As part of our launch of Media Literacy Week, we are excited to promote the work of Dr. Don Shifrin, Emeritus Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at University of Washington – School of Medicine as he helps us to understand important concepts around screen time and digital citizenship while we are all participating in remote learning. Watch AMEs interview with Dr. Don by viewing the links below:
Dr. Don Shifrin has been a beloved pediatrician to his patients for 40 years as well as a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington. His knowledge and active interest in the field of Media Literacy have earned him an often self-proclaimed role of a “Mediatrician.”Dr. Shifrin has been a very active member of the American Academy of Pediatrics throughout his long career. He has testified before Congress, represented the Academy on national task forces, chaired an Academy committee, led media training for Academy leadership, and was the co-editor for the Academy’s first parent newsmagazine, Healthy Children. You may recognize him from the AAP’s “A Minute for Kids” radio program and from other radio and television spots where he often expertly speaks about media issues as they relate to our nation’s children. His views on navigating the media literacy issues of today offer invaluable advice to parents, teachers and children of all ages.
Michael Danielson is AME’s Chairperson. He has been a teacher at Seattle Prep for 26 years. He has been teaching Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship for decades, but most recently in a semester course for 9th graders. He is also the EdTech director helping to train teachers and students in the best use of technology. Michael has been a writer for the Center for Media Literacy.
Action for Media Education Announces a New Initiative: The Corona Multimedia Showcase
For Immediate Release Date: 6/3/2020
If we could ask kids around the world what they’re thinking and feeling right now, what would they say? Action for Media Education (AME) https://action4mediaeducation.org is inviting young people from ages 3-19 and their families to participate in an international online exhibit of creative work that reflects their lives in this time of COVID-19.
More than 40 countries are participating in the Corona Multimedia Showcase initiative. Now AME seeks entries from young people across the United States.
The Showcase provides a platform for children, youth and their families to create and display media projects in a variety of formats. These projects will be digitally published on our Showcase website.
The Showcase is intended to provide young people around the world with the opportunity to:
Express their thoughts, feelings and ideas
Engage them in reflecting critically on their work and support their best efforts
Help them share their experiences with other young people and their families around the world
Provide a place for them to display their creative work and express their own unique voices
Inspire hope and demonstrate that we will persevere, with our courage and creativity, during this crisis and into a new future
Please help us spread the word to your family, your community and those with whom you work.
Submissions and participation are free.
This is NOT a competition but a festival celebrating the creativity of children and youth throughout the world.
The deadline for submissions is October 9, 2020. All projects (reviewed by a large group of experts) will be posted on the Showcase website by the end of October.
To submit an entry, find ideas and resources, and join the conversation:
If we could ask children all around the world to create a media project that would express what they were thinking and feeling during a pandemic, what might they choose to tell us?
This question became the catalyst for a new and very exciting Action for Media Education initiative, the International Corona Multimedia Showcase. The Showcase was officially launched April15, 2020 with October 9, 2020 as the deadline for entries.
We encourage you to visit the Showcase and view this festival celebrating the talent thoughtfulness, humor and resilience of over 900 children and youth age 3 through 19 and their families from 27countries and all continents (with the exception of Antarctica).
Our special thanks to Dr. Tatyana Tsyrlina-Spady, our extraordinary International Coordinator for the Showcase, our Showcase partners, the International Janusz Korczak Association, Child Rights in Action and the Northwest Center for Media Literacy, University of Washington and our many showcase champions from around the world.
Note: We decided to briefly re-open the Showcase to accept entries over the holiday season (December 15, 2020 – January 15, 2021). Although there was limited publicity about this special Showcase addition, over 350 children and youth and their families from 23 countries participated.
Washington’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is accepting grant applications for its media literacy grant program now and the due date is May 28th!
Grant applications must focus on one of the following: 1. Development or adaptation of at least one openly-licensed 2-4 week curriculum unit focused on media literacy or digital citizenship, or both, which can be integrated into social studies, English language arts, or health classes, and is aligned with Washington state standards in these content areas
2. Implementation of an existing openly-licensed 2-4 week curriculum unit focused on media literacy or digital citizenship, and use of this experience to develop extended or supplemental curricular materials (e.g., add supports for ELL or special education students, add optional supplemental lessons, etc.).
