Spotlight: Connecticut Public

When did your organization launch and why?

Launched in 1962, Connecticut Public is our state’s only state-wide public media resource, and home to Connecticut Public Television and Connecticut Public Radio (WNPR). Together, Connecticut Public serves one million citizens each month through our television and radio platforms, as well as through our many digital and online platforms. Through our mission to inform, educate and inspire the people of Connecticut, we seek to connect and empower them through outstanding journalism, storytelling, education and experiences that make our state a more extraordinary place to live, work and play.

What does your organization do? What are its main goals? Main projects?

In addition to highly trusted PBS and NPR programming, Connecticut Public also produces award-winning local news, public affairs and entertainment programming that covers the issues and ideas most relevant to the citizens of Connecticut, on all platforms. This includes local television documentaries and public affairs programming, highly curated radio and podcast programming including Where We Live, The Colin McEnroe Show, and The Wheelhouse, as well as engagement events ranging from children’s educational programs to community conversations and other special events.

Connecticut Public also maintains educational partnerships with Hartford’s Journalism and Media Academy (JMA) as well as Gateway Community College, to offer learning programs and internships for students.

What makes your organization stand out? What would you say is the most unique thing about your organization?

Connecticut Public is Connecticut’s only state-wide public media resource.

What are recent projects or new resources that your organization would like to share with other NAMLE members?

NAMLE members understand that media literacy matters more than ever – for adults and their children alike. This year could be one of the most extraordinary years yet for misinformation, claims and counter-claims to spread like wildfire.

Connecticut Public recently produced a new documentary: FAKE: Searching for Truth in the Age of Misinformation. Viewers will learn how and why misinformation spreads, and how to be a smarter information consumer in our increasingly digital world.

Fake news isn’t new, but new digital tools make it easier to spread quickly. To spot a fake, you need to be able to dissect breaking news, evaluate partisan content, and use critical thinking skills. Our documentary helps viewers learn to discern fact from fiction in news reports, identify fake news, and evaluate the biases of real news using common sense, critical thinking skills, and an understanding of universal standards of journalism.

Accompanying the documentary are also learning resources and short videos each looking at a different facet of misinformation and media manipulation, and ways to defend yourself against dupes.

Teachers are on the front lines of media literacy training. Connecticut Public has developed a free, safe, web-based learning resource to help train students to separate fact from fiction in the media they consume. NAMLE members who are teachers, parents or youth leaders can explore Thinkalong™ to see how it helps teens think critically about media messages. Thinkalong™ uses trusted PBS, NPR, and local public media content. Easy to incorporate into the classroom, this critical thinking program helps students develop informed opinions, and practice respectful, civil discourse in the context of learning about current events and news that is especially relevant to the lives of young people.

What are the connections between the work of your organization and media literacy?

As a media organization, we need the public to understand that they can trust our content and our organization. Media literacy is essential to our organization’s mission.

Why is media literacy important to your organization?

Media literacy is essential to our organization’s mission of providing the public with news and educational information that is truthful, trustworthy and of high quality. Because we seek to connect and empower them through outstanding journalism, storytelling, and education, it is vital to our mission to help our audience build and improve their own media literacy skills.

Anything else you want our readers to know about your organization, your mission, or your staff?

Connecticut Public is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, organization, with a $20 million annual budget, funded primarily through community support from individuals, foundations and corporate sponsors.

The views and opinions expressed in the Organizational Spotlight blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of NAMLE or its members. The purpose of the Organizational Spotlight blog is to highlight our Organizational Partners and give them a place to share their reflections, opinions, and ideas.

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