Davis: Think before you share
News literacy is the ability to recognize the standards of fact-based news in order to trust, share, and act on accurate information. In a digital age when information spreads like wildfire, it is becoming more challenging to separate fact from fiction.
The digital age poses four major threats to the functioning of a democracy:
1. The constant flow of information we receive daily makes it difficult to determine what is fact or fiction.
2. The creation of new platforms leads to more ways for misinformation to be published in a way that makes it look like it is coming from a credible source.
3. The desire for information to be distributed quickly results in more room for inaccuracy, increasing the chance that information shared will be wrong.
4. New algorithms have made it so that much of the information we see reinforces our pre-existing beliefs.
The closure of hundreds of local newspapers in rural communities has led to the creation of “news deserts,” leaving individuals to struggle for access to credible news sources. According to the 2022 State of Local News Report, more than one-fifth of the U.S. population, 70 million people, are currently living in news deserts. For this reason, it is now more critical than ever for individuals to assess their news literacy skills and build habits to determine what is true and credible.
The News Literacy Project invites you to be part of the movement and “Think Before You Share” by answering the following questions:
1. Is the information I am sharing authentic?
2. Has it been posted or confirmed by a credible source?
3. Is there evidence that proves the claim?
4. Is the context accurate?
5. Is it based on solid reasoning?
For more information, visit newslit.org, follow @thinkb4ushare on Instagram, or connect with the ThinkB4UShare group on Facebook.