Media literacy law makes sense
There is a bill going through our state legislature that requires media literacy to be included in the curriculum for pre-K and K-12 students. If House Bill 1103 is passed, the State Board of Education would be required to pass revisions to existing reading, writing and citizenship standards to teach media literacy and to develop an online resource of media literacy materials that is common to all school districts throughout the school State would be available.
This is a skill much needed in today’s world of continuous access to global information through 24 hour news networks, talk radio, online resources and social media. Media literacy is defined in the forerunner of HB1103 as “the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create and act on the various forms of media”. (ii) analyze the reliability of information, allegations and sources; “and” practice digital citizenship, including norms for appropriate and responsible behavior and discourse in dealing with the media and the prevention of cyberbullying. “
One of the goals of media literacy teaching is to ensure that students of all ages in Colorado can decipher whether what they read, see, and hear is facts, opinions, or something else, and the credibility and trustworthiness of the source of the To evaluate materials. To put it in today’s language: fact or fake news?
Other goals are to teach students to be open to and respect different viewpoints, to understand the ramifications of the way they communicate, and to build a positive online community. The idea behind this is to know everything about newsfeeds, click bait, and credible sources so that students don’t fall into the rabbit hole that can result from misinformation or disinformation from untrustworthy sources.
Being media literacy enables one to determine the validity of information sources, interact respectfully with people with views other than your own, and use technology to make your community better by being better informed.
When I first heard about the Media Literacy Act, I was immediately surprised how our world would change for the better if the law could be expanded to include media literacy for all of us, not just students. The political divide has become a huge one, created by our reliance on fake news, our inability to analyze and evaluate the wealth of information we constantly receive, and our reluctance to confront people whose views differ from ours
Take a moment to consider where you are getting your news and information from. Most of us rely on the same sources day in and day out, be it a particular newspaper, particular television or radio station, online, social media, or a combination of these, without analyzing the factual accuracy of the content or the credibility of the source evaluate before relying on it.
We usually don’t take the time to think about whether the source of information is biased or whether we are filtering it through our own bias, consciously or unconsciously. Whenever we receive or disclose information from any source, we should determine whether it is true or misinformation or disinformation. Many of us may have shared or received information that we did not know was incorrect or that intentionally created incorrect information to be misleading.
Media literacy will help us all be better informed, reflective, and engaged, leading to a more harmonious and productive society.
I applaud the main sponsors of HB1103, one of whom is Lisa Cutter, our own District 25 representative. Please take the time to read up on HB1103 and try to improve your media literacy and the factual accuracy of any information on the Make sure you rely on them, especially before you share them with others who may rely on you as a credible and trustworthy source.
Janet Heck Doyle is a retired CEO and attorney who has lived in Evergreen with her family for 20 years. She is involved in various nonprofits in Evergreen and Jefferson Counties and served on the board of Evergreen Park & Recreation for eight years.