How do you listen? What is in the media you select? Are you open to discovery, conversation, and engagement to be better informed, or have you set our own filters to tune into those you have decided to trust or causes which you decided to care about? Are you ignoring, distrusting, or growing more unaware? Are you being bombarded by the reinforcing of divisive messages?
The sheer prevalence of content requires us to consciously set filters. How can choosing our media filters be made a less perilous road to travel? Some guiding questions are:
- Who or what can be my trusted sources?
- What am I interested in knowing more about?
- How can I expand my comfort zone?
- How can I steer clear of becoming part of collective distrust, anger and hate?
This article by a Yale history professor provides a 20-point guide to defending democracy. Here is the link.
Prior to the Internet, Community Media emerged to expand access to tools as a means of distribution on Mass Media from a hyper-local perspective. The subsequent emergence of Internet speech suggests access to Mass Media is no longer the essential opportunity for the preservation of robust and egalitarian debate among diverse even antagonistic voices. Its evolution suggests that access to humanity’s overall potential across the globe relies on fair and equitable access to communication distribution systems be they solar panels and smartphones or 5G cell towers.
Democracy becomes eroded by the elephant in the room. The unprecedented communication power of the Internet and social media amplifies the equity challenges of leveling the playing field, transparency, and accountability for peer-to-peer communication, user-generated content, new media, and new infrastructures. Adding to the inequity is the matter of linguistic virility—as pieces of misinformation spreading quickly from person to person behaving like viral mechanisms—unfiltered in the last mile by eyes, ears, and mind of the receiver of content.
What is the community media role in supporting information and media literacy? Local, primary source stories remain vital to the discerning of truth in a world battered by viral misinformation. Should community media resolve to be #InformationLiteracy #MediaLiteracy #DigitalLiteracy training grounds?