THE DEFICIT IN CRITICAL MEDIA LITERACY CAN NO LONGER BE IGNORED

49255606-cachedFox News at its heart is not a journalistic institution.

Dean Baquet, Executive Editor, New York Times

In a recent interview in the Financial Times, Executive Editor of the New York Times Dean Baquet described the 2016 presidential election coverage of CNN and Fox News as “ridiculous” and “bad for democracy.”¬† “This mix of entertainment and news, and news masquerading as entertainment, is kind of funny except that we now have a guy who is a product of that world nominated as Republican presidential candidate.”

Never has the national deficit in critical media literacy skills of the American electorate been more apparent, yet is scarcely discussed even within academic institutions. The Critical Media Project at the Annenberg School for Journalism and Communication, University of Southern California asserts that traditional definitions of media literacy must now include “complex ideological¬† discussions around media power.”

The new graduate program in Media Literacy and Digital Culture at Sacred Heart University is the first with a specific focus on critical media literacy. That program, in collaboration with the Action Coalition for Media Education (ACME) and Project Censored, helped create the Global Critical Media Literacy Project, and developed a 100 page educator’s resource guide to engage students to more fully comprehend the perils Dean Baquet and others are warning citizens about regarding our news media. (Full disclosure: the author is a member of the ACME board of directors.)

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