Media literacy helps us understand, analyze and create media. While we rely on good journalism to provide accurate information, we also have responsibilities of our own in this media-saturated environment. We can no longer be passive consumers of media. We need to be active users of media, as readers, listeners, viewers and creators, so we are all better informed. Our goal is to help you do just that.
Week 1 – How media have changed; key principles for becoming an active user of media; and why media/news literacy is so important in a data-saturated environment. What it means to be a critical thinker.
Week 2 – Be skeptical of everything, but not equally skeptical of everything. Why judgement is so important. More on why we all need a personal credibility scale. We’ll look at the two-sides fallacy, understanding risk (statistical), social media and the velocity of information.
Week 3 – BS detection with Howard Rheingold. Slant vs. opinion; astroturfing and native advertising, where to find credible information.
Week 4 – Opening our minds: Escaping echo chambers and filter bubbles. Recognizing “confirmation bias” in ourselves, not just others. Seeking out opposing views and other cultural worldviews.
Week 5 – Literacy is also creation: Principles of creating media with integrity: Ownership of media, tools for creating media, legal and ethical issues in media creation, integrity in creating media.
Week 6 – Trust and reputation in a saturated media landscape. How media providers engender trust (or mistrust), fact-checking, transparency, community. How we in the audience can help our information providers be more trustworthy. Why we – audiences and information providers alike – need to adopt a “slow news” approach.
Week 7 - Next steps: How you can put all of this into long-term action; why you should be a media literacy advocate (and how to do it). Plus: resources for parents and teachers.