(Photo: The Gender Spectrum Collection via Creative Commons)
We live in a world where fake news is a point of discussion for even the youngest among us, but almost nobody talks about news deserts.
Where underrepresented folks are pioneering ingenious forms of citizen media while legacy national and local news organizations find themselves defending against politically motived bars to access, and fending off sometimes lethal attacks on press freedom.
Where the discussion about the words we use to report — undocumented vs. illegal, racist vs. racially motivated — has gone on for years before AP changes its style rules — and all the while, public discourse and news IQ is being shaped by the language we use.
Where media objectivity is challenged, old narratives are disrupted, and everyone is trying to build platform.
Meanwhile, you just really want to know what it would take to get somebody to write a story about all the great things your organization is doing in Philadelphia.
Welcome to media literacy month at Generocity.
Media literacy is defined as “the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and create media” and by it — the rationale goes — media literate youths and adults are better able to understand and judge the veracity and/or value of the barrage of messages received via digital and legacy news organizations, magazines, books, films, computer games and all other forms of media. They’re better able to craft their messages if they are media literate, as well.
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But the process of achieving literacy of any kind is always more complicated than it seems.
During this month, Generocity writers will look at the movers and shakers in the city who redefine the parameters of media literacy on a daily basis; we’ll ask tough questions about representation and access to media, but we’ll answer some of the more workaday ones as well — like how to best pitch a story to us.
We welcome your input on what questions you’d like us to answer, as well as your suggestions about organizations and people who are thinking about media literacy in new and interesting ways.
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