Information Literacy

Intro: Information Literacy Blog

Hi there! Welcome to Sergio T’s information literacy blog. My interests in information topics include: user experience, social media, code & regulations, etc. but my blog will be on subsections of information literacy: the 24-hour news cycle, information literacy education, getting news from social media, and skepticism in media consumption. The 24-hour news is a term meaning that as news accelerates faster and faster, you should be slower to believe what you hear, and you should look harder for the coverage that pulls together the most facts with the most clarity about what’s known and what’s speculation (Gillmor 29). Information literacy education is the topic based on how students are taught the skill of information literacy and what helps build that skill in today’s society. Skepticism in media consumption involves the uncertainty media consumers have while consuming it. The process of obtaining information from social media posts and assessing the accuracy of those messages is fairly self-explanatory.

My first post is on the 24-hour news cycle and the impact it has had on today’s society. I also speak on how we, as intelligent media consumers, can legitimize the news we receive by using the skill of information literacy to filter out the false content.

My second post is on skepticism in media consumption and as to why we as media consumers should be weary of what we consume because not all of it is in the form of revelations meant for our own enlightenment. My post explains why we should be skeptical and also how the skepticism makes us better scholars.

My third post is on information literacy education and it explains how us students have gotten to where we are now due to elementary training, to now higher education strategies all developed or created by professors, librarians, and administrators. Also how having the skill helps us(students) grow as efficient members of society.

My final blog will be about getting news from social media and the accuracy entailed by that approach. My blog is based upon many statistics and I lean a lot on the claims made by the article of the Modern News Consumer, to support my claims.

With my blog posts, I look to go in detail what the topic of information literacy really is as introduced in SI 110: Intro to Information Studies and bring in various perspectives of the matter to solidify my stance on the topic. Also, my blog serves as a concrete foundation where people who know or do not know about the topic of information literacy can get a better and deeper understanding on how important information literacy really is in today’s world. As you read my posts, I hope to enlighten you and also help you create your own opinion on the topic itself.

Sources:

Gillmor, Dan, Mediactive, chapter 2, p.29

24-Hour News Cycle

The news is everywhere, everyday there is a new headline and us as people tend to have the curiosity to want to know everything that is going on with our surroundings. The news is constantly being created and people tend to believe everything they hear or they tend to move on with the next outrageous story and forget to ask questions about the event that happened in the first place. The problem with this is that the “news” is often subjected to sensationalism. The writers and authors are more than willing to stretch the truth in order to facilitate the sale of exciting, intriguing stories that the public is guaranteed to read. In the book, The Rise of 24-hour News Television: Global Perspectives, it traces back to the roots of 24-hour news cycle in mainstream media and the new millennium’s news specifically regarding the factuality of the news we receive in today’s world where anyone can publicize anything with little reputation. The book clearly exemplifies the concept of the 24-hours news cycle, with sources such as large news covering stations such as CNN, Sky News, or important people in the Info sphere such as Raymond Kuhn, Carsten Reinemann, and Nayla Fawzi. The book explains the effect of the 24-hour news cycle on the world from a global perspective. The rapid production of news has affected the whole world due to small attention spans, trolls, and this book clarifies that with many examples. Through this blog post, I hope to intricate on how Information Literacy and 24-hour news correlate with each other.

In the book, the 24-hour news cycle defines the term somewhere along the lines of, the notion that as the rate of news production increases, thus consumers should take more time to question what they read and even more time research the often exaggerated and unrealistic claims in the story. Essentially, not everything being said on television or every article you read is factual. Thus, it is important to remember not to believe everything because there are people out there that choose to condone dishonesty at the expense of others.

Now, in a world like today’s, you want to know what information is useful to keep reading on or what information to organize where. The skill of having information literacy, knowing when to look for info, where to look, how to organize it, and how to properly use it, really comes into play when looking at the 24-hour new cycle. The 24-hour news cycle is a key factor under information literacy because in a fast-paced information producing society, we as consumers need to know what is really important and worth our time, as opposed to what is not. It is very important that consumers check the background facts for these stories because as said in Gillmor, chapter two, “fact-checking is way down, and after-the-fact checking is way WAY up.” (Gillmor 29). People are very quick to believe the latest craziest story, but how many really look into the story after they read that initial post? Not many.

The book really ties into SI 110’s topic of Information literacy. The 24-hour new cycle affects the whole world and has been since the start of the millennium and the skill of information literacy is to know when classify information as useful and to whether you will Knowing when to know whether a story you are reading is worth going into is very important and can take a lot of credibility away if the skill of information literacy is nonexistent with the person.

Sources:

Gillmor, Dan, Mediactive, chapter 2, 16–29

Cushion, Stephen The Rise of 24-Hour News Television: Global Perspectives, 1–15

Skepticism in Media Consumption

Every day, we media consumers see a story on television or online or hear about one from a friend, but are the stories trustworthy and factual? The article Pedalling skepticism: Media representations of homeopathy as “junk science” touches upon the idea of skepticism in media consumption because it reveals that even scientific claims can be falsely publicized.

To be skeptical in the media you consume, means that whenever you encounter a new news story, ask questions. Ask whether the story is real, whether all the facts are true, do not just read it and assume it is correct because it is on your television or phone. Skepticism is at the heart of obtaining the truth, as it allows viewers and readers to challenge what they perceive due to doubts regarding the legitimacy of the claims the media makes. It is that one step back before almost falling in the trap of the false writer.

