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Military Veterans in Journalism Information Integrity Project Expands in Combating Spread of Violent Extremist Narratives Targeting Military-connected Communities

By June 25, 2024News

Social justice-focused foundation pledges support for MVJ’s project to curb the rise of targeted deceptive narratives and violent extremist recruitment in military and veteran communities.

Jun. 25, 2024 – Military Veterans in Journalism announced today the addition of two new team members to its Information Integrity Project, thanks to new support from the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation. The project team now totals six members working across the digital information landscape to help inoculate the military-connected community against targeted deception narratives and violent extremist recruitment efforts online.

MVJ’s Information Integrity Project launched two years after a research project from the Center for Strategic and International Studies found that veterans and active-duty military members may make up at least 25% of militia rosters. Recent research coming out of the program’s collaboration with the University of Alabama Veterans and Media Lab further shows that an alarming 57% of veterans said they have been targeted with disinformation coming from malicious groups seeking to recruit them.

To combat these efforts, Information Integrity Project team members research, produce and promote media literacy explainers to help inoculate community members against targeted propaganda. Project team members, the majority of whom are themselves military veterans, engage with fellow veterans across social media channels to provide constructive discourse and resources to reconnect with purpose. The project also supports a reporting team at Military Times to independently produce high-quality reporting on violent extremist groups that are targeting veterans and service members.

“Violent extremist groups aim to exploit our military and tarnish the legacies of those who’ve served by attempting to co-opt the military and veteran community,” said Carla O, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and the program’s marketing manager. “They seek out veteran voices to normalize their groups and bolster their perceived credibility, patriotism and professionalism, which ultimately undermines the service of those veterans. Our program works to expose the propaganda and recruitment tactics they use and inoculate members of the military and veteran community against future efforts.”

The Information Integrity Project has previously received generous support from the Knight Foundation, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, and the MacArthur Foundation. With this grant, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation joins these national foundations and others in contributing to MVJ’s efforts to prevent extremist recruitment within military-connected communities online. Funding from the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation enabled the addition of two new team members: a researcher and a partnerships manager.

“We are seeing more and more bad actors taking advantage of military veterans, service members, and their families to hinder social justice and promote extremism,” said Jonathan Logan, President and CEO of the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation. “We support MVJ in their efforts to protect military-connected communities who are being used by extremists to undermine our democracy.”

MVJ thanks the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation for its support of our Information Integrity Project. While the program currently has funding through Summer 2025, MVJ is seeking support to extend it for the following two years. If you are interested in supporting our efforts, please email [email protected].