It seems that rarely a week goes by without another report on media trust, a conference is held where this isn’t a critical topic, or we’re faced with yet another reminder of the fallacy of the press’ position as an invulnerable Constitutionally enshrined institution.
That’s why, in partnership with the News Integrity Initiative, the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications launched an exploration to look beyond treating the symptoms of erosion of trust in independent journalism and examine if we can do a bit more to understand the underlying causes.
There are a lot of smart and dedicated people looking for answers and strategies in this realm. There are at least 85 initiatives looking at “fake news,” confusion over the plethora of similarly named but nonetheless well-intentioned efforts, major foundations sponsoring research and commissions and a renewed conversation on the need for better media literacy. Lest we forget the examinations of technological interventions, existing and future. …
By Matt Sheehan and Annie Neimand
Narratives clearly have the power to persuade and impact the attitudes, beliefs, and actions of audiences.¹ However, narratives as tools aren’t neutral. They can be used to persuade people for positive aims such as justice, equality, and sustainability, but they can also be used to build support for terrorism, authoritarianism, and violence.²
Like the types of plots within narratives, many narratives can be placed into groups as well. Researchers call recurring narrative arcs “master narratives” and they play a large role in the how we perceive the world around us. Scholar Michael Dahlstrom writes: “Cultivation theory describes this influence of [narratives in entertainment] on public perceptions about the world. For example, although less than one percent of Americans are victims of violent crime, ∼70 percent of broadcast network television shows characters engaged as either a victim or perpetrator of such violence.”³ …
with Ann Christiano and Annie Neimand
The appearance of being true or real
- Oxford dictionary
In the opening scene of “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Mississippi,” we watch Frances McDormand’s character as she backs up her station wagon to stare at three long-unused billboards along a remote country road. …