Posted by: lmbshepard | November 28, 2011

The pillars are starting to crumble

I agree with Josh Catone’s Mashable post regarding the need for new media literacy. However, as I read and reread his post I couldn’t help but think we need something more. That something more is an emphasis on literacy in the traditional sense of the word. If memory serves, the three pillars of literacy are the ability to read for knowledge, how to write coherently and to think critically about what you’ve read. I think if we stopped putting shallow qualifiers on literacy then people might be equipped to know when something they’ve read needs further analysis before they decide it to be true.

As a professional journalist I hope Ann Curry is embarrassed and learned a valuable lesson in believing everything that comes over social media. I was willing to give her some slack as Mashable is a credible source. Then I started thinking, Mashable as a brand may be credible but  why should I blindly trust the untold number of people posting to this site just because they are on Mashable?

Sigh, are there any sources of information we can just blindly trust anymore? Or, should there be?

Discussion Questions

What defines a “credible source” anymore?

As more “citizen journalists” emerge how should they be treated? Should they be treated as a professional journalist with credentials? Or, should they be treated like any other person making a public records request or asking for an interview with a client?

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