Encouraging Media Literacy Through Community Connection | SXSW EDU 2024

Fact or Fiction Media Literacy in the Digital Age - SXSW EDU 2024 - Photo by Akash Kataria

In this election year, misinformation and disinformation pose an unprecedented threat to democracy. On top of persistent issues like the digital divide and media siloing, rapid advancements in artificial intelligence further complicate approaches to teaching media and news literacy. So, how can we protect voting rights and civic engagement in the face of these threats?

Erin Geiger Smith of the Brennan Center for Justice, Crooked Media’s Shaniqua McClendon, and Capital B’s Akoto Ofori-Atta took the stage at SXSW EDU 2024 to discuss the importance of critical thinking and community collaboration in fostering media literacy and protecting forms of civic engagement in the Featured Session Fact or Fiction? Media Literacy in the Digital Age. Learn how misinformation and disinformation campaigns target vulnerable communities, best practices for approaching information on news and social media, and strategies to create a well-balanced media diet.

“You have to look at the source and motives of the people who are providing this information.”

Shaniqua McClendon
Crooked Media

Crucially, the panelists addressed the importance of collaborating with and connecting to your community to fight misinformation, particularly by engaging with local news sources and diverse perspectives.

“We know that civic knowledge just suffers when there’s no local news. When people don’t know what’s going on in their communities, they can’t be civically engaged.”

Akoto Ofori-Atta
Capital B

All in all – this conversation made clear the importance of integrating media literacy into classrooms and informal learning spaces by inviting learners to actively engage with the news and the democratic process.

“You have to teach people to vote.”

Erin Geiger
Reporter & Author

Dive into the full session on demand to learn more about media literacy in the digital age:

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Photo by Akash Kataria

By Kayla Meyers