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Media Literacy, Civic Engagement, and Democracy

An exploration of media, polarization, and the functioning of American democracy.

Media Literacy, Civic Engagement, and Democracy

In 2020 the Center for the Study of Democracy and the Library partnered to start a series on the intersection of media and democracy in the United States. We hope to provide insight into the relationship between media and the healthy functioning of a democracy as well as help the campus community to develop media literacy skills.

                                                                                                                                                                   Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

 

The Information Ecosystem

The ways that we access, share, and use information comprise an ecosystem, much like the kinds of systems we see in our natural environment. Democracy is a form of government that depends on healthy information ecosystem in order to function. As the internet age has led the emergence of new forms of media, our information ecosystem has become more complex than ever. In some ways, this ecosystem has also become deeply unhealthy. This guide will help you to learn more about the intersection of information, media, and our society, and to explore the relationship between changes in media and changes in American society.

        

                   Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels                                                     Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile from Pexels

 

What is Media Literacy?

Media Literacy has been defined as the ability to "access, analyze, evaluate and create media in a variety of forms." (Center for Media Literacy). We operate in an increasingly complex media ecosystem, made up of both traditional and online forms of media. Follow along with this guide for resources and opportunities to learn media literacy skills.

                   

Photo by Prateek Katyal from Pexels                                                             Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels