How “News Literacy” Gets the Web Wrong

Michael Caulfield, Hapgood, Mar 06, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Michael Caulfield astutely diagnoses what is wrong with a lot of the 'new literacy' guidelines for evaluating news reports on the web. These guidelines spend a lot of time urging students to assess the trustworthiness of the website, instead of getting to the source of the report being passed along. It's as though these guideline authors are still rooted in the world of newspapers where you have no way to check additional references or original sources, both of which are often available on the web. Who cares whether you read something on Kos or Facebook? What matters is where the story came from originally, and the web provides abundant resources to help you find that. And - notably - exactly the same is true for online research generally. We trace the work back to the original publication, then we assess the method.

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