Media Literacy 101: 4 Places to Look

Lindsey holds a magnifying glass to inspect the news.
Media Literacy 101: 4 Places to Look
by Lindsey Turnbull

So, you’re scrolling on social and a story catches your eye…it could be anything from local news to an international incident.

Quick: What are four quick things to immediately check if you’re not sure if a news source is legit?

You don’t know the first thing about media literacy, do you?

If you can’t name them, read on! (And it’s totally OK if you can’t; 40% of MissHeard followers are not getting any training in media literacy!)

+ Media Literacy Look #1: Date

When was the article published? Is this information recent and relevant? An article about pollution in 2016 is not necessarily helpful if you’re talking about pollution in 2021.

+ Media Literacy Look #2: Author

Does the piece have an author? Or is it listed as “staff writer?” Is the article a repost of another outlet?  Is there a link to the author’s other posts or social media?

Is the author a representative of what is covered? (For example: an article about pens written by the CEO of Bic).

+ Media Literacy Look #3 The Link

Some places disguise news at sites that LOOK similar to real news ie: or These bad faith actors are trying to spread misinformation that looks like actual news.

+Media Literacy Look # 4: The Headline

Is the headline written in a way to provoke you to click or share the piece (without even reading)? The author doesn’t always write the headline (the editor does) but if there’s something about it that makes you curious, angry, or excited, read the whole article before sharing.

Want to stop the spread of misinformation, lies, and damn lies?

Get your Media Detective Kit with all the tools you need to unpack mysterious media!

Related Reading: 

Media Literacy: Can You Tell Truth from Fiction?

What I Wish I Learned in School by Alina Wilson

The Humanities Don’t Get Enough Love

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