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Information Overload: Navigating Truth in a Networked World

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Media influences the way people understand the world around them, and today's digital media environment is saturated with information. Online media consumers are experiencing an information overload, and many find it difficult to determine which messages to trust. Media consumers

Media influences the way people understand the world around them, and today's digital media environment is saturated with information. Online media consumers are experiencing an information overload, and many find it difficult to determine which messages to trust. Media consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 are increasingly turning to social media, especially Facebook, for news and information. However, the nature of information exchange on these networks makes these users prone to seeing and sharing misleading, inaccurate or unverified information. This project is an examination of how misinformation spreads on social media platforms, and how users can utilize media literacy techniques to surround themselves with trustworthy information on social media, as well as develop skills to determine whether information is credible. By examining the motivations behind sharing information on social media, and the ways in which Millennials interact with misinformation on these platforms, this study aims to help users combat the spread of misleading information. This project determines techniques and resources that media consumers can use to turn their social media networks into healthy, trustworthy information environments. View the online component of this project at http://lindsaytaylorrobin.wix.com/info-overload

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2015-12

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Media literacy for university film and media students: teaching onscreen violence and social responsibility to future entertainment industry professionals

Description

This experimental pretest-posttest design study extended the field of media literacy research to pre-professionals in the entertainment industry. Specifically, it investigated the effects of lecture, film screenings and focused discussions on media literacy general awareness, comprehension, critical thinking and

This experimental pretest-posttest design study extended the field of media literacy research to pre-professionals in the entertainment industry. Specifically, it investigated the effects of lecture, film screenings and focused discussions on media literacy general awareness, comprehension, critical thinking and attitudes about filmmakers' responsibility after a unit of instruction on media violence designed specifically for university film majors.

Inherent in this process was an attempt to create a valid instrument for measuring media literacy awareness, comprehension, critical thinking and attitudes about social responsibilities among future media makers. Items were presented from the perspective of a creator of entertainment products. A demographic survey was used to collect data on past media literacy education and media viewing habits of this niche group, while evaluation data provided insights into the thought processes of students as they considered issues of media literacy -- sometimes for the first time -- in their own lives, in the lives of others, and in their future careers. Factorial analysis was used to test the effectiveness of the instrument. Analyses of variance were employed to measure pretest-posttest differences in treatment groups and Paired Samples T-tests to measure differences across the entire sample. Responses to open-ended evaluation questions were analyzed and coded and presented by item.

Results showed positive changes in comprehension and filmmaker responsibility attitudes across treatment groups and significant positive differences in media awareness and critical thinking among students across treatment groups. Results did not align with treatment groups: the students who watched film clips and participated in focused discussions gained knowledge but did not achieve significantly greater mean scores than those who did not participate in these treatments.

Findings support those in the research literature that holistic media literacy instruction, which incorporates aspects of creating as well as consuming entertainment products, can open new pathways of criticality about media issues. Media should be presented in context and with direction from the instructor. In eight evaluation items, some 90% of the young media makers agreed that the media violence lesson influenced their thinking and that they would consider material taught in this lesson when creating future media products.

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2014