Submissions may come from a public school, district office, ESD or a partnership between multiple educational partners. Only one proposal may be submitted per organization. Grant requests may not exceed $25,000. Washington’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) will soon be accepting grant applications for its media literacy grant program.
Currently, OSPI’s plan is to make an announcement about these new grants between early and mid-April with applications due in mid-May. Should these dates change, we’ll be sure to let you know.
Grant applications must focus on one of the following:
1. Development or adaptation of at least one openly-licensed 2-4 week curriculum unit focused on media literacy or digital citizenship, or both, which can be integrated into social studies, English language arts, or health classes, and is aligned with Washington state standards in these content areas
2. Implementation of an existing openly-licensed 2-4 week curriculum unit focused on media literacy or digital citizenship, and use of this experience to develop extended or supplemental curricular materials (e.g., add supports for ELL or special education students, add optional supplemental lessons, etc.). Submissions may come from a public school, district office, ESD or a partnership between multiple educational partners. Only one proposal may be submitted per organization. Grant requests may not exceed $25,000.
Twelve grant recipients received awards for 2019-2020. Applications for this second round of funding will focus on implementation during 2020-2021. Grant application details will be available from OSPI in April. For more information, please contact Dennis Small Dennis.Small@k12.wa.us
Twelve grant recipients received awards for 2019-2020. Applications for this second round of funding will focus on implementation during 2020-2021. Grant application details will be available from OSPI in April. For more information, please contact Dennis Small Dennis.Small@k12.wa.us
Washington’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction made history when it recently announced the first group of recipients for our state’s new media literacy grant program. This is the first grant program focused on media literacy offered anywhere in the nation! Funds were awarded through a competitive process to 12 school-based teams.
Grant Awardees for 2019-20:
Ballard High School (Seattle SD)
Bryant Elementary School (Seattle SD)
Castle Rock SD
Central Valley High School
Columbia River High School (Vancouver SD)
La Conner SD
North Central ESD 171
Port Townsend SD
Soos Creek Elementary School (Kent SD)
Whatcom Intergenerational High School
Teams could apply for curriculum grants of up to $25,000 or planning grants of up to $5000. The five teams receiving curriculum grants were Ballard, Central Valley High School, North Central ESD 171, Soos Creek Elementary, Kent SD and LaConner SD in collaboration with high schools in Burlington, Mt. Vernon, and Anacortes. The remaining six teams received planning grants.
All grant recipients will focus on developing media literacy-based curriculum units that can be integrated into social studies, English language arts or health classes. All units will be shared on the OER Commons Washington Hub so that they can be easily accessed by teachers across the state.
The new media literacy grant program was established with a $300,000 allocation from the 2019 Legislature. $150,000 was available for this grant round. The next grant cycle will be announced in Spring, 2020 when another $150,000 in funding will be available for distribution.
Action for Media Education (AME) continues to promote and advocate for media literacy education. Please follow us on Facebook. We encourage you to stay tuned to AME for more media literacy-related happenings in our state in 2020!
Media Literacy Week here in Washington has had lots of support even at the highest levels of our state’s government. AME is very pleased to announce that last week Governor Inslee declared October 21 -25th Media Literacy Week here in our state. Thank you, Governor Inslee!
AME board members have created a new elementary handout for teachers just in time for Media Literacy Week, with a reminder that we can use these ideas every day of the year. Special thanks to Kathryn Egawa, Anne Aliverti, Shawn Sheller for their work on these handouts. Also check out our handout for secondary school teachers developed by Kathryn Egawa, Ethan Delavan, Janith Pewitt, and Michael Danielson.
Media Literacy Week asks people to think hard about the information they’re consuming, and asks teachers to talk about it in their classrooms. PAULA WISSEL / KNKX
Educators in Washington state — and around the world — are spending time this week talking about media literacy. It’s part of a special week designed to boost students’ understanding of how different forms of media function.
“When it comes to media literacy, we mean everything,” said Joanne Lisosky, who taught media studies at Pacific Lutheran University prior to her recent retirement. Social media, visual media, aural media — any outside stimulus counts.
“Media literacy education didn’t start in the U.S.,” she said. “It started in Europe and Australia and Canada. You can’t graduate from high school without having a class in media literacy.” “When it comes to media literacy, we mean everything,” said Joanne Lisosky, who taught media studies at Pacific Lutheran University prior to her recent retirement. Social media, visual media, aural media — any outside stimulus counts.
