On Thursday, March 2 was declared News Literacy Day in Washoe County all due to the efforts of six Reynolds School of Journalism students. These students are a part of the Bateman Case Study Competition where this year they have been tasked with making students more “News Lit AF.”
The students, also members of the Public Relations Student Society of America, the student chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, have been tasked with creating a public relations campaign for The News Literacy Project as a part of the Bateman Case Study Competition.
According to the PRSA website the competition is “PRSSA’s premier national case study competition for public relations students.” Every year the students partner with a client and implement a full public relations campaign for them within a month. This year it spanned from Feb. 6 to March 6.
“It’s by invitation. When I heard about it and when Alison approached me, I was like, ‘Yeah, this sounds like a really fun opportunity,’ especially with what our client: The News Literacy Project,” said Mckenzie Papa, account manager for the Bateman team.
The News Literacy Project is a non-partisan, non-profit, educational organization dedicated to stopping the spread of misinformation.
“Their goal is essentially to create a better informed, more engaged and more empowered individuals and ultimately a stronger democracy,” said Papa. “They have tools like RumorGuard that help people find credible news and fact check credible news or fact check news in general.”
Operating as a public relations team, they must bolster the efforts and message of the client through implementation efforts and get students to be News Lit AF, their slogan; the AF stands for “actual factual” a nod to their Instagram handle.
Currently, the team has created an Instagram called @ActualFactualNV where they spread awareness about news literacy and the organizations assets and have had events throughout campus. Their slogan has been plastered throughout campus — News Lit AF — something RSJ students can see as they walk down the stairwell of the journalism building.
“So we’ve been putting on events for the most part every week our campaign launched on Feb. 6,” said Skyler Lacey, publicity manager for the team.
The events that have happened include their Canada Coffee event on Feb. 8 where they passed out coffee in exchange for pledges, a trivia night on Feb. 23 at Slieve Brewery where they tested “people’s ability to identify misinformation,” according to Lacey and a round table talk on March 2 where they partnered with Al Stavitsky, dean of the RSJ, and chatted about misinformation in Nevada.
Also in attendance at the event was Mariluz Garcia, Washoe County commissioner for District 3, where she read the proclamation to make March 2 News Literacy Day.
“I think that this year specifically, we have a really great team of people who all individually bring really good skills to the table,” said Lacey. “I think that I’m really grateful to have this opportunity because it is very rewarding.”
The implementation ends for the team on Monday. After they make a 50-page long document that compiles all of their campaign efforts submitted at the end of March and winners are announced in April. The team competes against over 70 teams across the country.
Editors Note: Lizette Ramirez, Nevada Sagebrush news editor, and Jessica Cabrera, Nevada Sagebrush copy editor, are members of the Bateman team. They were not involved in the writing or editing of the story. This story is written objectively and without bias.
Photo from the @RSJNevada Instagram.
Emerson Drewes can be reached via email at email@example.com or via Twitter @EmersonDrewes.