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How Digital Media Alter Concepts of Authority and Expertise: Understanding “Fake News”

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Renee Hobbs talks with Italian journalists and scholars about how digital and media literacy can address the problem of "fake news"

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How Digital Media Alter Concepts of Authority and Expertise: Understanding “Fake News”

  1. 1. Renee Hobbs Professor of Communication Studies Director, Media Education Lab University of Rhode Island USA Twitter: @reneehobbs How Digital Media Alter Concepts of Authority and Expertise: Understanding “Fake News”
  2. 2. www.mediaeducationlab.com
  3. 3. We are socialized to be active or passive consumers of media
  4. 4. Rhetoric Print Literacy Visual Literacy Information Literacy Media Literacy Critical Literacy Computer Literacy News Literacy Digital Literacy Literacy in Historical Context
  5. 5. Literacy is the sharing of meaning in symbolic form
  6. 6. ACCESS the process of digital and media literacy
  7. 7. LOVE HATE PRINT VISUAL SOUND DIGITAL EMPOWERMENT – PROTECTION PARADIGM People have a love-hate relationship with media, technology and popular culture
  8. 8. Choice Overload entertainment information persuasion
  9. 9. New Realities in a Networked Global Society  Cost to produce content is low  Massive fragmentation of production & consumption  Viral sharing means popularity = profit  Content is consumed as unbundled snippets on social media
  10. 10.  Selective exposure  Confirmation bias  Reality maintenance  Performative sharing 60% of people share content without reading/viewing it Essentials of Human Information Processing
  11. 11. New Forms of Authority & Expertise Attention economics is surpassing traditional forms of authority and expertise our attention — and most of it free — being found is valuable."  Immediacy  Personalization  Interpretation  Findability
  12. 12. re
  13. 13. POSTED TO THE Seattle Tribune Sunday, Feb. 26 IDENTIFIED AS FAKE Snopes Thursday, March 2 Politfact Friday, March 3 FLAGGED BY FACEBOOK Saturday, March 4
  14. 14. re Sample: A representative sample of 1,684 UK adults Method. Participants were shown 6 news stories: 3 were true, 3 were false Findings: • Only 4% accurately identified the stories that were accurate and those which were fake • 49% thought at least one of the fake stories was true • Among those who consider Facebook a primary source of news, 71% thought at least one of the fake stories was true SOURCE: Channel 4, UK. Fake News Research, February 7, 2017.
  15. 15. re Sample: A representative sample of 1,684 UK adults Method. Participants were shown 6 news stories: 3 were true, 3 were false Findings: • Only 4% accurately identified the stories that were accurate and those which were fake • 49% thought at least one of the fake stories was true • Among those who consider Facebook a primary source of news, 71% thought at least one of the fake stories was true SOURCE: Channel 4, UK. Fake News Research, February 7, 2017. Only 20% of American HS students questioned the photo’s source Stanford History Education Group, 2016
  16. 16. Media Literacy: A Pedagogy of Inquiry
  17. 17. re Sample: A representative sample of 1,501 US young adults ages 15 - 27 Method. Experimental design Findings: • Participants evaluated the accuracy of misinformation, emotional & evidence- based arguments • Assessments of accuracy depend on the participant’s political knowledge • Participants who reported more exposure to media literacy education make a clear distinction between evidence-based arguments and misinformation even when arguments are aligned with existing beliefs Exposure to media literacy education improves judgments of accuracy Kahne & Bowyer, AERJ, 2017
  18. 18. re Respondents were asked about their school experiences: • How often have you discussed how to tell if the information you find online is trustworthy? • How often have you discussed the importance of evaluating the evidence that backs up people’s opinions?
  19. 19. Six Types of “Fake News” Disinformation Propaganda
  20. 20. Six Types of “Fake News” Hoaxes Parody/Satire
  21. 21. Six Types of “Fake News” Errors in Journalism Partisanship
  22. 22. Blurring Genres and Motives Disinformation Propaganda Hoax Parody/Satire Errors in Journalism Partisanship Informing and Engaging the Public Controlling Knowledge, Attitudes & Values Cultural Criticism or Creative Expression
  23. 23. Can labeling and algorithms address the problem of fake news?
  24. 24. WTO 5 News 960,000 Facebook shares by November 8, 2016 Who decides what “signals of quality” should be used to label online news content?
  25. 25. Key Concepts of Media Literacy
  26. 26. Messages are Constructed Representations
  27. 27. Messages are Constructed Representations Messages Use Different Codes and Conventions