“Media literacy education didn’t start in the U.S.,” she said. “It started in Europe and Australia and Canada. You can’t graduate from high school without having a class in media literacy.”
That’s not the case in the United States, and Lisosky worries that makes Americans more susceptible to being tricked by fake news.
Washington state officially recognized Media Literacy Week when Gov. Jay Inslee signed a proclamation in 2016. It encourages teachers across the state to talk about media literacy in their classrooms.
But media literacy is important for adults, too, and Lisosky says she regularly hears from people who want help deconstructing journalism – figuring out why a story was done a certain way, and why certain outlets favor one type of story over another.
Lisosky says there are five questions any of us can ask ourselves to start critically analyzing what we’re receiving from any kind of media, from TV programs to news to highway billboards:
Who made this up? Think about who wrote the story, or paid for the ad, or made the film.
What strategies were used to get my attention? “If you can figure that out,” Lisosky said, “then you’ll have an idea of why you were watching this.”
How might someone else view this differently than I am viewing this?
What is the point of view of the sender?
Why are they motivated to send this message to me?
Media literacy is the focus of activities around the world this week.
In the U.S.: The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) is hosting the 5th Annual U.S. Media Literacy Week from October 21-25, 2019. The mission of Media Literacy Week is to raise awareness about the need for media literacy education and its essential role in education today. Organizations, schools, educators and Media Literacy Week partners from all over the country will work with NAMLE to participate in events including #MediaLitWk classroom lessons, virtual events, online chats, screenings, PSA’s, panel discussions and more.
International: The yearly Global Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Week, initiated in 2012, is led by UNESCO in cooperation with GAPMIL, UNAOC and the MIL and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) University Network. It unites diverse actors committed to promoting MIL as a way to foster social inclusion and intercultural dialogue.
The eigth annual global celebration of Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Week will be celebrated from 24 to 31 October 2019. Global MIL Week 2019 highlights will include the Ninth MILID Conference and the Youth Agenda Forum, to be held in Gothenburg (Sweden), from 24 to 26 September 2019.
Read more about NAMLE and Media Literacy Week here.
Read more about Global Media and Information Literacy Week here.
Here’s something to share with your friends in K-12 education: we are excited about the new media literacy grant program from the Washington’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Grants of up to $25,000 are available for teaching teams representing school districts across Washington State.
October 21 is the deadline, but if you feel you’re not quite ready to submit a full proposal, here’s another option. Planning grants of $5000 are also now available.
Submit a planning grant by October 21st and you’ll be ready for the next grant round in spring 2020. All you need to do is assemble a small team of educators who would work together, describe briefly the idea on which your team will focus and outline the budget needed for up to $5000.
The 2019 Washington State legislature has allocated $150,000 in state funds for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to establish a K-12 media literacy grant program in 2019–2020. Action for Media Literacy Education is pleased to announce this news as another media literacy first for Washington State and the nation.
These funds will be awarded in September through a competitive grant process. Six to ten school teams will receive grants to develop and share openly-licensed curriculum units focused on three subject areas: social studies, English language arts, or health classes. A unique feature of these units is that they will be designed using a media literacy lens to address content commonly covered in one of these three subject areas.
Examples of ideas for curriculum units designed from a media literacy lens:
Exploring media influence on teen perspectives concerning a particular health issue (e.g. teen pregnancy prevention)
Analyzing and evaluating media sources that describe an important historical event
Examining issues of copyright, fair use, and intellectual property as they apply to materials produced for an English language arts class
Submissions may come from a public school, district office, ESD, or a partnership between multiple educational partners. Only one proposal may be submitted per organization. Grant requests may not exceed $25,000; most awards are anticipated to be in the $15,000 range.
Grant application details and information will be available from OSPI in late August, 2019. For more information, contact Dennis Small: email@example.com or (360) 725-6384.
Washington State Senator Marko Liias was invited to speak in Jenny Gawronski’s Digital Media Literacy class at the University of Washington on May 28. The class session focused on ground-breaking pieces of media literacy legislation that have passed in Washington since 2016.
Senator Liias played a key role in the passage of this legislation, which has established Washington as a model for the nation. Action for Media Education (AME) board members were there to present Senator Liias with a Certificate of Appreciation for his leadership role in passing this legislation.
