Protecting or Empowering: News Literacy Education in the Midst of the Post-Truth Debate

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At first, research concerning young’s relationship with the media was more focused on the dangers and distresses, than on the benefits that technology would offer to young people. However, after a while, an important shift occurred in the way how some researchers were framing their studies, focusing more on the opportunities posed by the use of the Internet by young people. In the light of the debate about the influence of (what some label as) fake news, particularly during the Brexit referendum and the presidential 2016 U.S. election trail, the discussion between risks and opportunities in media education is again pertinent. Some authors have sustained media literacy importance as a tool to react against the misinformation spread (Leetaru, 2016; McGivney, Kasten, Haugh, & DeVito, 2017), while others have been cautioning against a possible backlash effect (boyd, 2017; Craft, Ashley, & Maksl, 2017; Mihailidis & Viotty, 2017). Following Mihailidis and Viotty’s (2017) suggestion for the need to reposition news literacy in the post-truth debate, this essay looks into the literature and proposes that news literacy education should be providing means of protection while also providing means of empowerment. Additionally, this essay concludes that scholars and educators should consider positioning news literacy education in relation with human rights, humanism and global education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-39
Number of pages3
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventPraxis & Partnerships: 2nd International Media Literacy Research Symposium - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 19 Apr 201820 Apr 2018
Conference number: 2


  • News media literacy
  • media education
  • human rights
  • risks and opportunities


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