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GMMS Library: Media Literacy

Questions to ask yourself

Here are the key questions to ask yourself:

  • Who created this? Was it a company? Was it an individual? (If so, who?) Was it a comedian? Was it an artist? Was it an anonymous source? Why do you think that?
  • Why did they make it? Was it to inform you of something that happened in the world (for example, a news story)? Was it to change your mind or behavior (an opinion essay or a how-to)? Was it to make you laugh (a funny meme)? Was it to get you to buy something (an ad)? Why do you think that?
  • Who is the message for? Is it for kids? Grown-ups? Girls? Boys? People who share a particular interest? Why do you think that?
  • What techniques are being used to make this message credible or believable? Does it have statistics from a reputable source? Does it contain quotes from a subject expert? Does it have an authoritative-sounding voice-over? Is there direct evidence of the assertions its making? Why do you think that?
  • What details were left out, and why? Is the information balanced with different views -- or does it present only one side? Do you need more information to fully understand the message? Why do you think that?
  • How did the message make you feel? Do you think others might feel the same way? Would everyone feel the same, or would certain people disagree with you? Why do you think that?

Important Links for Fact Checking

Important Terms

Trustworthyable to be relied on as honest or truthful.

Reliable: able to be trusted to behave well; information: always accurate.

Fake/False News: Fake news refers to false reports or misinformation shared in the form of articles, images, or videos which are disguised as “real news” and aim to change people’s opinions. Fake news is spread by social media users and hidden social bots which comment on, repost, and retweet such news items.

Media LiteracyMedia literacy is the ability to ACCESSANALYZEEVALUATECREATE, and ACT using all forms of communication. In its simplest terms, media literacy builds upon the foundation of traditional literacy and offers new forms of reading and writing. Media literacy empowers people to be critical thinkers and makers, effective communicators and active citizens.

Disinformation : false information which is intended to mislead, especially propaganda issued by a government organization to a rival power or the media.

Misinformation : false or inaccurate information, especially that which is deliberately intended to deceive.

Bias : Bias is a tendency to prefer one person or thing to another, and to favor that person or thing.To bias someone means to influence them in favor of a particular choice.


Reliable News Sources to Try!


Left Left-wing politics is usually progressive, meaning that left-wing people think the government should help make social change happen. They believe governments should try to create more social equality and economic equality. (Democrats)

Far Left: the more extreme supporters or advocates of social, political, or economic change, reform, or revolution designed to promote the greater freedom, power, welfare, or comfort of ordinary people

Lean Left : Wants larger government; Looks for and supports government solutions to social and business problems; Looks for additional government regulation; Looks for government intervention in market prices, that is, setting price floors and price ceilings; Looks for equality of results; Sees government as the source of “rights”; Sees government as enforcer; Prefers the comfort of knowing what to expect;

Center : Centrism is a political outlook or position that involves acceptance and/or support of a balance of social equality and a degree of social hierarchy, while opposing political changes which would result in a significant shift of society strongly to either the left or the right. (Moderates or Centrists)

Lean Right : Wants smaller government; Looks for individual or market solutions to social problems; Looks for less government regulation; Likes the price signal sent by prices generated through relatively unfettered market competition and supply and demand interaction; Looks for equality of opportunity; Sees government as protector of “rights” that exist without government say so; Sees government as a referee of a reasonable rule-of-law; Enjoys the messiness of freedom and uncertainty;

Right:  Right-wing people tend to say the government should not make social change happen.The word right, in contrast, refers to people or groups that have conservative views. That generally means they are disposed to preserving existing conditions and institutions. Or, they want to restore traditional ones and limit change. (Republicans)

Far Right : the more extreme supporters or advocates of social, political, or economic conservatismpr reaction, based generally on a belief that things are better left unchanged.

Why is this important?

The digital age has made it easy for anyone to create media. We don't always know who created something, why they made it, and whether it's credible. This makes media literacy tricky to learn and teach. Nonetheless, media literacy is an essential skill in the digital age.

Specifically, it helps:

  • Learn to think critically. As kids evaluate media, they decide whether the messages make sense, why certain information was included, what wasn't included, and what the key ideas are. They learn to use examples to support their opinions. Then they can make up their own minds about the information based on knowledge they already have.

  • Become a smart consumer of products and information. Media literacy helps kids learn how to determine whether something is credible. It also helps them determine the "persuasive intent" of advertising and resist the techniques marketers use to sell products.

  • Recognize point of view. Every creator has a perspective. Identifying an author's point of view helps kids appreciate different perspectives. It also helps put information in the context of what they already know -- or think they know.

  • Create media responsibly. Recognizing your own point of view, saying what you want to say how you want to say it, and understanding that your messages have an impact is key to effective communication.

  • Identify the role of media in our culture. From celebrity gossip to magazine covers to memes, media is telling us something, shaping our understanding of the world, and even compelling us to act or think in certain ways.

  • Understand the author's goal. What does the author want you to take away from a piece of media? Is it purely informative, is it trying to change your mind, or is it introducing you to new ideas you've never heard of? When kids understand what type of influence something has, they can make informed choices.


Created By

Miss Lockhart: Student Teacher to Ms. Murray, Studying Library Science