This tag is associated with 11 posts

On (Online) Falsehoods: Everyone Wants “Media Literacy”. But How Should We Actually Teach Or Inculcate It?

Yet this assumption that media literacy is the long-term panacea for falsehoods in general remains unchallenged. And problematically too it also avoids the harder and more meaningful questions of how exactly to teach or to inculcate media literacy, and how the effectiveness of these programmes can be determined. After all, promoting such discourse can be unsettling, especially when notions of what constitutes “truth” are confronted. In the Singaporean context, however, the much-needed discourse on media literacy and public education can be guided by three related questions: First, the extent to which existing media literacy programmes been effective (or not); second, whether we are willing to re-examine traditional approaches to media literacy as we know it, while acknowledging instances of failure; and third, how we might involve teachers and their schools – who were hardly represented in this consultative process – more constructively in the future. Continue reading

To Fight “Fake News”, The “How” Matters Too

In the fight against misinformation and disinformation, few will disagree with “the need for media outlets to verify their sources to avoid spreading falsehoods, and for readers to examine what they read with a critical eye” (ST, Sept. 2), though perhaps two further points on the “how” should not go unnoticed: First, how should readers – especially with the explosion of news and information – go about reading more critically, and how should media outlets prioritise their stories or verify their sources; and second, what role should the government, also the chief newsmaker in Singapore, play? After all, the false report in the “Australian Teacher Magazine” was but one of two incidents in the past week. The Malaysian Health Ministry, after the death of a Singaporean in a hit-and-run accident in Johor Bahru, has taken issue with claims of treatment delay and payment. Continue reading

Good Journalism And Media Literacy Matter

Few will disagree with the need for social media sites and search engines to stem the spread of misinformation and disinformation, especially by targeting their online sources of revenue. The ability of individuals – by nudging themselves out of online “filter bubbles” and “echo chambers” – to discern between what is real and what is not, will matter even more in the future, as content consumption on the Internet increases. In this vein, nonetheless, while it is important to address the allure or the pull factors of these fake news sites, this discourse about the roles and responsibilities of the media in general should also include an evaluation of the mainstream media and its push factors. Continue reading