To paraphrase our country’s president, a lot of people are saying that fake news is a big problem and media literacy is more important than ever before. We’ve started a roundup of some notable quotes, with some help from our followers on Twitter. Since we see this list as a resource for everyone working for media literacy and against fake news, we’ll keep updating it. Tell us in the comments or on Twitter about any we missed!
“We have to be very clear about the fact that people see things and they don’t distinguish whether it’s opinion or news…his is a much larger media literacy issue.” Lydia Polgreen, Editor-in-chief, The Huffington Post
“Media literacy is the social issue of our time.” Steve Barrett, Editor-in-chief, PR Week
“The [rise of fake news] is a short-term thing – I don’t believe that people want that at the end of the day…It’s almost as if a new course is required for the modern kid, for the digital kid.” Tim Cook, CEO, Apple (interview)
“Democracy demands media literacy.” Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s Reliable Sources (video excerpt)
“If we are not serious about facts and what’s true and what’s not — and particularly in an age of social media where so many people are getting their information in soundbites and snippets off their phones — if we can’t discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems.” United States President Barack Obama, speech in Berlin from November 17, 2016
“Media literacy is part of the solution. The more media-literate you are, the less likely you will be tricked by propaganda.” Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s Reliable Sources (newsletter; emphasis his)
“We need media literacy and we need it now…if anything has been made clear by the recent election season, it is that the proliferation of false and misleading media needs to be addressed.” John M. Webb, Daily Kos
“Whether or not Facebook is directly culpable, this much can’t be overstated: The combination of a media literacy nadir combined with an unstoppable firehose of untrue media gave Donald Trump the ability to say virtually anything during a presidential election, without consequence. There’s no reason to believe this won’t continue to happen in every election hereafter, to say nothing of the rest of the world, where Facebook is desperate to plant roots.” Sam Biddle, The Intercept
“In the end, fake news won’t go away, but a combination of digital news literacy and better oversight from the social platforms would make a world of difference.” MediaShift.org
“The antidote to misinformation on social media is a free and independent press and social media literacy & respect for truth.” Zeynep Tufekci, writer and assistant professor at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill at the School of Information and Library Science
“I suggest to you today that the quickest, most direct way to ruin a democracy is to poison the information.” Scott Pelley, Anchor and Managing Editor of CBS News; 2016 recipient of Arizona State University Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism
“Fake news is on people’s radar like never before due to speculation about what role it may have played in the past election. And not a moment too soon; the lack of media literacy in this country is becoming an epidemic – one that, like so many other public health threats, is particularly harmful to children.” Esther J. Cepeda, syndicated columnist
“In the past few days we’ve finally started to see discussions emerge about how the media should respond to [fake news]. Suggestions include focusing on policy, not personality; ignoring deflecting tweets; and a raft of other ideas. To these, I would add the need to promote greater media literacy, a more diverse media and tech workforce and improving the audience engagement skills of reporters.” Damian Radcliffe, Carolyn S. Chambers Professor in Journalism at the University of Oregon
“The rise of fake and misleading news is deeply concerning. Even more concerning is the lack of education provided to ensure that people can distinguish what is fact and what’s not. Through new technology, news has never been more readily available. However, the quality of that information varies widely. By giving students the proper tools to analyze the media they consume, we can empower them to make informed decisions.” California State Senator Bill Dodd, D-Napa
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