Media literacy advocates are currently celebrating Washington’s third piece of legislation which will, for the first time, allocate state funds for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to establish a K-12 media literacy grant program in 2019–2020. For more information, contact Dennis Small: firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 725-6384.
Thank you Senator Liias, for your work in media literacy!
Farhiya is a 4th grade student in Kent, Washington who is on her school’s Green Team.
Today, on Earth Day, she and other young leaders at her school are hosting a student-led day of Earth-focused activities that remind us to reduce, reuse, recycle, and rethink our actions. These students join people around the world in urging us to make a difference. The 2019 Earth Day theme is Save Our Species!
Farhiya created a PowerPoint presentation for her Earth Day school assignment, and she agreed to share it with us.
Lynn Ziegler, one of Action for Media Education’s founding members, died April 14. Lynn had served as AME’s media critic since the early ’90s. Her long career included writing weekly columns on children’s TV and family films for Northwest newspapers. She was a guest on national and regional radio and TV to promote quality programming for children, and was a television news writer and producer for KOMO-TV.
After leaving KOMO, Lynn created a public service announcement promoting healthy nutritional choices for children. Her MTV-style “Nutri-Rap” featured somersaulting fruits and vegetables and “a rainbow of Northwest children giving a thumbs up for good nutrition.” This spot won several awards: a Telly, two PIXI Awards, and two regional EMMYs.
One of her proudest accomplishments, Spongeheadz: U & Me, is a book Lynn described as “the essential parent handbook for the 21stCentury.” Written when TV was dominant, it still contains valuable tips for parents. In her book, and throughout her life, Lynn celebrated diversity; “That’s why you’ll find drawings by children of every color and nationality inside these pages.” Lynn knew that children need to see “faces that look like his or her own” in books and other media.
She greatly valued her strong connection with Native American communities on the Kitsap Peninsula, and worked as an educator and mentor to many Native American youth.
Her experience as an educator led to her involvement with some of the statewide teen health projects sponsored by the Washington State Department of Health and the Northwest Center for Excellence in Media Literacy, University of Washington. These projects trained high school students to teach younger youth about teen health issues such as pregnancy prevention. Lynn was strongly committed to promoting youth empowerment, and these projects included a subject she was passionate about—media literacy education.
Lynn launched one of AME’s first media literacy projects in the early ’90s. The PIXI awards honored high quality children’s television programming. Teams of professionals and parents across the state established the criteria that judges used to choose PIXI award recipients. The PIXI awards project, under Lynn’s leadership, was one of AME’s major activities throughout the organization’s early years.
Lynn was also a member Action Coalition for Media Education (ACME), the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Free Press, and the National Academy of Television Arts and Science (NATAS).
We in AME are deeply saddened by Lynn’s passing. She is survived by her children Chris, Jesse, and Alik. Lynn’s staunch advocacy for all children will remain an inspiration. She will be greatly missed for her wonderful sense of humor, her generosity, and her warm and loving heart, expressed in so many ways to all whose lives she touched.
URGENT: Educators are fighting to protect their library programs, and none more so than those in Seattle Public Schools. While WA State recently increased its education budget, it also restricted the levy funds local districts can raise. This means that Seattle cannot fully collect the funds it has already approved! The result is a $39M budget deficit in Seattle Schools, with over $12M of the deficit directed at school budgets. Librarians, nurses, and counselors bear the brunt of the cuts.
How can you help? Spread the word among friends, family, colleagues.
5 MINUTES: Write or call WA State legislator Reuven Carlyle or other members of the Ways and Means Committee to support SB 5313, allowing for levy flexibility.
Net Neutrality’s Title I vs. Title II Digital Divide Remains
Despite bipartisan talk, consensus on legislative solution continues to elude legislators
The new Democratic-led House Communications Subcommittee weighed back into the still legally muddy net neutrality waters Thursday (Feb. 7), led by chairman Mike Doyle, who led the unsuccessful House effort to follow the Senate and nullify the net neutrality reg rollback under current Republican chairman Ajit Pai.
The main takeaway from the hearing was that both sides of the aisle sounded like they were looking for a way to “yes” on bipartisan legislation to restore FCC rules against blocking, throttling and (anti-competitive) paid prioritization as a way to provide certainty for consumers and broadband investment, but that the Title II vs. Title I digital divide appeared to be as wide as ever, threatening that bipartisan spirit.
