- 1 Northeast Media Literacy Conference:The Past, Present and Future of Media Literacy Education
- 1.1 Sat., Feb. 4, 2017 Central Connecticut State University New Britain, Conn. THIS PAGE AVAILABLE AT: http://tinyurl.com/ccsu-fake-news
- 1.2 Defining the Fake News Moment: Fiction, Fad, Fatal or Media Lit Opportunity?
- 1.3 CONVENING QUESTION:
- 1.4 ACCESS BACKGROUND MATERIALS
- 1.5 RELATED LINKS
- 1.6 THE ETHICS OF JOURNALISM? -- SELECTED RESOURCES
Sat., Feb. 4, 2017
Central Connecticut State University
New Britain, Conn.
THIS PAGE AVAILABLE AT: http://tinyurl.com/ccsu-fake-news
Plenary "unconference" breakout: 1:00 p.m.-1:45 p.m.
With Katherine Fry, Allison Butler, Mellisa Zimdars and Bill Densmore
In the last six months, our political discourse has been infected by a new term: “Fake News.” In a 45-minute, circle-round session, we’ll probe the limits of what the term might mean, and how it might be an opportunity to mainstream media-literacy education. We’ll drive toward a consensus statement, addressing such questions as: How do current concepts of “fake” news differ from what was published by 18th-century pamphleteers, or 1960s supermarket tabloids? Is news “fake” based on point of view only, or because it reports as facts things that are demonstrably untrue? Is it only “fake” if its intention is to mislead? Who defines “mislead?” In an age when all of us can be reporters via our Facebook feed, do we all need tutoring on how to create — and consume — trustworthy reporting and information? In social media, is news now anything more than verified gossip? Who is the trusted verifier? Our “conversation catalysts” will start the discussion, then we’ll invite all to to participate.
“It’s the biggest crisis facing our democracy, the failing business model of real journalism,” Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri and a longtime critic of fake news, told me on Saturday. Ms. McCaskill said that “journalism is partly to blame” for being slow to adjust as the internet turned its business model upside down and social media opened the competitive floodgates. “Fake news got way out ahead of them,” she said.
Also see: Frank Romano published, 1990 in TypeWorld: "We are the Press"
What consensus statement can we reach about news, trust, community and citizenship in a media-literate society?
Our “conversation catalysts” will include:
- Katherine Fry, a journalism scholar and co-founder of a media literacy organization who teaches graduate media-literacy education at CUNY-Brooklyn
- Allison Butler, who runs the media-literacy certificate program and teaches at UMass Amherst
- Mellisa Zimdars, assistant professor of communication and media at Merrimack College who is working with a team of librarians and computer programmers to create tools for navigating “news” websites through an OpenSources project called Melissa's List
- Joined by Bill Densmore, a director of Journalism That Matters and a research fellow of the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism.
After the plenary discussion, Bulter, Fry and Zimdars will each lead half-hour, deeper-dive breakouts.
EXCERPT FROM A COLUMN BY THOMAS FRIEDMAN:
It’s a huge legal, moral and strategic problem, and it will require . . . “a new social compact” to defuse.
Work on that compact has to start with every school teaching children digital civics. And that begins with teaching them that the internet is an open sewer of untreated, unfiltered information, where they need to bring skepticism and critical thinking to everything they read and basic civic decency to everything they write.
A Stanford Graduate School of Education study published in November found “a dismaying inability by students to reason about information they see on the internet. Students, for example, had a hard time distinguishing advertisements from news articles or identifying where information came from. … One assessment required middle schoolers to explain why they might not trust an article on financial planning that was written by a bank executive and sponsored by a bank. The researchers found that many students did not cite authorship or article sponsorship as key reasons for not believing the article.”
Prof. Sam Wineburg, the lead author of the report, said: “Many people assume that because young people are fluent in social media they are equally perceptive about what they find there. Our work shows the opposite to be true.”