Media Literacy: Can You Tell Truth from Fiction?
by Lindsey Turnbull
When all the information in the world is at your fingertips, can you tell fact from fiction?
It’s totally OK if you can’t! Nearly 40% of MissHeard readers said they are not learning media literacy at home or at school. And it’s not a skill we are born with!
MYTH: Media literacy comes natural to Gen Z! They’re digital natives!
Reality: No one is born with an automatic BS detector, especially when it comes to the rapidly-changing digital media landscape! Media literacy is a skill that everyone needs to learn and practice.
I’m talking about media literacy because I have spent a lifetime watching the spread of lies, misinformation, and damn lies. It’s infuriating and it can be downright dangerous.
And I don’t want you to consume lies. Or spread lies. Even by mistake.
But isn’t that….censorship?
MYTH: Media literacy is censorship! *angery emoji*
Reality: Media literacy is about consuming media and news critically. Someone choosing not to read or share news from an outlet is not censoring that outlet or stopping them from publishing whatever they choose to publish.
I want you to be informed and equipped with truth! To be reliable and trustworthy, a go-to when it comes to things that matter to you! That’s where media literacy comes in.
I asked “why don’t more people do something about this,” and then realized I AM a person that can do something about this!
I spent years in a university library basement, researching and analyzing newspapers, articles, books, in school. At this point, that media literacy is second nature to me. I learned it and so can you!
Is it just for ~*biased*~ people?
MYTH: Media literacy is for people who are biased.
Reality: Every single person on the planet has bias. I do, and so do you, and so does your parent. Media literacy is about acknowledging biases & reading all forms of media critically. So in a way, yes!
Knowing how to read and analyze media is a life skill that serves you…forever!
When you can effectively read and analyze news, you can sort fact from fiction, share information responsibly AND avoid getting duped by fake news, bad faith actors, and grifters!
Are you sure this whole media literacy thing isn’t just a plot by the Republicans/Democrats/left/right?
MYTH: Media literacy is left/right/Republican/Democrat propaganda.
Reality: The opposite! Media literacy teaches folks to consume media from all outlets critically.
If your preferred media outlet does not stand up to some critical thinking or media literacy, well…maybe it’s not a very reliable outlet for news and should be reclassified as “opinion” or “entertainment.”
Find your news wherever you like- media literacy allows you to analyze it for yourself!
Media literacy? A must-have skill for living in the digital world where ALL kinds of info is at your fingertips, always! 10/10. I recommend.