Media literacy

A professor discusses the vital importance of media literacy at an international conference

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A faculty member from Louisiana Tech College of Liberal Arts discussed the importance of media literacy in tackling the problem of fake news in society at an international conference this week.

Judith Roberts, Department Coordinator and Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Media Studies, presented “Edification and Awareness: Educating the Public to Become More Media-Savvy Citizens” at the Journalism and Media Conference. responsible communications.

Specialists in journalism, politics and government communication discussed the roles of news in conflict, ‘fake news’ and ‘post-truth’ environments, and ways to assess the impact of training and education of journalists at this innovative academic conference.

Roberts said his topic was particularly timely, given that Americans are about to have another presidential election, and research has shown that in the months leading up to the last presidential election, one in four Americans visited. a fake news website.

“One of the things that our department and our college try to communicate to students, from first year through graduation, is the importance of media literacy and understanding how news can shape your view of the world,” Roberts said. “We cannot just be passive consumers of media. We need to be active consumers who consider the validity and veracity of what is posted on news sites and social media.

Roberts and fellow Tech Instructor Megan Smith both taught the Media Education course for Tech students. Smith, who is also Tech’s debate team coach, echoed Roberts’ sentiments.

Media literacy has never been more important for students due to the ever-increasing media sources and information, but also how the media influences all parts of our interpersonal relationships with our national elections “Smith said. “Learning to use the media responsibly empowers students well beyond their college years. Media analysis and evaluation are lifelong skills.

Brenda Heiman, Director of the School of Communication, said this topic couldn’t be more timely.

“With the impact of social media on all aspects of our lives, it is essential that education plays a leading role in helping students understand the dangers of ‘fake news’ on our decision-making processes as well than our perspective on the development of moral character,” Heiman says.

Roberts’ previous research looks at politics and religion, as well as social media. She is a social media consultant and teaches courses on media law, social media and communication theory, among others. This summer, she was also a judge for the Australian Social Media Marketing Awards.

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