This week I was made aware of a social studies teacher in Chicago who introduced media literacy as a 5-week segment of her class at Whitney Young High School, according to an article from Chalkbeat.
The inspiration for adding media literacy was the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection. To quote the Chalkbeat article, the teacher “scrapped her lesson plans for February and spent the entire month focused on media literacy. Among her goals: to help her juniors and seniors discern fact from fiction, identify credible sources of news, and spot misleading information.”
Every citizen, not just high school students could benefit from learning, at the very least, that news outlets carry both hard news articles and opinion columns or segments and learn how to distinguish one from the other.
They should learn about QAnon and its origins and the outsized role it has played in recent events, not just the Jan. 6 insurrection. They should learn that “if it sounds too good to be true or too bad to be true,” it may not be true and how to utilize the internet (such as on www.snopes.com and other fact-checking sites) to research such items and not to forward those juicy and seductive emails or blog posts without verifying them.
No one likes to be duped, right? Liars count on you to spread their lies.