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K-State Research and Extension
123 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-3401

November 16, 2021

Think Critically About News and Sources: Education and Training

Submitted by Chris Onstad

The latest issue of Seek, the research magazine for KSU, featured an article titled “Cause or Effect; How researchers are analyzing misinformation.” The article discusses misinformation and disinformation in different media sources and how various mobile media technologies influence decisions in all sorts of areas including politics, health, sports and culture. The article highlights some serious problems that we face every day with our social media platforms and less reputable news sources.

There were a couple quotes in the article from Kelly Glasscock, an instructor of journalism and mass communications, and executive director of the Journalism Education. One comment was about how misinformation seeps into our daily lives when we stop thinking critically about news and information sources. And that “media literacy is the protection against it. It’s a critical element to our daily lives and a skill set that everybody needs to be well versed in – to be able to identify or know when someone is trying to manipulate you.”

This struck me as highly similar to extension work in relation to science. As extension employees, our education is based on science and not simple ‘this is how grandpa did it’ processes. Similarly, the goal with misinformation in our media is to help ourselves and clientele to identify what is true information. There is so much misinformation and disinformation flooding our media today that we often get pulled in an inappropriate direction or even influenced against what we truly know.

K-State Librarians, Sara Kearns, Carol Sevin and Daniel Ireton, have developed media literacy training. They have developed free, online resource guides and will deliver training workshops on request. I encourage you to at least open up the article and read through it.

Here is a link to the article if you haven’t read the hard copy: https://www.k-state.edu/seek/fall-2021/.
Here is a link to the library site that gets you further into this topic: https://guides.lib.k-state.edu/breakingyournewsbubble.