Media literacy

Posted ‘newspapers’ raise questions of media literacy and political awareness

Copies of the Peoria Standard recently arrived in mailboxes in and around the city, prompting questions about media literacy and political literacy.

The mailer is printed in a standard newspaper format and includes a front page article with several “stories” column features inside. But these stories are presented from a clearly right-wing perspective, with no formal disclosure of their partisan leanings.

Bradley University communications professor Dr Dakota Horn said he assumed it was a new small newspaper for the region.

“And then I read the first story, I was like, wow, this is a little too much. And then I just kept flipping through it. And it was overwhelming to say the least,” he said. he declares.

Horn said these newspapers are a smart approach to gaining readers, but the harmful nature of their content distorts public perception of journalism and objectivity.

Identifying these types of political senders includes the use of media literacy, or the ability to access, analyze, and evaluate the media consumed. Horn said those skills come from readers recognizing their internal biases and consuming media that presents a multitude of perspectives.

“Everyone thinks they’re very critical of what they eat, right? They’re like, oh, I’m really good at this. I’m very objective, I can do all these things. I think the key thing for an instructor is to build that reflective nature,” he said. “How critical are you? And how do you check yourself at the door when you read these things? »

Teaching media literacy and objective writing is at the heart of Bradley University’s journalism program. Journalism professor Dr Cory Barker said it was easy to tell people to slow down and check news sources, but the practicality of this is more complex.

“To a certain extent, I think we should expect that from people. People should make that effort to be as informed as possible,” he said, “but I also think the torrent of misinformation and misinformation we receive on a regular basis means it’s so difficult even for the most committed, educated, active person who desires to be as knowledgeable and informed as possible. It is always very difficult to do all this work on a regular basis.

Barker also said that internal biases can cause certain perspectives to be colored, and recognizing those biases would be the first step to becoming media literate.

“Having that moment of self-reflection and trying to keep pushing yourself to realize that’s what I believe, you know, is that confirmed by that information or disputed by that information? I think that’s is the first step that we don’t always think about,” he said.

He said these skills can help Peoria residents think critically about the media and content they view daily, and that finding sources of objective information can help voters make informed decisions. at the polls on Tuesday.

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