Why is Media Creation Critical to Media Literacy?

Without media creation, there wouldn’t be a need for media literacy because we wouldn’t have any media to be literate on. It is an essential component in becoming media literate and as I have mentioned in my previous post “Media Literacy Education: A Reflection,” the main components of media literacy are, access, analyze, evaluate, create and act. This is also discussed in the academic journal article, Theorizing News Literacy Behaviors by Emily Vraga, Melissa Tully, Adam Maksl, Stephanie Craft and Seth Ashley. These definitions are huge when you are just starting your journey in media literacy, but for this specific question, I will be further discussing the ‘create’ component of media literacy’s definition a bit further specifically in regard to news literacy (NL).

In the article they propose five components of understanding news literacy: context, creation, content, circulation and consumption. They state in their definition of creation, “Creation skills involve the ability to discern newsworthiness and to use that information to create messages, such as tweets or posts that share news.” What is important to note is that in today’s media consuming society we are so often overwhelmed with content that it can be especially hard to discern what is factual and accurate news. As media creators, the responsibility to make sure that what we are putting out there is true and reliable needs to be at the forefront of all of our minds in anything that we share or post. This is not just a principle to follow for news organizations, but for the average person, we are all media creators in our own way.

To create content backed by evidence and research, another journalistic principle we must abide by in any context, is the ability to be skeptical as outlined in ASU News Co/Lab: Mediactive How to Participate in Our Digital World even the most trustworthy news organization or source can make mistakes. However, we must not become so cynical that we completely dismiss their credibility. This unfortunately has become a growing issue among the Republican political party as they disproportionately have a distrust in news media as outlined in this Pew Research article from 2020. While it is important to get outside sources beyond the traditional news outlets, making sure we are sharing and creating news that is based in fact is what makes media literacy important.

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