Editorial: Disinformation and misinformation conference

The Good Five Cent Cigar has been the student voice at the University of Rhode Island since 1971, and part of our responsibility is to provide the community with the truth and to combat false information.

Disinformation and misinformation have only become more prevalent in recent years, such as COVID-19 conspiracy theories and political misinformation, but we at the Cigar, are committed to combating this problem.

This Tuesday, March 22, the Harrington School of Communication and Media held a half-day conference focusing on media literacy, misinformation and more. The event was titled “How to be Media Literate Citizens: The Role of Researchers, Journalists, and Students in the World of Heightened Disinformation, Conspiracy Theories, and Hate.”

The four events at this conference discussed how false information forms, how to spot it and how to combat it. The speakers at these events shared recent examples of misinformation globally and in Rhode Island. 

Media literacy — the ability to understand, analyze and evaluate information — is a vital yet underdeveloped skill for many people. The Harrington School has worked to increase media literacy at URI, but anyone can benefit from these skills.

As we move forward, the Cigar will apply the information that we learned from this conference and we will continue to fight misinformation at URI. We encourage you to apply the information and tools learned from these events and the articles about them as you move forward as well.