Media Skills: Crash Course Media Literacy #11
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Media Skills: Crash Course Media Literacy #11


If you’ve ever driven a car – legally, that is – you
know before you taste that sweet, sweet vehicular
freedom you had totake a really fun test. No, not the practical one where you parallel park
between two cones like your life depends on it. The learner’s permit exam, the test of all
tests. You probably studied for it with a real snooze-worthy
booklet or some informational government website. You had to learn all the rules of the road
before getting to touch the road. Well, in a car at least. Whenever you’re learning a new skill, there’s a
certain amount of theoretical knowledge you need
before you’re ready to sit in “the driver’s seat.” It’s the same for media literacy. These days we’re so inundated with media it’s
impossible to teach someone all the skills they need. It’s like we skipped the driving exam and
woke up behind the wheel of a moving racecar! Luckily, it’s never too late to dust off
the ol’ driver’s manual. So far on Crash Course Media Literacy, we’ve
covered everything from how literacy was born
to how our brains handle messages. We’ve talked about theories and principles,
but now it’s time to really get behind the wheel. [Theme Music] In our first episode we discussed the
National Association of Media Literacy
Educators’ definition: “The ability to access, analyze, evaluate,
create, and act using all forms of communication.” These five skills are your toolbox encountering
media in the wild. If you’re watching this video, you may take
the first skill, access, for granted. To play this YouTube video you need a device
that can connect to the internet – a smartphone,
computer, or a tablet. Plus, that device needs software for video
and audio playback. Then of course you need an internet connection,
one fast enough to stream this video. To some of us, being constantly connected
to the internet is an everyday thing. But these things cost money, and in the U.S.,
many people can’t access the internet. At least 5 million kids don’t have internet
access at home and for many poor families, places like the
local library or a McDonald’s with free wifi are
the only places they can get online. Think about how often you use the internet,
and for what. You have probably used it to complete homework
or apply for a job or file taxes. All of these things seem essential and easy
to do – if you have the means. Practice makes perfect, right? A kid who grows up without regular internet
access will have lower digital skill levels than
their peers who access it easily. And, as I’m sure you know, digital skills are
crucial to functioning in our high-tech world. That means many people who don’t have this
access are behind before they even start school. In July 2016, the United Nations declared
internet access a basic human right. They said, “Everyone has the right to
freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold
opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information
and ideas through any media and regardless
of frontiers.” The internet may seem like it makes everything
way more accessible. You can just Google what you need rather than
lug around a set of encyclopedias. But access remains unevenly distributed. The other side of the coin is our second skill,
analyze. If and when you do have access, you’re
flooded with way too much information and way
too many sources of entertainment. Locating the highest quality content – whether you’re looking for a reliable source of
news or a TV show you like, or a series of charming
and educational YouTube videos – this requires you to analyze what
you’re looking at. The foundation of media analysis is
acknowledging that all media is constructed with
a purpose and a particular point of view. Media literacy scholar Renee Hobbs
recommends answering five questions when
you make a media choice, Number 1: Who created this message and what
is the purpose? Is it a movie made by Disney for entertainment? Is it an ad made by Apple to sell phones and
computers? Number 2: What techniques does it use to attract
and hold attention? Does the message include persuasive elements
to convince you its story is true? Is it flashy and loud like a pop-up ad, or
have a cliffhanger-y headline to suck you in? Number 3: What lifestyles, values and points
of view does it depict? Is it representing a single point of view,
like an autobiography? Is it an Instagram feed that’s all about
that hashtag beach life or a blog that’s all
about working hard and playing hard? Number 4: How might different people interpret
this message? Would your parents or grandparents or best
friend feel the same way about this? How would they react? Number 5: What is omitted, or left out? Is this article about politics talking about
every party or just one? Did that break-up song mention the good times,
too? Why or why not? Once you’ve established answers to these
questions, it’s time to evaluate the quality and
credibility of the media you’re consuming. Media literacy scholar Julie Coiro says
there are four key things to look out for:
relevance, accuracy, bias, and reliability. The first is relevance. Does the info or media serve its purpose,
and to what degree? If you Googled “recipes for chow mein”
and recipe for peach muffins comes up instead,
that content is not relevant. This one can be a pretty low bar to clear. As we know, our mind loves to accept the
easiest to understand info as the right info,
because it’s convenient. Which is why we move on to…accuracy. Evaluating something for accuracy can be difficult
when you’re just learning about it yourself. The first step is to check how factual it is. Are its claims backed up by empirical evidence
or is it just someone’s opinion? You should be able to double check those facts
with other sources. Of course, just because multiple outlets tell
the same story doesn’t mean it’s true. Like how every time there’s a hurricane,
someone photoshops a shark into the waters
and local news stations run the story. In cases like these, take that info and double
