Media literacy is more important than ever – North Texas Daily
In the age of “fake news” and the ever increasing attacks on journalistic integrity, media literacy has never been as important as it is today. Dictionary.com defines media literacy as “the ability or ability to critically analyze content created and consumed in a variety of media, including radio and television, the Internet and social media, for accuracy, credibility, or evidence of bias”.
Whether you choose Fox News, CNN, or other large or small media outlets as your primary news consumer, it is important to fully understand their content. There are important elements to consider – where the article or article came from, what audience it is intended for, and why it is being published.
This may not be as easy as it sounds because it is a popular thing these days to refer to just about anything and everything news-related, even when it is not at all. If you’ve scrolled through Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media site for about two minutes, it’s almost a guarantee that a post or tweet will get absolutely mad at a particular article that claims something completely wrong simply because of the headline.
Sure, using a misleading headline isn’t inherently correct, but it’s more important to actually read the article before getting excited about it. This is so important, especially so as not to create false panic or turmoil over something that is not real at all. It can also be dangerous, especially if a false narrative is spread about a marginalized group in society based on some angry posts about a headline.
Responding to opinion articles is another issue as well. You can prove whether facts in a message are true or not, but disagreeing with an expression is just that – a disagreement. Opinions are views or judgments based solely on one person, so getting angry or argumentative about an author’s opinion is the worst possible way to be reactive.
It can’t be all about freedom of expression if it only suits your views or needs. Freedom of expression is a constitutional right and therefore applies to everyone. It is not only the job of the writer to express his opinion, but also his right as a person to express it. Discussions about amendments are a very common occurrence these days. There is no point in simply carelessly leaving out the talks about the first amendment.
To be honest, the press is important.
Contrary to popular belief, the press is not the enemy of the people either. The press should be treated with the respect it deserves and not attacked for simply doing its job. Media literacy seems to be dwindling lately for no reason and we cannot afford to lose it. There are many things to consider when it comes to media literacy, but anyone can do their part to make media literacy more common by simply reading the story before deciding to comment.
Featured illustration: Jeselle Farias