Wednesday, October 25, 2017

MIL as a defence against misinformation and false news #globalmilweek

MIL as a defence against misinformation, false news, disaster risk reduction and management was the theme of the first plenary at the Global Media and Information Literacy Week in Kingston, Jamaica today, and this is a liveblog of it.
Alice Lee (Department of Journalism, Hong Kong Baptist Universy) chaired the session and spoke first. She proposed an integrated model of MIL consisting of critical thing, reflective things and positive thinking in combination. Lee characterised this as "mindful access" with reflexive and positive interpretation of what they discover (for example, considering of taking positive action in their own lives or affecting others). Reflective use and constructive creation followed on from this. This model could guide people at a personal level (leading engaged and meaningful lives) and at a societal level (taking positive action and fight against isinformation).
Rose-Marie Farinella (a public school teacher in France) spoke next. She described her initiative with her children on media lteracy - this included taking an oath on their computer mouse that they would use their computer responsibly. She said that one has to understand what "true" information is, before you can understand what false information is. She runs role playing games (e.g. of a car accident) which helps them understand the contradictory news that might be presented about the same event. Thus the pupil understands the different points of view of participants, and the cognitive bias.
Building on this, they investigate the truth and falsehood, and part of this involves learning how search engines work and asking key questions (what, where, who, why etc.) Pupils learn the importance of contextualising text and images, and ways of identifying fake images etc. She mentioned use, for example of Google images and maps to help authenticate. Farinella said how the students had created texts, drawings and videos during this project, expressing what they find (one of them is at the head of this blog entry)
Liar Liar pants on fire (re-loaded) was the next talk from someone at Deutsche Welle (apologies, I didn't catch his name and he wasn't on the programme - I'll add this when I discover it). He identified the huge number of people on social media, and also the false news created as click bait, and it also meant that any breaking news incident was immediately surrounded by a wealth of false news. This includes memes (e.g. people who are regularly accused of involvement), altered videos and old videos of similar incidents passed off as new new news. Sometimes this misinformation got trapped in the news ecosystem for some time.
Then there were people and organisations deliberately spreading misinformation because of their agenda (e.g. political). Finally, the pants on fire refers that "anything can happen on social media" even a nuclear threat. He saw the deliberate misinformation campaigns as "a pointed gun to journalsim itself", trying to erode trust in journalism and the free press. To combat this there was a need to train people, gear-up and finally co-operate. He mentioned relevant initiatives being mentioned on the DW blog
I'll continue in another post!

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