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Information Literacy Learning Objects

What is News Literacy?

News Literacy is when a person has the critical thinking skills to judge the reliability and credibility of information. 

What we are up against: 

  • Often too much information comes at us all at once. In these instances, our brain relies on psychological tricks to quickly decide if something is true or false. But these tricks are not always accurate. 
  • Technology is making it easier and more profitable to spread false information than ever before. 
  • We now expect immediate news coverage, which limits outlets' abilities to fact check. 
  • Digital algorithms create filter bubbles, where we only interact with information that we agree with. 

With news literacy, you can combat these issues by:

  • Recognizing the difference between journalism and other types of information.
  • Analyzing how authors verify the claims they are making with evidence. 
  • Distinguishing between news media bias and our own biases.
  • Evaluating a claim across all news media platforms, based on the quality of evidence. 

Classroom Activity

Types of Misleading News

Let's start by talking about the type of misleading content. Information in news articles can include a spectrum of false content and harmful intentions.

                     

 

Mis-information 

Information that is false, but the person reporting the information believes that they are telling the truth. 

This often is in the form of a legitimate news outlet reporting a story that is proved=n false when these news outlets discover more information. There is no intent of harm with misinformation, but regardless facts are reported incorrectly. 

Dis-information

Dis-information, on the other hand, is false news that the person reporting the story knows is false.

This is the type of misleading news that can be accurately called "Fake News". 

Mal-information 

The last type of information is technically not false information, but it is news that is used in a way that is harmful to the person, organization or country identified in the story. Typically this news serves own motivation of the person reporting the story rather than serving the public interest. 

Some leaks of classified information, harassment, and hate speech fall into this category.