Why News Literacy Now
We have always needed news literacy to be discerning and informed citizens who value, protect and participate in democracy, and we need it now more than ever. Why now? Consider a few reasons.
We live in the Digital Age of Disinformation when it is challenging to know what is real and what is fake and whom to believe and trust for news and information.
We get news from a media ecosystem where factual news reporting exists alongside opinions and falsehoods and can be easily confused with one another.
We may follow news that supports our views, confirms our biases, and confines us to an echo chamber that intentionally limits our perspective on an issue.
We may not realize that algorithms track and shape our online experiences creating filter bubbles that generate revenue for social media.
We may not recognize that an AI chatbot wrote the news story or created the image and it might be inaccurate, biased, plagiarized, or entirely fabricated, possibly with the intent to spread disinformation.
We may not know how to find credible and reliable news from trustworthy sources and spot false and misleading information that may be disguised as news.
We may not be familiar with our First Amendment rights and why the guarantee of a free press is vital to a democracy.
We need to be news media literate ─ no matter where and when we get our news.
The idea for this book was inspired by my students who get a lot of their news from social media. Most of them are tech savvy but not media literate or news literate. After taking my course, they inevitably ask, "Why didn't we learn this in middle or high school?"
I hope this book helps you "read" the news ─ to think like a journalist and search like a fact-checker. After you learn these news media literacy skills, please pass them along.