Tuesday, November 29, 2016

More media literacy resources

In an earlier blog post, I introduced you to the work of Melissa Zimdars, who created some tips for analyzing news sources, and in the process, I advocated keeping some fact checking websites bookmarked for those occasions where a story seemed too sensational to be true. Since then, Zimdars has been updating her tips and her list. I thought a couple of the links she suggests visiting are well worth your while:

Truth, truthiness, triangulation: A news literacy toolkit for a “post-truth” world by Joyce Valenza for School Library Journal.

Digital Resource Center

I wish that we could count on our news sources to be accurate, but we can't. We have to put in a bit of legwork when we see a story that looks interesting. Of the various pieces of advice, triangulating (looking for multiple sources for a story rather than relying on a single source) and reading the "about us" link when looking at a new website (or new to you website) are invaluable. We should also remember that in a 24/7 news cycle world, "breaking news" should be treated with caution. Early breaking information is often inaccurate, so make sure to check back later as journalists do their job. Also a good idea to be aware of your own biases and open yourself up to reputable sources that might go outside your own comfort zone. The reason for that last bit of advice is simply to avoid ending up in an echo chamber. Confirmation bias is tempting, as it "feels good" to read or listen to information that essentially confirms your own pre-set beliefs. However, those who might approach a story from a different angle may provide useful information that will empower you to question your beliefs and modify as needed. Often, the interesting stories - especially during an election cycle - are enormously complex and can be examined from any of a number of angles. Although the facts (the data in a news story) might constrain conclusions that may be drawn, examining how others draw somewhat different conclusions from the same story can be informative. I would also be wary of making too much from photos or video clips, as they may only tell part of a story if accurate, and with the advent of guerrilla journalism and photo-editing software those photos or video clips may be entirely worthless. Reliable sources may be less prone to circulating inaccurate information, but can still get facets of a story wrong. So again, triangulate.

I am sure that I will want to share more with you as we go forward. But for now, we have a working set of resources that will suffice.

No comments:

Post a Comment