Apple teams with media literacy programs to fight fake news

The tech giant is supporting three organizations in the US and Europe.

Abrar Al-Heeti Video producer / CNET
Abrar Al-Heeti is a video host and producer for CNET, with an interest in internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. Before joining the video team, she was a writer for CNET's culture team. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
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Apple is backing three nonprofit organizations with media literacy programs in an effort to battle fake news, the company said Tuesday. 

The iPhone maker will support the News Literacy Project and Common Sense in the US, and Osservatorio Permanente Giovani-Editori in Italy. The programs are geared toward teaching young people critical thinking skills for the digital age. 

"News literacy is vital to sustaining a free press and thriving democracy, and we are proud to be collaborating with organizations on the front lines of this effort," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. "We've been impressed by the important work being done by the News Literacy Project, Common Sense and Osservatorio, empowering young people to be active and engaged citizens."

This comes ahead of Apple's March 25 event, where the company is expected to unveil a news subscription service.

When Apple launched a 2018 midterm elections section in its News app last year, Cook said the company created the special section because "news was kind of going a little crazy." He also said Apple has a responsibility to speak out about topics like immigration and human rights. 

"Apple News is committed to presenting quality journalism from trusted sources," Lauren Kern, Apple News editor in chief, said in the statement. "We're thrilled that Apple is supporting these important organizations to train the next generation on how to seek out accurate and reliable information amid an increasingly complicated news landscape."