TRUST ME is a feature-length documentary including 15 teachable segments and curriculum guides written by NewsLiteracyProject for the classroom. “TRUST ME” explores manipulation and misinformation at the intersection of human nature and information technology. It explains how that drives a need for media literacy. Expert interviews point the way toward a positive future. The film is produced by the Getting Better Foundation, whose mission is to build trust through the truth. 

“…we need to have confidence that improvement is possible. Today’s information diet tends to work against these goals, and it’s essential that we understand how people learn about current affairs and how we can enhance their knowledge about the present and hope for the future. Trust Me is a vivid, engaging, and penetrating portrait of these vital issues.”

Steven Pinker - Professor of Psychology - Harvard University, Author - "Enlightenment Now"
Synopsis: 

“TRUST ME” explores why humankind is attracted to stories about violence, how media outlets capitalize on that, and how we gather and share information and misinformation in the digital age. We explore confirmation bias and how innate neurological traits interact with web algorithms to distort how we see the world. “TRUST ME” gives audiences a front row seat to the efforts of individuals, educators, and government regulators all the way up to the United Nations, in promoting journalistic integrity and media literacy around the world.Viewers will hear stories from teachers and students in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Durango, CO schools, parents in Chicago, law enforcement in India and anti-vaxxers in New Zealand. World-renowned scientists and journalists then provide accounting of how media “ill-literacy” has led to the most sensational news stories and how media literacy helps overcome anxiety, depression, even violence and crime. 

Oscar-nominated director Roko Belic interviewed an aggregate of prominent social scientists, journalists and educators, including Steven Pinker, Matt Ridley, Paul Zak, as well as other leading experts in education, journalism and healthcare. Our compelling human stories and expert interviews unveil ways audiences can detect manipulation from media sources, how they can identify valid messaging and self-limit their own sharing/reporting of credible facts, leading to a positive influence on the state of mental health.

Reviews

“Whom should you trust in the media? Trust Me addresses this important issue. I’m proud to have been a part of this artful and powerful film that not only addresses the problem but, more importantly, offers solutions. “

Michael Shermer - Publisher Skeptic magazine, Author "Giving the Devil His Due"

“Every teacher in America should view this documentary.”

Alfredo Lujan, President, National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE)

“The screening of “Trust Me” at Thessaloniki’s THISAM academy left a significant impact on me.  Our fellow journalism students and I agree we didn’t understand how people can be misled by news and how crises arise from it.  We are all now cognizant of the fact that our career choices are important and will make a difference in the world.”  

Janja Šestak – Croatia University journalism student
Director's Commentary: 

While the internet offers a world of information to billions of people, it’s not designed to be trustworthy. Stories that go viral and make money for internet platforms are the ones that ignite strong emotions, like fear and outrage, whether they’re true or not. TRUST ME, our feature documentary film, shares moving, real-life stories of the people who disseminate fake news and those who have suffered and even lost their lives because of malicious online rumors. It reveals the depth of misinformation campaigns at a time when even our presidential elections are at risk. And it shows how, despite the daunting challenges we face, we can fix this if we are committed, compassionate and – most fundamentally – informed.

 

Producer’s Statement – Joe Phelps – “TRUST ME”:

The Getting Better Foundation produced “Trust Me” to help narrow the perception gap between how too many people view the world vs what empirical data show to be positive evolution in terms of violence, poverty and healthcare.  It is relevant and timely because that misperception is causing a loss of truth in each other, which, in turn, inhibits our progress.   Joe Phelps, Producer