North Texas Daily

Media literacy is more important than ever

Media literacy is more important than ever

Media literacy is more important than ever
September 05
13:02 2019

In the age of “fake news” and the ever-increasing attack on journalistic integrity, media literacy has never been more important than it is now. Dictionary.com defines media literacy as “the ability or skills to critically analyze for accuracy, credibility, or evidence of bias the content created and consumed in various media, including radio and television, the internet and social media.”

Whether or not you choose to have Fox News, CNN or any other major or minor media outlet as your prime consumption of news, it is important to fully understand its content. In doing so, there are key elements to consider — where the article or piece is coming from, what audience it’s for and why it’s being published.

This may not be as easy as it sounds because it is a popular thing to do now to label just about anything and everything news-related as “fake news” even if that is not the case at all. If you have scrolled through Facebook, Twitter or any social media site for about two minutes, it is almost a guarantee that there will be a post or tweet absolutely livid about a certain article claiming something utterly wrong about it simply based off the headline.

Sure, it’s not inherently right to use a misleading headline, but it is more important to actually read the article before getting outraged about it. This is so important, mainly so it will not create a false panic or uproar about something that is not even real in the first place. It can also be dangerous too, especially when a false narrative is pushed about a marginalized group in society based on some angry posts about a headline.

Reacting to opinion pieces are another issue as well. You can prove whether or not facts in a news story are true however, disagreeing with an opinion piece is simply that – a disagreement. Opinions are views or judgments based solely on an individual, so getting angry or belligerent about a writer’s opinion is reactive in the worst possible way.

It cannot be all about freedom of speech when it only aligns with your views or needs. Freedom of speech is a constitutional right so it applies to everyone. Not only is it the writer’s job to let their opinion be known, it is also their right as a human being to express it. Talks of amendments are an extremely common occurrence nowadays.It does not make sense to just carelessly leave talks of the very First Amendment out.

To put it frankly, the press is important.

Contrary to popular belief, the press is not the enemy of the people, either. The press should be treated with the respect they deserve and not get attacked for simply doing their job. Media literacy is something that seems to be dwindling recently for no good reason and we cannot afford to let it slip right from under us. There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to media literacy  but what everyone can do their part to help make media literacy more common is to simply read the story before you decide to comment.

Featured Illustration: Jeselle Farias

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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