The book explains a lot on how media tends to have certain stories accessible to different groups of people, that way it is easier for the consumers to not question the factuality of the story due to the emotional trigger that is caused by the story. The article states that “junk science” is a term that is defined as, “activities that seem scholarly and have appeal and/or superficial utility, but which lack efficiency, reliability and/or soundness” (Raso). Activities meaning anything published on the internet can look scholarly, and still have no reliability thus not worthy. People tend to be weary of mainstream media due to the past and for good reason. The media has been paid to publish outrageous information or maybe paid not to. How does one go about knowing what information is real and which is not? I am not saying that following what I am about to tell you will always work, but its surely the best way.

Reading information online should always check the source that created the story. Another thing one should do is follow the story because most of the time if the information is fake or invalid, it will be taken down or proven wrong. As consumers, we should exercise judgement. While being skeptical with the news at hand, we should share the attitude which Danah Boyd once foretold about young consumers, “somebody’s trying to tell them a story and trying to manipulate them” (Gillmor 20). When reading a new piece of information one should be cautious because the author might be wanting to give you false information for their benefit.

In my class of SI 110, during lecture, our professor was speaking on information literacy standards, and they were described as “being able to determine the extent of information needed, ability of evaluating information and its sources critically, use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose, etc.” (Information Literature PP). With that being said, when being skeptical about the media at hand, we are not doing anything wrong, that is what we need to do, and when doing so we are enhancing our skill of information literacy.

Sources:

Steuter, Erin, Pedalling skepticism: Media representations of homeopathy as “junk science”

Gillmor, Dan, Mediactive, chapter 2, 16–29

Information Literacy Education

Having the skill of information literacy is crucial in today’s world and that is why higher education institution’s central mission is to get their students to acquire this skill. In the article, Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, they thoroughly go into how Universities and Colleges try to instill this crucial foundation for finding and using information. The article contains many notable sources, the website it is on, www.ala.org,. Also the article goes extremely in depth as to how having this skill positively affects the student such as, “ensuring that individuals have the intellectual abilities of reasoning and critical thinking, and by helping them construct a framework for learning how to learn, colleges and universities provide the foundation for continued growth throughout their careers, as well as in their roles as informed citizens and members of communities.” (ala, 43–46)

The book speaks a lot on how the skill of information literacy is taught to students at universities. Students at universities have many resources that help enlarge their understanding on the concept of information literacy, such as professors, librarians, administrators, online libraries, and more. Faculty is one of the key components of information literacy education because they are the ones introducing the method and also instilling it into their students by whichever means necessary. They inspire the students to really go out of their way to do the research. Academic librarians help maneuver through the endless data a school or certain library might hold and administrators create opportunities for the faculty and librarians sustain the needed resources for information literacy education. A lot of factors go into how well a student will master the skill of info literacy.

The book, Digital and Media Literacy: A Plan of Action, is thorough on the idea of information literacy education, it states, “Generally, neither children nor adults acquire critical thinking skills about mass media, popular culture or digital media just by using technology tools themselves” (Hobbs 25). This is very true because there is a variety of elements that go hand in hand with a student learning the skill of information literacy.

Information literacy education ties in with what I learned in SI 110 because during lecture on October 25, 2016, professor Newman started to speak about where a University of Michigan student could access the information they needed that was factual and not flawed for whatever purpose needed. That place was the school library’s website or the library itself. This to me is a perfect example of information literacy education. My professor is introducing me(student) to the concept of information literacy, he is pointing me towards the librarian, and this was all set up by the administrators. Perfect example of information literacy education given the definition I provided.

Sources:

Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, 1996, ala.org

Hobbs, Renee, Digital and Media Literacy: A Plan of Action, 2010, assests.aspeninstitute.org

University of Michigan, SI 110 October 25th lecture

Getting News from Social Media (and implications for the accuracy of the news)

Times are changing, we can get news from a wide range of media outlets and social media is one of them. Unfortunately, just because there are more places to get news, that does not always mean they are correct. Just how confident and trustworthy are consumers that the information they receive from social media is true? In the article, The Modern News Consumer, Mitchell, Gottfried, Barthel, and Shearer go in depth as to just how much confidence and trust there really is between information form social media and the people consuming it. The article has a variety of sources that it used ranging from surveys to research centers. The article which is from another notable website journalism.org, shows a thorough understanding of the concept by including statistical visuals that interpret certain study results used for the claims.

The article states, “Few have a lot of confidence in the information they get from professional outlets or friends and family, but large majorities have at least some trust in both; social media gets substantially lower trust scores.” Not many people have a lot of assurance in the information they receive from the media or acquaintances, and even lesser of the people trust the social media. The article goes into how people tend to visit sites that they feel associated with and are biased towards them. I honestly do not believe social media is not the best media outlet to get your news from due to good reason, anyone can post information on these sites, most of the time the information is false or bias toward their intended audience.

In Mediactive, Gillmor speaks on Wikipedia and the information provided on there. He talks about how the information on there is written by humans and he specifies how humans usually do not get things right on their first try, he states, “in fact, humans almost never get anything entirely right — but we can get closer as we assemble new data and nuances” (Gillmor 65). Humans are not meant to create perfect things at first glance, humans were positioned to perfect their craft.

This relates to SI 110’s concept of information literacy because it shows us that we should always repeat the process of knowing when information is needed, how to use it, organizing it, and when to use it as efficiently as possible. When looking at news or stories on social media, if we have the skill of information literacy we can accurately eliminate the false stories from our sight. In a time when using social media is the norm, it is important to know how to classify valid and invalid information because they are very easy to get mixed up.

Sources:

Gillmor, Dan, Mediactive, chapter 2, 16–29

Mitchell, Amy, Gottfried, Jeffrey, Barthel, Michael, Shearer Elisa, The Modern News Consumer, 2. Trust and Accuracy, Journalism.org