check with their source. Next, you look for bias, or someone’s perspective. Be sure to distinguish whether the author of the media you’re evaluating is slanting the facts towards a particular point of view, and ask how that reflects on the publisher. Biased media can obscure reality by presenting
only the evidence that supports one opinion. To ward this off, it’s always great to seek out
diverse perspectives on a topic and look for
evidence to support any stance that you take. Finally, determining reliability can help
you find sources of information that you trust. Reliability is how trustworthy a publisher
or author is based on the entirety of their work. Yes, it’s complicated. As you know, some respected publishers
who are reliable sources publish native ads
that look like news. Some even promote those sketchy click-bait
tabloid ads about celebrities dying or losing weight. By consistently evaluating for relevance,
accuracy, and bias, you can determine whether
a publisher’s work is reliable on the whole. Let’s take this four-part evaluation for
a spin in the Thought Bubble! Consider this article from The Washington
Post, from November 2017. The headline reads: FCC net neutrality process
‘corrupted’ by fake comments and vanishing
consumer complaints, officials say. It’s about a new rule the Federal Communications
Commission was set to vote on the next month. The FCC put out a call for citizens to
comment on the decision to roll back
net neutrality protections. Some said the comment process wasn’t fair
and that bad actors manipulated it to get their way. So, is this relevant? Well if you came across this article because you
were searching for Titanic fanfic, you’d say no. But if you came across it on social media and
were interested in this net neutrality battle, you’d
certainly find its information relevant. Check. Is it accurate? The Washington Post’s reporter explains
the net neutrality comments process and
the allegations against it. They cite credible sources along the way,
like the New York Attorney General, an FCC
spokesperson, and a data scientist. They also link to other stories that back
up their claims throughout. It looks pretty accurate.
Check. Is it biased? This article doesn’t just quote the FCC
in this story about the FCC. They also gave space to the New York Attorney
General and the leader of an advocacy group that
are against the FCC’s net neutrality decision. They present both sides of this fight, and
include a third party, the data scientist, to
offer a neutral opinion. That’s a good way to fight off bias.
Check. Is it reliable? The Washington Post is well-known for a
history of quality journalism and has won dozens
of Pulitzer Prizes (the Oscars for journalism). The article was written by Brian Fung, their
technology writer who has written about internet
access quite a bit before. He’s also written for the National Journal
and The Atlantic, two other reliable publications. This checks out for reliability. See, it only takes a minute to go through
this four-step check with a bit of news. You can use this whenever you come across
media you find questionable. It’s an important skill to have. Thanks Thought Bubble! Maybe the most fun media literacy skill is
to create media yourself. Taking your knowledge of how media are produced and
producing some of your own is actually a great way to
develop skills in analyzing and evaluating media, too. It’s like media literacy inception. But you don’t have to be some music producer
or artist to create media. Posting to social networks is creating media. Writing a blog is creating media. Making a funny GIF from your favorite TV show
is creating media. Finally, the most important part of media
literacy is being able to act on all of the
skills you’ve acquired. Acting on media literacy could mean looking
up local candidates for government and using
that info when you vote. It could mean going vegan after reading about
animal farms. It could even mean deleting Twitter from your
phone after realizing you’re addicted to social media. You may be wondering: do everyday people
really access, analyze, evaluate, create and act on
all the media they consume each day? Of course not. It’s impossible to apply each of these principles
to everything we absorb all the time. But little by little as you start to apply
them to different media it will become a habit. Like building a muscle, you’ll find yourself
doing it reflexively as you scroll through
your phone or listen to the radio. And as a key tenet of media literacy, you
should be able to accomplish this across all
of your devices and types of media. Not just the news and advertisements, but
movies and music and books, too. You might use multiple devices in the span
of one day and, in that one day see videos, photos, news articles,
ads, short stories, quizzes, sponsored content –
you name it. As long as you know how to access what you
want, what to trust, and who you can rely on for it, you’ll
thrive within the fast-paced media environment. But we’re not done yet. Next time on Crash Course Media Literacy we’re
going to talk about how media literacy itself is
going to change in the future. How will we respond to virtual and augmented
reality media? How does artificial intelligence factor into
our news diet? Should we even let corporations sell us “smart
home” devices that listen to us all the time? There’s a lot to cover, and I can’t wait
to dive in. For Crash Course, I’m Jay Smooth.
See you next time! Crash Course Media Literacy is filmed in the
Dr. Cheryl C. Kinney Studio in Missoula, MT. It’s made with the help of all of these
nice people, and our animation team is
Thought Cafe. Crash Course is a Complexly production. If you wanna keep imagining the world complexly
with us check out some of our other channels, like Sexplanations, How To Adult, and Healthcare
Triage. If you’d like to keep Crash Course free for everyone,
forever, you can support the series at Patreon, a crowdfunding platform that allows
you to support the content you love. Thank you to all of our patrons for making
Crash Course possible with their continued
support.

