By Linda Fisher Thornton
This is Part 3 in a Leading in Context series sharing information on how to spot misinformation and false narratives. In case you missed them, Part 1 explored truth and narrative, and Part 2 examined how data and motives relate to the truth. Part 3 will address the importance of media literacy.
What Role Does Media Literacy Play in Discovering the Truth?
Misinformation relies on people having an emotional reaction and immediately sharing information with others without taking the time to evaluate its credibility.
To avoid being misled, when you have a strong emotional reaction to a story, look for the source of the information and look for corroborating information from other sources. (Miles Parks, Fake News: How to Spot Misinformation, NPR)
How can you spot a source of misinformation and false narrative?
One way to avoid misinformation is to check out whether or not the story is real before buying into it, sharing it and telling other people about it.
Sources of misinformation and false narrative may not share sources backing up the story OR the sources they share are not reliable. Media literacy is how we avoid being tricked.
Misinformation and false narratives may come from a dishonest leader or organization, or from a source who is motivated by CLICKS and ad revenue. These sources have a self-interested motive (and do not care about us or our well being). Whatever the source, our job is to stay literate as misinformation becomes more sophisticated and harder to spot.