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Keeping Media Literacy Critical during the Post-Truth Crisis over Fake News

In: The International Journal of Critical Media Literacy
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As citizens demand more media literacy education in schools, the criticality of media literacy must be advanced in meaningful and comprehensive ways that enable students to successfully access, analyze, evaluate and produce media ethically and effectively across diverse platforms and channels. Institutional analysis in the digital age means understanding who controls the architecture(s) of digital technology, and how they use it. Big data, high tech, and rich transnational global media all need to be carefully studied and held accountable. “Panopticonic” practices such as surveillance, geolocation, data mining, and niche microtargeting need to be studied as information brokers reap huge profits by amalgamating and selling off the data that internet and social media users unwittingly but willingly provide to companies. In light of the growing evidence that online-only networks create filter bubbles and polarization, people will need to interact and mobilize in offline real world spaces. Critical media literacy education must explore how human interactivity is undergoing tectonic shifts as powerful ideological and economic interests work to alter our digital media ecology. Such an approach will allow us to better leverage our public interest goals through a media landscape that preserves the multidirectional, participatory, global, networkable aspects of the digital world.

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