83 thoughts on “Media Skills: Crash Course Media Literacy #11

  1. First
    2018 anyone
    Hello
    Have a nice day
    Awesome

    I wrote everything that can get me some likes
    Now give me likes mortals

  2. عن ابي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم:((كلمتان خفيفتان على اللسان ، ثقيلتان في الميزان حبيبتان الى الرحمن :سبحان الله و بحمده سبحان الله العظيم)) ⚘⚘💜

  3. It's interesting that this video, just out today, specifically name drops the New York Attorney General. He resigned last night in disgrace. I wonder if they would have used the same article as an example if they knew what was going to happen.

  4. Just finished watching the last videos and thought caught up with this series but then you uploaded this. Great!

  5. The problem with these five criteria (or any criteria) is that they themselves are already subject to our bias. We're much less likely to heavily scrutinize media that reaffirms what we want to believe then media that challenges it, which we put under the electron microscope.

  6. I've been frustrated by my inability to rely on the news for as long as I've read the news. Fox News has a conservative bias. MSNBC has a liberal bias. Bias detracts from reliability: If the publisher is pushing its own agenda, how can I rely on the news it reports?

    I'm disappointed because the presenter didn't spend enough time on this. Journalism awards go to publications that meet the criteria of the people giving the awards. Similarly, an author who writes for more than one publication means only that those publishers found his writing acceptable. Neither of these situations speak to the reliability of the news reported.

    Maybe we should focus on separating facts from truth. I hear about "post-truth" and debates about what is true and what is a lie, but truth is in the eye of the beholder. Facts are verifiable.

    For example, we might agree that "net neutrality is good" is true, but we should recognize that as a value judgement. We look at the results and decide, "This is good." On the other hand, "net neutrality prevents ISPs from charging customers more" is a fact. We can look at how ISPs charge customers now, compare that to the restrictions net neutrality imposes, and conclude whether this statement is correct or not.

  7. Social existence and the schools are teaching kids to be workers washed out more than thinkers going to grad school just by this video alone on propaganda detection.

  8. Hi there! I loved this video, and want to support it by leaving a comment. However, I'm aware that Youtube's comment system is heavily skewed towards promoting conflict, as well as violent and intolerant behaviour, and I am not willing to be a target. That's why I've created this "pre-recorded" comment to leave on videos I like! I do not leave "+" comments, because it is important to me to make known that this space is damaging. I strongly encourage others to do the same if they feel targeted by Youtube's media environment. Thank you for making work that is so positive and meaningful to me!

  9. 1.Access 2.Analyze 3.Evaluate 4.Create 5.Act

    These are the five skills used to understand and improve on media literacy. GG!

    When it comes to evaluating media there are four key to look out for:
    1) Relevance
    2) Accuracy
    3) Bias
    4) Reliability

  10. Hay I have two videos on my page that if you want to try to help save net neutrality you should watch

  11. I see the end coming and all I can say is JAAAAAAAAY SMOOOOOOTH DOOONNNN'T GO. KEEP MAKING CRASH COURSES. PLEASE, YOU ARE THE CRASHCOURSE GOAT. WE NEED YOU.

  12. This series is so consistently informative and enjoyable everyone should be watching this given how incredibly relevant this is. I love it.

  13. FYI the learner's permit example doesn't work everywhere outside the US. Where I live one is expected to start learning the theory before getting practical lessons, but the only requirement is to take a minimum number of practical lessons and to pass the theoretical test before you take the practical one, but it can be done in any order – e.g. you could start driving without knowing the meaning of a single road sign or marking. (But driving teachers themselves must have permits and special cars with extra gas and break pedals on the teacher's side, so the teacher can intervene in an emergency, I don't think that's a requirement in the US either. I spent my first lesson controlling nothing but the wheel, it was pretty fun).

  14. "Charming and educating youtube videos" Oh, like crash course film theory? That host has his fair share of charisma.

  15. I want to point out that both WaPo and The Atlantic are left-of-center publications. They have biases, including in the area of Net Neutrality (where they both strongly benefit from ISPs offering their content on an equal platform to their competitors). Just because a source is biased does not mean that it is trading in outright lies or that it's not worth reading, but pretending like there isn't an overwhelming consensus view at these publications is a form of lying to yourself.

