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Post-Truth and Fake News

How to Choose your News

Understanding Media

  1. Media is Constructed--Media products are created by individuals who make conscious and unconscious choices about what to include, what to leave out and how to present what is included.
    • Who created this media product?
    • What is its purpose?
    • What assumptions or beliefs do its creators have that are reflected in the content?
  2. Audiences Negotiate Meaning-- Different audiences can take away different meanings from the same product.
    • How might different people see this differently?
    • How does this make you feel, based on how similar or different you are from the people portrayed?
  3. Media has Commercial Implications--Most media production is a business and must  make a profit. Even in cases where media content is not made for profit the ways in which content is distributed are nearly always run with profit in mind.
    • What is the commercial purpose of this media?
    • How does this influence the content and how it’s communicated?
    • What other purpose might the media product have (for instance, to get attention for its creator or to convince audiences of a particular point of view).
  4. Media has Social and Political Implications--Media convey ideological messages about values, power and authority. What or who is absent may be more important than what or who is included.
    • Who and what is shown in a positive light? In a negative light?
    • Why might these people and things be shown this way?
    • Who and what is not shown at all?
    • What conclusions might audiences draw based on these facts?

Read more about media literacy at Key Concepts for Media Literacy (Media Smarts).

News Media "Watchdogs"

These sources are media watch groups that report on misleading news and seek to prevent inaccurate and misleadning news.