Using resources that will help improve your media literacy.

82% of middle and high schoolers couldn’t distinguish between real content and sponsored content, as found in a Stanford University study featured in the Wall Street Journal. Convenience has taken over. Technology plays a major role in these levels of convenience humans now have. For older generations, reading the newspaper was built into the schedule. My dad still wakes up, walks to the mailbox to get the paper and reads it before he leaves for work. He’s always disgruntled when he wakes up late and has to skip reading the paper. Consuming news is built into his routine.

news is something we stumble upon during our social media scrolling and even then, we hardly ever actually click on the link and read the full article. Who has time for that? 280 characters is our limit. But in reality, fully informing… Click To Tweet

For the younger generations, news is something we stumble upon during our social media scrolling and even then, we hardly ever actually click on the link and read the full article. Who has time for that? 280 characters is our limit. But in reality, fully informing people about the current government shutdown in 280 characters is unrealistic. When it comes to being informed, convenience just isn’t going to cut it.

When it comes to being informed, convenience just isn’t going to cut it. Click To Tweet

Informed Media Consumers

Programs like MediaWise and Poynter Institute aim to educate middle and high schoolers on how to become more informed news consumers by hosting school assemblies, among other things. They don’t make consuming media more convenient but instead they help break down the process into manageable pieces. MediaWise encourages critical thinking surrounding media via conversation in the classroom and at the dinner table. Adults should be modeling “healthy skepticism” and informed media consumption. They can do this by questioning their child’s opinion about a topic. Ask how they formed their opinion, what information they used and what sources provided the information. This will encourage researching a topic using numerous credible sources before forming an opinion.

Ever since the media has adopted tech platforms, all generations are trying to keep up and navigate their way through the new formats. Click To Tweet

It’s not only up to adults though. Ever since the media has adopted tech platforms, all generations are trying to keep up and navigate their way through the new formats. That’s why it’s important for everyone to harness an attitude of “healthy skepticism” and question the opinions of others.

What it Will Take

It will always take reading more than the headline, subhead and looking at the picture to get the whole story Click To Tweet

All-in-all, it will always take reading more than the headline, subhead and looking at the picture to get the whole story. It will take clicking on the actual link, researching the the author and the source, and questioning everything in order to be sincerely informed. As convenient as we may try to make things, news consumption just isn’t something we can make convenient. If you want to be informed, you have to do the digging.

If you want to be informed, you have to do the digging. Click To Tweet

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