Republicans talked up at least three legislative proposals that would restore the rules, but not under Title II, including legislative proffers from Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), Rep. Bob Latta (R-Ohio), ranking member of the subcommittee, and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-Wash.), that would restore rules under a non-Title II framework.
This bill, sponsored and introduced by Senator Marko Liias, creates a grant process for developing new curriculum units that embed media literacy into content area lessons. The new curriculum units will be available for classrooms across the state. The bill also provides for two Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship professional development conferences for educators.
The proposed bill is a follow up to ESSB 5449 from 2017, which supported media literacy and digital citizenship. That bill called for reviewing and revising of district policies and procedures to better support digital citizenship, media literacy and internet safety, and the creation of a repository of best practices and resources. It also mandated an Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) survey that examined how digital citizenship and media literacy were being integrated into Washington’s schools’ curriculum.
Action for Media Literacy (AME) board members Marilyn Cohen, Michael Danielson, and Barbara Johnson met with Senator Liias to propose this new bill, SB 5594. He responded immediately with interest and took action. Thank you to Senator Marko Liias and the bill’s co-sponsors: Senators Judy Warnick, Claire Wilson, Lisa Wellman, Patty Kuderer, Joe Nguyen, Rebecca Saldaña, and Hans Zeiger.
The current political climate we find ourselves in could hardly be more divisive and confounding. One of the challenges for students and teachers in media literacy education is to evaluate this question: Has the media responded appropriately to the challenges of the Trump era? What do you think?
George Lakoff, a cognitive linguist and philosopher, is a leading expert on the framing of political ideas. In this article he offers concrete tools for the press to “evolve” in response to tactics that are being widely used.
His article from O Society:
Attacks on the free press, and constant lying by political leaders, aren’t just happening here in the United States. These tactics are also being used by authoritarian leaders in other countries who are taking power using the same tactics as Trump.
These leaders understand how the press works, and they use its own tendencies against it in their efforts to erode democracy and freedom. They lie, knowing the press will repeat the lies. They create distractions because they know the press will chase the distractions. They release bad news when they think no one is paying attention. Too often, these tactics succeed.
It’s time for the press to evolve. The press needs new rules, practices and guidelines to respond to the threat posed by lying authoritarians with no respect for truth, freedom, or democracy. These types of leaders attack the press because they see the truth as a threat. And it’s the job of the press to report the truth.
— Ban the lie from the headline/tweet/chyron. Repeating lies only spreads them, and spreading lies is a disservice to the truth. It’s possible to write engaging headlines without serving the lie. Always start with the truth, and always repeat the truth more than the lie.
— Use Truth Sandwiches. When writing about lies, always start with the truth first. Then explain the lie. Then return to the truth. Sequence and repetition matter! Truth first! Always.
— Separate News from Distractions. George Orwell said it best: “Journalism is printing what someone else doesn’t want printed. Everything else is public relations.” Trump’s tweets have become a constant obsession for reporters. But his Twitter dramas generally just distract from the important news stories crucial to democracy. He issues crazy tweets, calls people names, and includes silly typos because he WANTS people to talk about his tweet. And those who give him what he wants need to remember Orwell’s quote. What was the big story in the news before the Twitter drama started? Keep a steely focus on things that matter.
— Limit Trump photos. Images are crucial. Today, it seems like nearly every news story features a large photo of Trump. It’s all Trump, all the time. It’s a Trump overload. Editors need to be aware of the overall effect and make an effort to use a range of images to tell the story of our times. Politics is not just about the actors. It’s about the millions of people who are affected by those actions.
— Outsmart the “Friday Dump.” Politicians and corporations tend to release bad or unflattering news late Fridays, and especially on three-day weekends. This is because people pay less attention to the news at this time. So, the use of the “Friday Dump” is a tactic for hiding the truth from people. Imagine if anyone who tried this was instead greeted with a big Sunday or Monday story that also told people they were trying to hide the truth by dumping it on Friday.
A highlight of Media Literacy Week here at AME is the presentation of the Jessie McCanse Award, deemed the “Nobel Prize” of media literacy, to Marilyn Cohen, Saturday, Nov. 10. The National Telemedia Council (NTC) is recognizing Marilyn’s longtime contributions to media literacy, high principles and dedication. Four recipients this year include Henry Jenkins of Los Angeles, CA, Bill Siemering of Philadelphia, PA, and Carolyn Wilson of Ontario, Canada.
