Informationflow & News Literacy Routine

As I am continuing my investigation around information, media and news literacy and the growing issue of misinformation, disinformation, fake news, etc. I am encountering more and more lists, and steps to take to be able to discern the difference from a variety of sources.

As an avid believer in routines (Documenting Learningflow Routine, Visible Thinking Routines) to internalize learning, part of my strategy to deal with the tsunami of information was to create an informationflow and news literacy routine.

  1. It all starts with the awareness that we can no longer blindly trust information. Without awareness that there is a problem, we will continue to believe inaccurate information that comes across our radar that is being disseminated by mistake or on purpose. We are susceptible to form our own opinions and create our world view based on inaccurate information and news.
  2. In order to be able to “recognize” and tackle mis/disinformation when confronted, we need to have a certain understanding of the strategies and techniques used to create them, and purposes for dissemination of mis/disinformation. The more examples of these strategies we see and unpack them to make these techniques visible, the more we will be able to recognize mis/disinformation when we encounter them in our daily lives and arm ourselves against information manipulation.
  3. To use one of Julie Smith‘s term, now is a good time to activate and hone our “BS (Bull Shit) Detector” and put it on high alert. Although we might have awareness of the characteristics, reality and implications of our “post-truth era” or “truth-decay world“, we might slip into old information habits (think “it’s written in stone” or “…but it says so here in black and white”). We are more susceptible to subliminal information, if we are not on alert, constantly wary and vigilant in looking for a red flag, something that just does not sound or looks right, or are not paying attention to the proverbial hair standing up on the back of our neck.
  4. Be aware of all the choices, strategies and techniques that you have in order to fact check, verify or debunk information before you do anything with any information. It is not a choice to “throw” your hands up in the air and feel helpless, but
  5. What action will you take with information? Should you ignore misinformation? Should you debunk disinformation and share your findings and fact checking steps? What is our responsibility to NOT disseminate misinformation? Should we warn others of false sources when we encounter them? What is our responsibilities, as global citizens and educators, to teach others about information, media & news literacy?