Media literacy

Louisiana Tech professor discusses the importance of media literacy

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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 Outreach: Educating the Public to Become More Media Awareness” at the Responsible Journalism and Publicity Conference. communication.

Journalists, political and government communications specialists discussed the roles of news in conflict, ‘fake news’ and ‘post-truth’ environments, and ways to assess the impact of training and education. educating journalists at this innovative academic conference.

Roberts said his topic was particularly timely given that Americans are on the verge of another presidential election, and research has shown that in the months leading up to the last presidential election, one in four Americans visited a false information website.

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

Roberts and fellow tech instructor Megan Smith both taught the media literacy course for tech students. Smith, who is also the coach of Tech’s debate team, echoed Roberts’ sentiments.

“Media literacy has never been more important to students due to the constant increase in media sources and information, but also the way the media influences all parts of our interpersonal relationships in our national elections. Smith said. “Learning to use 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 could not 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. as our outlook on moral character development. Said Heimane.

Roberts’ previous research focuses on politics and religion, as well as social media. She is a social media consultant and teaches courses in 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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