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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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Represent This!: An Online Exploration of the Representation of Women in Film and Television

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My thesis project Represent This! is an online resource for the representation of women and film, found at http://www.representhis.wordpress.com. The Wordpress site hosts an 8,500-word essay, a resource guide, an about page and a blog. The essay explores the

My thesis project Represent This! is an online resource for the representation of women and film, found at http://www.representhis.wordpress.com. The Wordpress site hosts an 8,500-word essay, a resource guide, an about page and a blog. The essay explores the representation of women in media in several ways: its relation to the study of media literacy at large, the low number of women employed in the film and television industries, the history of women in film, the representation of bodies on screen and how it affects body image and eating disorders, the representation of action heroines, and the representation of girls on screen and the treatment of those young actresses off screen. The conclusion of the essay and the Resource Guide work together to provide a call to action through suggestions for a reader to better their "media diet" (what they watch and how they think about the media they consume) as well as listing movies or television shows that exemplify strong representation of women on screen and in production. The blog will be updated after this project is turned in to respond to news about representation of women in media or to write about an article or book I've read relating to the topic. I designed graphics and found Creative Commons images and video to make the site more visually appealing to read. Attached in the PDF is the full text of what is on the website (most prominently the essay) as well as an annotated bibliography and screen shots from the website.

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2015-12

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Gatekeeping practices of participants in a digital media literacy massive open online course (MOOC)

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Long before “fake news” dominated the conversation within and about the media, media literacy advocates have championed the need for media literacy education that provides the tools for people to understand, analyze, and evaluate media messages. That the majority of

Long before “fake news” dominated the conversation within and about the media, media literacy advocates have championed the need for media literacy education that provides the tools for people to understand, analyze, and evaluate media messages. That the majority of U.S. adults now consume news on social media underscores the importance for students of all ages to be critical users of media. Furthermore, the affordances of social media to like, comment, and share news items within one’s network increases an individual’s responsibility to ascertain the veracity of news before using a social media megaphone to spread false information. Social media’s shareability can dictate how information spreads, increasing news consumers’ role as a gatekeeper of information and making media literacy education more important than ever.

This research examines the media literacy practices that news consumers use to inform their gatekeeping decisions. Using a constant comparative coding method, the author conducted a qualitative analysis of hundreds of discussion board posts from adult participants in a digital media literacy Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to identify major themes and examine growth in participants’ sense of responsibility related to sharing news information, their feeling of empowerment to make informed decisions about the media messages they receive, and how the media literacy tools and techniques garnered from the MOOC have affected their daily media interactions. Findings emphasize the personal and contextual nature of media literacy, and that those factors must be addressed to ensure the success of a media literacy education program.

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2018