Teaching Media Literacy In The US – Protection Against False News​

Teaching Media Literacy In The US – Protection Against False News​

By William Jackson
Twitter @wmjackson
My Quest To Teach #MyQuestToTeach
As a past instructor at the historic Edward Waters College teaching Educational Technology and Social Media it raises serious concerns that too many students do not take fake or false news seriously. Mass Communications, Journalism and other majors that focus on online content cannot afford to leave their students in the dark or not to address this serious issue.
The admission of Social Media companies providing content space to foreign countries that disseminate fake news or propaganda that is intentional to influence the perceptions of Americans is a reality.Social Media is being manipulated to suit the desires of foreign entities with malus intent to our society and direction of the minds in politics, economics and commerce.

Companies that specialize in the distribution of global content have more access to individuals than any governmental body in history. It is always interesting that individuals and families will put all their family history and personal information in an unfiltered digital environment, they do not realize their personal information is a key to what news is directed at them.False and fake news has been and still is being created and allowed to move through the Internet directed at this and other countries through the same companies that provide information that is read, viewed, downloaded and shared across digital platforms

Distorted truths to create changes in the minds of Americans that have shown to affect their perceptions and understanding of the political process, individuals running for political office and even the balance of power and power projection.The results are being seen in the thoughts and actions of Americans questioning the electoral process that has been in place for this country for decades. The electoral process is not a perfect system and does need modification and adaptation because of the growing use of tech. The integration of technology is creating apprehension and fear that foreign countries can pay a price literally to create false and/or misleading content.Teaching teachers to recognize these elements and to recognize false information is becoming a priority.

Teaching students to analyze content and not take it for face value is designed to teach students to potentially recognize propaganda,but that is a challenge with so many students that are struggling with reading comprehension and relevancy.

Students must be taught the how’s and why’s of questioning posted content, how to evaluate sources for validity, accuracy and truth.Students must have the skill-sets to regurgitate what they are reading and listening to, find out where the information originated.Students in Mass Communications or Media and even Social Media curriculums in higher education are in danger of being manipulated themselves if instructors, teachers and administrators do not include in their curriculums how to recognize false information. Students should be required to blog, create Podcasts, and even video blogs to understand the process so they can see, hear and experience the process of creating media virtually.

It is not just important to read, but comprehension and relevance are needed skills. If false, fake and manipulated news is allowed to continuously be posted on Social Media feeds, people will begin to mistrust mainstream media affecting the reputations of news and media companies.The ramifications could be tragic and far reaching for media companies and their continued survival and trustworthiness.

Watch: Facebook, Twitter & Google to testify in House Russia ​hearings