The Bihar Information and Media Literacy Initiative is led by DataLEADS in partnership with the Carlos III University of Madrid, Spain and supported by the Mercury Project, a research programme of Social Science Research Council (SSRC), New York.
This initiative is implemented with the support of JEEViKA, Government of Bihar. Its goal is to study the impact of a media literacy intervention, by conducting a series of workshops for 6000+ school-going students (grades 8-12), across 32 districts of Bihar. The intervention will focus on health-related news literacy, which is a crucial aspect of media and information literacy. This makes BIMLI a unique program implemented at such a large scale in India.
BIMLI will evaluate if inoculating against misinformation through a grassroots training program will be effective in combating health misinformation among secondary school students in Bihar. In randomly selected schools, students will participate in four two-hour sessions over a period of three months, in which they will learn about the problem of health misinformation in India and its consequences, how and why misinformation spreads, and strategies to inoculate against it. The effectiveness of these sessions will be measured by comparing students in schools with and without these sessions, including students’ self-reported attitudes and identification of misinformation, as well as behavioral outcomes such as whether they flag dubious content online, comply with public health measures, and the quality of their news diet.