Merchants of Doubt

Download the Curriculum

The Merchants of Doubt study guide, developed by the Poynter Institute in joint collaboration with Participant Media and Omidyar Network, is designed to help citizens develop critical thinking skills that will allow them to sort through confusing messages and distinguish between truth, propaganda, and misinformation. Each section examines statements made in the film and asks questions intended to trigger thoughtful discussions and debates.

Download the College Curriculum

Download the High School Curriculum 

Host A Screening

To host an educational or faith-based group screening and discussion of Merchants of Doubt…

  • Get your license to screen the film by emailing Sony Pictures Classics
  • Get your DVD – Buy, or available on iTunes and Netflix DVD rental or streaming (Available Oct. 22nd)
  • Get your discussion guide here

'Merchants of Doubt' Film Clips

Watch the clips referenced in the study guide

Find Out What Sets This Magician Apart From Other ‘Merchants of Doubt’

Magician Jamy Ian Swiss explains the moral contract that differentiates his form of deception from that of climate deniers, front groups, and pundits-for-hire. 

'Merchants of Doubt' Film Clips

Watch the clips referenced in the study guide

Why Don’t People Change Their Minds When New Data About Climate Comes In?

When it comes to climate change, tribal affiliation often trumps scientific data. 

Hard Pill to Swallow

Watch the clips referenced in the study guide.

Why Are Climate Deniers So Effective?

Find out why climate deniers are so influential, despite conclusive scientific evidence on climate change.

A Hard Pill to Swallow

Watch the clips referenced in the study guide.

Find Out What Happens to Scientists Who Speak Out About Global Warming

In spite of an overwhelming consensus among their peers about the nature of climate change, scientists are called communists and threats to American democracy when they speak out.


'Merchants of Doubt' Film Clips

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About the Poynter Institute

The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global leader in journalism education, and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media and 21st century public discourse. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., and at conferences and organizational sites around the world. Its e-learning division, News University,, offers the world’s largest online journalism curriculum in 7 languages, with more than 400 interactive courses and 300,000 registered users in more than 200 countries. The world’s top journalists and media innovators come to Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians and broadcast producers, and to build public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment and protected discourse that serves democracy and the public good.