COLUMBIA, SC (FOX Carolina) - Representative Seth Rose says the first step in combating fake news is realizing, in an age of social media and native advertising, it's a problem.
"It's obviously troubling to me, what I've seen at the national level, when you talk about our elections, and you talk about the discussions that they had in congress about Facebook," he said.
According to a 2019 National Center for Educational Statistics study, more than a third of 8th graders in the US reported they "rarely" learn how to judge the reliability of sources in the classroom.
"Let's make our curriculum modern," Rose urged. "Let's train and prepare our kids for the dangers of social media, and to be able to fact-check and cross check the information they're getting."
That's why he's spearheading new legislation to create a media literacy panel at the state level; to start talking lesson plans, new classes, and overall curriculum to integrate into classrooms.
"You can't just scroll down, read a headline, and take that as the gospel. We need to dig deeper," he explained.
Rose plans to start pushing for this next week at the start of session.
"Many of our young people are not skeptical," added Frank Baker. Baker is a former news producer and public school system employee who published his own book on media literacy back in 2017. He initially came to Rose with his expertise...and the idea for this bill.
"They tend to believe whatever is on the internet, whatever is on social media, whatever is on television," he said.
Baker also adds: What they're trying to teach is simple.
"I like to think of it as applying critical thinking skills to media messages," he explained. "Take an example from popular culture--or current events news--and bring it into the classroom."
That way, he says students can sift through the cluttered airways filled with advertisers and politicians.
"Who is telling you this? Do they have an agenda? What techniques are they using to get your attention?" Baker stated--examples of what questions he would urge students to ask themselves.
Both men agree: it's the way of the future. And the time to act is now.
"Too many times in South Carolina, we are the last to do something. And this is our chance to be on the forefront of something great," said Rose.