Developing Critical Media Literacy Skills

by Martyn Cooper, Critical Media Literacy Teacher

Lee McCintyre, in his book Post-Truth, describes a world in which feelings are ´more important than facts.´ Truth has lost the value it once had, and we are all manipulated by politicians and the media alike; whether this be fake-news, disinformation or political spin. Therefore, it is essential that we confront this new post-truth world with science, research and critical thinking.

In Critical Media Literacy our students will consider the notion of truth itself, and be introduced to what philosophers have said about the subject as to just why ´truth´ is important. They will learn about McCintyre´s ideas regarding post-truth and apply their knowledge to real life cases. For example, they will learn how to recognise a piece of fake news and will be able to use their criticality in taking apart flimsy political arguments. They will conduct case studies into how social media is being misused for political ends and they will analyse famous cases in which the public was knowingly misled.

Students will also learn about how the media works and question to what extent our notions of reality are constructed by what we see on TV, films, advertising and music videos and by what we read in newspapers and social media. How do production decisions, for example, affect the way in which we perceive certain demographics? 

Critical Media Literacy will be a multi-disciplinary course, building on philosophy, sociology and media studies and will help better equip our students for the 21st Century ´Post-Truth´, digital world.