Dr. Don Shifrin, a pediatrician with Allegro Pediatrics and media literacy advocate, appeared today on KING 5 News, discussing the importance of teaching children to be media literate.
This comes as we celebrate the fourth annual U.S. Media Literacy Week, November 5-9, 2018. The mission of Media Literacy Week is to highlight the power of media literacy education and its essential role in education today.
Copyright? Fair use? Creative Commons? This invaluable guide was just released October 25, 2018. You’ll want to save, bookmark, and keep for reference.
Introduction to the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education
Preamble: No Easy Answers, but Guidance
Teachers who live and work in a world dominated by new media are asking many questions about literacy classroom practice:
Can my students use copyrighted music, images, or video clips in their video projects?
Can my students and I repurpose a copyrighted image as a meme?
Can I show a movie via Netflix in school?
You might be hoping that a document about fair use will present you with answers to these kinds of difficult questions. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers—but there is guidance.
The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education (which was adopted by the NCTE Executive Committee in 2008) provides guidance but does not prescribe practice. As literacy educators, we each bear the responsibility to educate ourselves and our students about our relationship to existing media as learning tools. You can use this Code of Best Practices as a foundation to understanding the principles of fair use. Its continuing relevance is a testament to the importance of a shared understanding of these issues within a community of practice.
History of This Document
This Code of Best Practices developed from a grant awarded by the MacArthur Foundation in 2006. At the time there was fear about potential lawsuits in documentary filmmaking. When presented with challenges to copyright, judges look to creative communities for guidance on what is considered acceptable use of existing media, so the development of this Code was necessary to establish norms for a community of educators. Many stakeholders were included in its development with the overarching question: What is fair?
The document was reviewed by legal scholars and intellectual property attorneys. It represents a consensus of a knowledge/practice community, and co-signers included organizations that cross literacy fields. It presents normative practices in the field and focuses on the user’s rights. Its longevity is a strength if a copyright challenge comes forward.
Fair use is applied and understood differently in various contexts. The best practice model provides the guidance needed to navigate those contexts by offering a set of principles and clarifying common myths. Teachers continue to encounter such scenarios similar to those described above in the preamble; when deliberating about such situations, reading the Code can provide some guidance.
Originally adopted by the NCTE Executive Committee, November 2008, introduction added October 2018
By: National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE), Student Television Network (STN), Media Commission of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Action Coalition for Media Education (ACME), and Visual Communication Division of the International Communication Association (ICA)
For the first time, the State of Washington has issued a proclamation to raise awareness of Media Literacy Education and commemorate the 4th Annual Media Literacy Week, which is observed locally, nationally, and internationally.
Educators, students, parents, and adult advocates invite you to participate in a week of student activities, discussions, idea sharing, and celebration of work that promotes media literacy in communities around the world as an essential life skill for the 21st century.
Media Literacy Week is hosted by The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE), with hundreds of organizations, schools, educators, partners, and supporters in the U.S. alone. See how you can participate!
Thank you to Governor Inslee and the Washington State Legislature for your continued support of media literacy education for students of all ages.
To download or view the proclamation, click on the image below or click here.
Snopes CEO David Mikkelson says the fact-checking website really took off after Sept. 11. “Conspiracy theories were running rampant.” (Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times)
Snopes, the country’s most popular hoax-debunking site, is run by its founder out of a 97-year-old house in Tacoma. And is it ever busy, with 47 of its “Hot 50” posts having something to do with politics.
Here, in a 97-year-old frame house in the city’s North End, is the headquarters of America’s most popular hoax-debunking website.
The command center for Snopes.com is an upstairs bedroom with shelving and a laptop placed atop some books and a cardboard box.
All those viral hoaxes, spread by social media, have created a market for fact-checking sites, with Snopes, started in 1994, being the champ.
It gets 32 million visits a month on desktop and mobile, according to Similar.Web.com, an industry site that measures web traffic. Its closest competitors are The Straight Dope (4 million monthly visits) and FactCheck (3 million).
From his bedroom office, David Mikkelson, Snopes publisher and CEO, runs a site employing 16 people across the country, half of them fact-checkers and the rest on the business and web side.