Foreign interference in democracy
Rosemary Smith is the Managing Director of the Getting Better Foundation. Her background in media, marketing, and communications is well suited to further GBF’s mission of building trust through education about positive human progress and behavior.
In 2015, Getting Better Foundation (GBF) was formed with the objective of “Building trust through truth” with the strategy of helping people understand how to properly consume media.
GBF founder Joe Phelps believed then, as he does now, that media literacy helps to find the truth and protects us from mis- and dis-information.
“The more people trust one another, the more they are willing to help one another. Trust is the foundation of civilization and creates upward spirals.”
In 2020 GBF finished the production of “Trust Me,” a feature documentary about the problems caused by media illiteracy and for the film to to help raise the awareness of the need for media literacy. Recently, “Trust Me” received the Walter Cronkite Excellence in Journalism award for the feature film and its educational program written by the News Literacy Project. The film and curriculum serve as guides for schools, universities, and for all of us as parents and grandparents.
"Trust Me" brings awareness of people's need for media literacy to build trust, lessen polarization, and preserve democracy. Oscar-nominated Roko Belic traveled the world filming true stories where a lack of media literacy led to crisis, like the New Zealand parents who nearly lost their son due to misinformation they’d read online. Or, a young professional man killed by a Murki, a lynch mob in India, because the community circulated misinformation about a kidnapper on WhatsApp. Or the Chicago parents who are afraid to let their children play outdoors for fear of them being “taken.” And good news stories from schools seeing declines in student anxiety, depression and suicidology since implementing media literacy in classrooms. Roko then interviewed experts in psychology, journalism, and media literacy, who explain why our brains respond to sensational media. These experts then provide tools for us to use to become more resilient and collaborative.
The film has become a darling of the U.S. State Department who has declared media literacy a strategic defense priority.... screening the movie at embassies, universities, schools, and American Corners globally.
This first clip is called "Foreign Interference in Democracy." It demonstrates how war mongering governments like Vladimir Putin's, have been waging cyber conflict for decades. Experts then explain how we can identify online manipulation, abstain from “liking” and “clicking” on mal-information, and how we might protect others.
The full film is streaming here. All of the licensing and streaming fees go toward the 501c3 non-profit Getting Better Foundation and are utilized for media literacy.