Knowingthenews Fullbleed (1)

Working with communities to foster informed news consumption and offer tools to fight disinformation

The spread of disinformation threatens the fabric of our democracy, and public trust in the press is declining. As we navigate through the onslaught of COVID-19 coverage and head toward a national election this fall, PEN America believes it is vital to equip the public with the knowledge and skills to become more discerning news consumers, fit to defend themselves against disinformation.

Facts Save Lives Button 450x350

Knowing the News, a series of virtual media literacy activities, is part of PEN America’s response to the ongoing threat of disinformation—made even more urgent during our current global public health crisis. PEN America has long argued that one of the best defenses against disinformation is ensuring the public has the skills and tools to evaluate the information they encounter and consume. To advance this goal, PEN America is working with our chapters and communities across the country to offer virtual media literacy trainings and other virtual programming during the COVID-19 crisis, including partnership events with journalists, newsrooms, public libraries, and other local organizations.

Upcoming Virtual Events

[WEBINAR] Misinformation y Las Noticias: Credible News for Latinx and Spanish-Language Communities
with the Dallas Public Library
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
6:00pm Central Time

[WEBINAR] Media Literacy in the Disinformation Age
with the Denver Public Library
Part I: Tuesday, August 11, 2020
Part II: Tuesday, August 18, 2020
4:00pm Mountain Time

Past Events

[WEBINAR] Reporting in the Disinformation Age
with the Denver Public Library
Tuesday, August 4, 2020
4:00pm—5:00pm Mountain Time
*Recording available here.*

[WEBINAR] Untangling Misinformation in Detroit BIPOC Communities
with First Draft
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
3:00pm—4:30pm ET

[WEBINAR] Media Literacy in the Disinformation Age
with the Dallas Public Library
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
6:30pm—8:00pm Central Time
*Recording available here.*

[WEBINAR] Protest & Disinformation: Using Media Literacy to Spot it and Stop it
Friday, June 12, 2020
11:30am—1:00pm ET

[WEBINAR] Media Literacy: Librarian Train-the-Trainer Workshop
Part I: Wednesday, May 27 (2:00pm—3:00pm ET)
Part II: Thursday, May 28, 2020 (2:00pm—3:00pm ET)
*Recording available for Librarian Educators here.*

[WEBINAR] Media Literacy in the Disinformation Age
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
6:30pm—8:00pm ET

[WEBINAR] What Higher Education Needs to Know About Disinformation and COVID-19
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
3:30pm—4:45pm ET

[WEBINAR] Free Press on Campus and COVID-19: A Leadership Roundtable with Student Journalists
Friday, Apr. 24, 2020
2:30pm—3:45pm ET

[WEBINAR] Knowing the News: Media Literacy in the Age of COVID-19
Monday, Apr. 13, 2020
7:00pm—8:30pm CDT

[WEBINAR] Fighting Misinformation While Promoting Free Expression
Thursday, Apr. 9, 2020
12:00pm—1:00pm ET

[WEBINAR] Knowing the News: Media Literacy in the Age of COVID-19
Wednesday, Apr. 1, 2020
6:00pm—7:30pm ET

Tools for Combating Disinformation and Promoting Media Literacy During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Thursday, Mar. 26, 2020
11:00am—12:00pm ET

Interested in holding a virtual workshop? Contact us!


PEN America U.S. Free Expression Programs Director Nora Benavidez giving a training

PEN America U.S. Free Expression Programs Director Nora Benavidez gives a presentation. Photo by Steve Eberhardt

What People Are Saying About Our Workshops

“The wealth of information and examples. The enthusiasm of the presenter. It was a very worthwhile workshop.”

“I often feel at least semi-manipulated by what’s presented as news, but without cutting myself off entirely from information that I need, how can I insulate myself from disinformation? Ms. Benavidez offered concrete steps that I’ll try to follow. She was clearly expert in the topic and still able to make the 90 minutes clear and entertaining for a beginner.”

“Increased my awareness of the pervasiveness of mis/disinformation.”

“Those concerns [were covered], updated to a new way in which we now consume not just news, but also information (as well as disinformation). . . Given the heightened emotional context around consuming COVID-19 news and ‘data,’ I will now have a better way to ‘consume’ them.”

“Concise, organized; helped pull together and flesh out some strands of my own thinking about the subject.”

Our Resources & Research on Disinformation

Meet Our Team

Nora Benavidez
Nora Benavidez
Director, U.S. Free Expression Programs
Hannah Waltz
Hannah Waltz
Coordinator, Media Literacy Training
Katie Zanecchia
Katie Zanecchia
Director, National Outreach

Sign Up

Stay informed about what’s happening around the country by subscribing to our daily news digest featuring stories about free expression.