  16. I love these rules. I can't claim to use them all perfectly all the time, but it's definitely possible. Don't let moral/media relativism win just because it's overwhelming, folks. That's intellectual laziness. The Washington Post isn't a credible source because it conforms to certain arbitrary standards; it's a credible source because it has built up a tradition, environment, and reputation for heavily researched, clear-headed, and accurate analysis. They get it wrong sometimes, but when they fail, they don't fail like Fox News or Buzzfeed, and not nearly as often. If you just threw together an article from social media posts in a cool hour-and-a-half, you don't fail in the same way as the guy who went through several days of research, phone calls, conferences, and several drafts of editing. The end product might look superficially similar, but it's not the same. Not by a country mile.

  17. This is why I roll my eyes at 90% of the stories I see on facebook. Once you learn this, it becomes second nature, and it gets pretty easy to identify content that isn't even worth the time to examine.

    If you only remember one lesson from this episode, let it be this: PRIMARY SOURCES. Always check for them and check them. And be wary of the source loop, where there is no actual primary source, and all articles refer to each other as their source.

  18. Thanks for the great content c: I'm from Russia, and it's relevant af here

  19. I sincerely hope Media Literacy becomes a required course (or series of courses) in the public education system. As you said, as the world becomes more and more heavily reliant on digital technologies, an understanding and practical knowledge of media and the tools to navigate it will be all the more important.

  20. I love Crash Course & this is by far the serie I've found the most useful, informative & applicable. These are very important notions to educate people about & I'm glad I now have this tool I can refer people to, without needing to educate every one I meet one by one.

  21. That last section where he asked whether we should let artificial intelligence choose what media we see and whether we should have smart home devices everywhere made me think of the Google I/O keynote yesterday. They talked about machine learning in connection to everything they announced.

  22. Checking sources is good, but sometimes check the sources of the sources. There's been a couple of times when I've checked sources and found a circle of articles that all source each other, and are all found on internet-only "news" sites.

  23. Laws on driving and drivers tests change ( per country too). Also had one question saying to do illegal 'u turn after going down wrong way' as an answer. Some things are not so black and white fallacy easy. What really is that easy?

  24. "It could mean deleting Twitter from your phone after realizing you're addicted to social media."
    I feel personally attacked

  25. The steps to evaluate accuracy, (un)bias and reliability are only the very basic ones. In reality, I think one may never know if the information is actually accurate because the source information may come from wrong analysis that takes a lot of investigation to fix, and no one can investigate every piece of information. We often have to rely on others to investigate for us but again, we can never fully trust others' work. In the same way, it is also becoming increasingly difficult to know if one is really unbiased or reliable from just reading words and looking at references. Today's skills of deception in journalism is very advanced with all of the hidden messages, SEO strategies and bribes. This is why I think we should not look at any media products as absolutely right or wrong. There's not much can be deemed right or wrong besides natural laws, anyway. So, when we consume media, whatever opinions we have, we should try to sympathize and see from others' perspectives to find a common way to benefit us all and build the world. We celebrate differences but aim for unity rather than violent imposition of beliefs.

  26. people also don't have internet in places because it isn't offered. I can't have it at our cottage because there is no way to get internet out there. Its not just a money issue

  27. This reminds me of the time I looked up information on a common household pest and of the 8 web pages I read through, 5 of them were identical to the Wikipedia article word for word -_-"

    It was very frustrating.

  28. But can't it be time consuming in itself just to look through several different sources and check each one to make sure they're reliable? I mean isn't it the job (ideally) of journalists to sort through the information and tell us what is true and what isn't? I guess since media outlets have chosen to go for profit rather than integrity & fake news is everywhere online, the responsibility of fact checking is placed on us. But does it have to be this way? Can there be a change within media companies to make news content that is relevant, accurate, minimally biased, and reliable?

  29. Let us not forget that our religious texts are also media, and that to swallow them whole uncritically is just as foolish as blindly believing that Facebook meme. We would do well do apply the same questions and critical thinking that Jay Smooth talks about to our reading of the Bible, the Koran, the Talmud, etc.

  30. I'm glad to see this discussion being had, especially with the intention of education the public masses. I take for granted that I studied journalism, and these tenets have been second nature to me for decades. I've pondered the issue and worried about its effects with greater concern in recent years. SHARED.

  31. Amazing course, really really bad intro music of "Complex" when on headphones, Man it's so annoying that I had to write a comment about it

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