According to the National Association for Media Literacy Education, media literacy is “the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create and act using all forms of communication. In its simplest terms, media literacy builds upon the foundation of traditional literacy and offers new forms of reading and writing. Media literacy empowers people to be critical thinkers and makers, effective communicators and active citizens.” Additionally, “news literacy is one part of media literacy that includes the ability to judge the reliability and credibility of news reports.”
What does this really mean, and why is it important? Libraries have always been valuable information resources for their communities. Finding credible news in today’s digital world can be challenging. It isn’t always clear who is providing the information we find online or their reasons for posting it. The need to help people navigate the complicated world of digital media is just as important to the Library as helping patrons find books on particular subjects.
Check out the facts from these reliable sources before you share.
AllSides.com: Exposes bias and provides multiple angles on the same story so you can quickly get the full picture, not just one slant.
AP Fact Check: Fact-checking and accountability journalism from AP journalists around the globe.
FactCheck.org: A nonpartisan, nonprofit “consumer advocate” for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics; a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.
MediaBiasFactCheck.com: An independent online media outlet founded in 2015, dedicated to educating the public on media bias and deceptive news practices.
Newseum.org: Headquartered in Washington, D.C., this organization promotes, explains and defends free expression and the five freedoms of the First Amendment: religion, speech, press, assembly and petition.
Perspecsnews.com: A free app that curates the top news stories from a variety of established regional, national and international news sources. Unlike traditional aggregators and news curation services, Perspecs goes a step further and offers readers three polarised opinions of the same story.
PolitiFact.com: A fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others who speak up in American politics. PolitiFact is run by editors and reporters from the Tampa Bay Times, an independent newspaper in Florida.
ProjectImplicit.net: A non-profit organization and international collaboration between researchers who are interested in implicit social cognition – thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control. The goal of the organization is to educate the public about hidden biases and to provide a “virtual laboratory” for collecting data on the Internet.
Snopes.com: Founded by David Mikkelson in 1994 as an expression of his interest in researching urban legends. Snopes has since grown into the oldest and largest fact-checking site on the Internet, one widely regarded by journalists, folklorists, and laypersons alike as one of the world’s essential resources.