  28. 28. Messages are Constructed Representations People Interpret Messages Differently Messages Use Different Codes and Conventions
  29. 29. Messages are Constructed Representations People Interpret Messages Differently Messages Use Different Codes and Conventions Messages Have Economic & Political Power
  30. 30. Messages are Constructed Representations Messages Influence Attitudes and Behaviors People Interpret Messages Differently Messages Use Different Codes and Conventions Messages Have Economic & Political Power
  31. 31. Algorithms are not neutral: because they are constructed by people, they have an author, purpose, point of view & bias New forms of online news and information are evolving with a range of different “signals of quality” Because people create & interpret messages in light of their lived experience, respect for diverse perspectives is needed Everyone needs to understand the economics of the Internet, especially pay-per-click, sponsored content and native advertising People need to take time to reflect on how they are using the media and how the media is using them
  32. 32. Consumers and creators are both responsible for advancing digital and media literacy
  33. 33. “The Role of Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Instructional Strategies in the Prevention of Violent Extremism,” United Nations, Febuary 9, 2017
  34. 34. Based on a major research project funded by the European Commission  Explores how discriminatory stereotypes are built online with a particular focus on right- wing populism  Recognizes that young people are the preferred target for promoting hate speech  Examines how media literacy education can help to deconstruct hate speech and promote young people’s full participation in media-saturated societies Professor Maria Ranieri, University of Florence
  35. 35. Use of Media
  36. 36. “There have been no official and systematic policies created by the Italian Ministry of Education, and development in media education and its application has only been provided by some scholars in the universities and by teachers in the schools. ICT and media literacy education are still not included as a compulsory part of the curriculum…”
  37. 37. www.mediaeducationlab.com
  38. 38. www.mindovermedia.tv
  39. 39. Media organizations & educational leaders can reduce political polarization and strengthen global democracy by building people’s digital and media literacy competencies
  40. 40. The highest result of education is tolerance. ~ Helen Keller
  41. 41. o Hobbs R. & Tuzel, S. (2017). The Use of Social Media and Popular Culture to Advance Cross Cultural Understanding. Communicar. o Media Education Lab (2016). Mind Over Media: Analyzing Contemporary Propaganda. [Interactive media.] www.mindovermedia.tv o Martens, H. & Hobbs, R. (2015). How media literacy supports civic engagement in a digital age. Atlantic Journal of Communication 23(2), 120 – 137. o Hobbs, R. & McGee, S. (2014). Teaching about propaganda: An examination of the historical roots of media literacy. Journal of Media Literacy Education 6(2), 56 – 67. o Hobbs, R. (2013). Improvization and strategic risk taking in informal learning with digital media literacy. Learning, Media and Technology, 38(2), 182-197. o Hobbs, R. (2013). The blurring of art, journalism and advocacy: Confronting 21st century propaganda in a world of online journalism. I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society 8(3), 625 – 638. o Hobbs, R., Yoon, J., Al-Humaidan, R., Ebrahimi, A. & Cabral, N. (2011). Online digital media in elementary school. Journal of Middle East Media 7(1), 1 – 23. o Hobbs, R., Ebrahimi, A., Cabral, N., Yoon, J., & Al-Humaidan, R. (2011). Field-based teacher education in elementary media literacy as a means to promote global understanding. Action for Teacher Education 33, 144 – 156. o Hobbs, R. (2011). A snapshot of multinational media education in six European countries. Trans: Un’istantanea multinazionale sulla ME in sei paesi europei. Media Education. Studi, ricerche, buone pratiche [Italy] 1(1), 53 – 70. o Hobbs, R., Cohn-Geltner, H. & Landis, J. (2011). Views on the news: Media literacy empowerment competencies in the elementary grades. In C. Von Feilitzen, U. Carlsson & C. Bucht (Eds.). New questions, new insights, new approaches. The International Clearinghouse on Children, Youth and Media. NORDICOM. University of Gothenburg, Sweden (pp. 43 – 56). o Hobbs, R. and RobbGrieco, M. (2010). Passive dupes, code breakers, or savvy users: Theorizing media literacy education in English language arts. In D. Lapp and D. Fisher (Eds.), Handbook of research on teaching the English language arts. Third edition. New York: Routledge (pp. 283 – 289). www.mediaeducationlab.com
  42. 42. Renee Hobbs Professor of Communication Studies Director, Media Education Lab Harrington School of Communication and Media University of Rhode Island USA Email: hobbs@uri.edu Twitter: @reneehobbs WEB: www.mediaeducationlab.com

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