The existence of digital media simplifies people’s search for the latest news. However, the rapid process of digital expansion continues to evolve too fast for the government or society to create regulations for reporting that is devoid of bias and is based on reliable sources. In the sphere of political news, this lack of rules may be especially damaging as it can give potential voters enough misinformation to form an opinion that is entirely different from an actual situation. Thus, it is necessary to create a political media literacy program for adult internet users as the primary target group. This project will explore news that one can find on the internet, including such sources as digital newspapers and magazines, online broadcasts and political shows, and social media. The focus on social media is especially crucial as these platforms do not have many rules and tools to check the authenticity of the posted information.
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One of the most important scholarly concepts that have to be investigated is confirmation bias. It states that people are more likely to believe information that is consistent with their personal opinion, often ignoring facts that may contradict the preferred statement. News from different sources may exploit this strategy by focusing on specific events and statements while not mentioning facts that are related to the discussion but show it in a different light. Social media may be exposed to this concept as well, especially platforms where only short texts can be shared between people. The fast speed of information distribution causes the alteration of original material and makes the source almost untraceable.
To address this issue and convince the public to consider it, one may have to utilize some persuasion techniques. For example, using different types of information presentation and focusing on their sensory perception may appeal to people’s feelings such as anger and frustration. Using some cases where an article or a chain of posts have changed the meaning of a fact completely and supplying this finding with visuals – images and screenshots may help the public notice the problem quicker. The sense of being lied to or mistreated is a powerful emotion that can help make the issue more prominent in people’s minds. Furthermore, one can interact with the audience by using the social influence principle. Communication with individuals who react to the programs’ values may attract the attention of other people. Case studies that explore the effects of deceitful news on real people may also persuade the public.
While discussing people’s literacy on social media, similar platforms have to be engaged in the process. Thus, by using social media to share content, one can not only reach more people but also show that information can and should be supported by real trustworthy evidence. Political publications may be publicly contacted on social media to increase the influence on those who use similar news sources. This type of interaction is directly related to the proposal as it can help people learn to separate unreliable information from unbiased facts.
Aside from social media, the program may be delivered through additional online services. A website with interactive materials, videos, articles, and images is a possible way of communicating the goals of the project. While other types of information distribution may be considered, the outlined target demographic – the internet users – may be more inclined to respond to a familiar message presentation. By choosing online-based strategies, one can address the issues of media bias – by comparing media coverage and the interaction of people with the news. Furthermore, the agenda-setting can also be discussed and highlighted as a possible cause of digital sources changing or avoiding specific data. Finally, adversarial journalism may be a focus of the project as some digital creators can center on negative information and disperse it on platforms without presenting an objective analysis.
The primary goal of this program is to highlight the lack of attention people pay when they read a news article or a post on the internet. While other types of news sharing platforms may go through the supervision of other individuals, social media posts can be created by anyone and presented as facts without any confirmation. The awareness of people about something being a reality or a subjective statement is the primary focus. It is essential to address the fact that this program utilizes the same ways of distributing information as other digital outlets. Thus, it should be checked according to the same principles of confirmation bias and one-sided presentation. The purpose of the project is not to prove that all media are wrong but to show that sometimes the evidence is ignored in favor of supporting a particular agenda.
I also need to remember these tactics while reading political news online. It is easy to believe a statement that is similar to my personal opinion, but I need to check the sources and try to separate my subjective view from reality. Also, I need to make sure I do not try to protect a certain point of view because I learned about it from somebody I trust. Data can be altered and distributed extremely fast on the internet. I need to stay aware of the fact that some words are easy to take out of context and misinterpret on platforms that value fast information distribution and high engagement rates.