Media literacy is essential for Gen Z – The Daily Aztec

In the wake of Frances Haugen, former Facebook employee and federal whistleblower revelations on social media algorithms on CBS’ “60 minutes” and later testimony At the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, the importance of Internet media literacy was highlighted.

Company documents presented by Haguen indicate how Facebook knowingly exposes its users to misinformation but fails to use the tools it has to stop them.

In an increasingly polarized and chaotic media environment, students must be sufficiently prepared to discern fact from fiction when consuming information, especially on the Internet.

Despite the mainstream narrative that journalism is in decline, the number of digital print runs has risen sharply in recent years, according to a report by the Pew Research Center. Although it is well known that the circulation of paper editions of newspapers is declining, these changes simply reflect a transition from the traditional newspaper format to a more dynamic digital format.

Gathering information from a host of internet sources is nothing new to students my age, as apps like Instagram and Twitter have been beacons of online information since the early 2010s.

According to a Pew Research survey, 86% of Americans say they often receive information from the Internet.

Connor Quinn, an aerospace engineering junior, said he collects all of his Snapchat news simply for ease and convenience.

Never before has such a wealth of information been so easily accessible.

The challenge presented to both media and consumers is to distinguish between objective truths and misleading misinformation, which has become an epidemic online. As far as current scholars and future leaders are concerned, it is imperative that today’s students be competent in seeking and attaining truth in order to better understand the world.

In one interview with CBS’ Scott Pelley, Haguen said “[Facebook] knows it is accelerating hate, political unrest, misinformation, mental health damage, and other issues, but has failed to address them if it means hindering its own growth.

Facebook and other social media agencies have no obligation to tell the truth, as dialogue that divides users has been found to drive engagement.

The online division sown by bad actors is not a new concept. He has been fine documented how online trolls influenced specific voting blocks with bad information on Facebook ahead of the 2016 election.

Misinformation, internet trolls and faulty algorithms won’t disappear overnight – because we know social media companies profit from vitriolic and controversial content – ​​which means students must be prepared to filter through the masses. information online to find transparent and objective journalism.

According to Harvard Graduate School of Education, students have a broader definition of news, meaning they view YouTube videos, comedy sketches, political memes, and Reddit feeds as sources of accurate news. With a greater pool of information available to students than other parts of the population, it is even more essential that students can discern what is truthful online.

There are many strategies students should adopt when evaluating their social media feeds for news and information.

According to digital content creator Grace Tatter, “When students consume information, they need to think about how they will cross-reference it with other sources, ask themselves what context is missing, and evaluate the source.”

In today’s media environment, everything should be viewed with skepticism.

Basically, the critical analysis of current events requires constant questioning.

The University of Minnesota Library collected the opinions of media education professionals and describe the following questions to ask when consuming media: Who created the message? What are the author’s credentials? Why was the message created? How do I know this information is accurate? What is the expected audience?

Media content is everywhere, so students should be constantly prepared to critically examine what they read or watch online. This includes fact-checking, reviewing the background and references of the media company or journalist, and reading multiple articles on the same issue.

Media literacy enables students to sort through the Internet’s data cloud, locate reliable sources, and identify biases and unreliable sources.

As stated in the book “Understanding Media Culture”, mass communication messages are developed by individuals, and each individual has their own set of values, assumptions, and opinions. Accepting media messages at face value can be confusing due to all the conflicting information available.

We have the tools to seek out reliable and credible information and in our digitized world it is imperative that we use them.

It is our responsibility to seek the truth, now more than ever.

Willem Quigley is a junior journalism student. Follow him on Twitter @willquigz11.

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