Face the Facts

Elections, misinformation & the news


PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs, in partnership with the Poynter Institute's MediaWise, hosted “Face the Facts: Election 2020 Youth Town Hall.” The virtual event engaged students and first-time voters to be prepared and better informed ahead of the November 2020 elections. The livestream included different segments featuring young people that have been clipped for educators to use separately or all together to guide conversations about civics, elections and the role of young voters in a democratic society.

NewsHour's Amna Nawaz and Hari Sreenivasan join NBC News' Savannah Sellers and Snapchat Host Peter Hamby for a brief discussion on the election, the challenging nature of spotting misinformation, and finding credibility in the news.

Watch the video with students and then answer the discussion questions.

Discussion Questions:

  • Why do you think show producers chose journalists to talk about elections and misinformation?
  • In what ways are they experts on these topics?
  • Based on the conversation, how are this year’s elections going to be different from past years?
  • How do journalists fact-check?
  • What advice did the panelists have for young voters?
  • Did you agree or disagree with anything that the panelists shared? Why or why not?
  • Do you think journalists play an important role in our democratic society? Why or why not?

Speaking and Listening - Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

Empowered Learner

Students leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving, and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences. (ISTE)

Digital Citizenship

Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and ethical. (ISTE)

Demonstrate writing processes used in journalism and broadcasting media.

Civic and Political Institutions

In order to act responsibly and effectively, citizens must understand the important institutions of their society and the principles that these institutions are intended to reflect. That requires mastery of a body of knowledge about law, politics, and government. (NCSS D2.Civ.1.9-12 - D2.Civ.6.9-12)

Gathering and Evaluating Sources

Whether students are constructing opinions, explanation, or arguments, they will gather information from a variety of sources and evaluate the relevance of that information. (NCSS D3.1.9-12 - D3.2.9-12)

Reading - Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

Speaking and Listening - Comprehension and Collaboration





Media Literacy

Digital Literacy/Citizenship








Estimated Time

30 Minutes