Rumors, gossip, misinformation and disinformation are constantly clogging our ever-following stream of news. Heard A Rumor is here to help.
No, we are not a gossip site. Quite the opposite. Heard A Rumor is an educational initiative created by Samford University public relations students Anna Baldwin, Bailey Baldwin, Claire Owens and myself for the Public Relations Student Society of America’s Bateman National Case Study Campaign. Since 1973, the Public Relations Student Society of America has challenged college students from across the country to research, plan, implement and evaluate strategic promotional and educational goals for real clients. The national competition allows students to build a functional public relations campaign from the ground-up.
“The Bateman campaign has been the most real-world experience I’ve had during my time at Samford in a class,” said Claire Owens, Samford University senior and director of public relations for Heard A Rumor. “I’ve gotten to pitch to the media, conduct research, help create branding and so many other things that I know will serve me well in my future career.”
The winning campaign is chosen by the client and implemented into their practice. This year’s client is nonpartisan news education platform, The News Literacy Project. Heard A Rumor promotes The News Literacy Project’s mission to foster a more news literate America and to fight for facts. Through our four-week educational course, we provide tools that help you distinguish “rumor” from fact. Participants who complete the course become certified “Fact Junkies” and learn to spot misinformation, disinformation, opinion pieces and advertisements in news sources. From busting bots to actively seeking quality journalists and cultivating conversations with friends and family about the importance of understanding misinformation, “Fact Junkies” are vital to the news literacy movement.
We are proud to represent Alabama and Samford University in this national competition, and hope you discover the power you have to stop misinformation and be a light for truth. “Instead of becoming frustrated, which is easy to do, we all have a responsibility to educate ourselves about news literacy as well as forces that can manipulate us. AI and bots are not going away, so we combat that with knowledge.” Said Dr. Betsy Emmons, an associate professor at Samford University and immediate past president of the Alabama chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.
Samford University Senior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in journalism mass communications. Heard A Rumor is competing as a finalist in the Public Relations Student Society of America’s annual Bateman National Case Study Campaign. Learn more about Heard A Rumor’s campaign here.