Missing from journalism schools

One component that seems to be weak or nonexistent at many journalism schools and education in general is media literacy. Given that many people are immersed in media, it makes sense to help people learn how to think about it more critically.

These efforts seem to be growing. This month, Stony Brook University announced a national proposal to teach news literacy to college students not majoring in journalism.

But news is only one part of mass media, and seldom the part people spend most of their time with.

Dan Gillmor wrote about this better than I would. He outlined not only why a broader goal should be pursued but also how a comprehensive program might be carried out.

Gillmor’s bullet points for everyone to learn are:

• Be Skeptical
• Exercise Judgement
• Open Your Mind
• Keep Asking Questions
• Learn Media Techniques

These five points are mostly framed from the audience perspective. From both the participant and producer view, I would explicity add knowledge about digital trails (but I’m not sure of the best verb to go with that).

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