Making Media Literacy Matter

Solutions Journalism Network

By Kyle Plantz, Solutions Specialist

One morning in mid-March, amidst the chaos of public places closing and toilet paper shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I woke up to a text from my mom asking whether some information that a family member posted on Facebook about the coronavirus was true or not. I told her to do some research, look for trustworthy sources, and if she didn’t have time to verify it, not to share it.

A couple hours later, I got another text from her. “I checked out these ‘sources’ and they are known to be spreading misinformation,” she said. I was proud that she was skeptical at first and wanted to know more about how to sort fact from fiction. Thanks to social media and the proliferation of information online, it’s becoming easier for people to fall for misinformation in today’s digital age. As someone who works in journalism and media literacy education, I know that empowering individuals of all ages to be critical consumers and creators of media is an essential skill in the 21st century.  This collection highlights the innovative ways that educators, governments, tech companies, and even medical professionals around the world are combating the rampant spread of misinformation, conspiracy theories and fake news. 

Click here for more stories in the Solutions Story Tracker on information and media literacy.