Media Literacy: Home

What is media literacy?

Harvard University assembled a number of journalists to discuss "The Future of News: Journalism in a Post-Truth Era." Speakers include William Kristol (editor at large, The Weekly Standard), Kathleen Kingsbury (managing editor, Digital, The Boston Globe), Ann Marie Lipinski (curator, Nieman Foundation for Journalism), Gerard Baker (editor in chief, The Wall Street Journal), Lydia Polgreen (editor in chief, The Huffington Post), David Leonhardt (op-ed columnist, The New York Times), Lolly Bowean (reporter, Chicago Tribune), and Brian Stelter (senior media correspondent, CNN). The nearly two-hour event is divided between lectures concerning the impact of the current political climate on journalism and a case study from The Boston Globe as well as a panel discussion concerning the profession, media literacy, and other politically-charged topics.  




The Rise and Fall of Fake News


Post-truth: (adj.) relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief (Oxford Dictionaries 2016 Word of the Year)



  • Media Literacy: “a set of competencies that enable us to interpret media texts and institutions, to make media of our own, and to recognize and engage with the social and political influence of media in everyday life” (Hoechsmann & Poyntz, 2012, 1).
  • News Literacy: "the acquisition of 21st-century, critical-thinking skills for analyzing and judging the reliability of news and information, differentiating among facts, opinions and assertions in the media we consume, create and distribute. It can be taught most effectively in cross-curricular, inquiry-based formats at all grade levels. It is a necessary component for literacy in contemporary society" (
  • Truth: "a statement of what is most probable in proportion to the evidence available at the time” (Kovah & Roenthiel, 2010, 32)
  • Fake News: "information that is clearly and demonstrably fabricated and that has been packaged and distributed to appear as legitimate news. This narrow definition seeks to distinguish fake news from other types of misleading information by clarifying that the former is patently false and was created and presented in a way meant to deceive consumers into thinking it is real" (Media Matters Staff, 2016). 
  • Fake News Purveyors: "are websites, social media pages and accounts, or individuals who share or aggregate fake news stories. Purveyors may attempt to spread fake news stories on purpose, and unknowing purveyors may share fake news without realizing it’s fake" (Media Matters Staff, 2016).