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