Critical Media Literacy and Fake News in Post-Truth America
Co-editors P.L. Thomas and Christian Z. Goering
Critical Media Literacies and Youth series, Sense Publishers
Series Editor, William Reynolds
In the fall of 2016, just after the U.S. elected Donald Trump president, a black female first-year student submitted an essay on the prospects for Trump’s presidency. The course is a first-year writing seminar focusing on James Baldwin in the context of #BlackLivesMatter; therefore, throughout the course, students have been asked to critically investigate race, racism, gender, sexism, and all types of bias related to the U.S.—through the writing of Baldwin, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Roxane Gay, Teju Cole, and Arundhati Roy, among others.
The student’s discussion of Trump’s policies, however, were hyperlinked to Trump’s campaign website. Discussing the draft with the student revealed that the current post-truth America is a significant issue among youth who seem unable to distinguish between facts and so-called fake news.
To blame youth for this lack of critical media literacy seems misguided since the mainstream media itself plays a significant role in misinforming the public. For example, as a subset of the wider media, edujournalism represents a default lack of critical perspective among journalists.
Claims by mainstream media are impressive:
Education Week is the best independent, unbiased source for news and information on pre-K-12 education. With an average of 42 stories posted each weekday on edweek.org, there is always a news, multimedia, or opinion piece to keep you up-to-date on post-election changes in policy, and to help you become a better practitioner and subject matter expert.
The reality is much different. When journalists at Education Week were challenged about their lack of critical coverage of NCTQ, Juana Summers Tweeted, “I’m not sure it’s my place to say whether the study is credible.”
In other words, mainstream media are dedicated to press-release journalism and maintaining a “both sides” stance that avoids making informed decisions about any claims from their sources—including the campaign of Trump.
This volume, then, seeks contributions that address, but are not limited to, the following in the context of teaching and reaching youth in the U.S. about critical media literacy:
- Unpacking the lack of critical perspectives in mainstream media.
- Examining “post-truth” America.
- Confronting issues of race, racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, and xenophobia as related to the media.
- Exploring the promises of the New Media as a haven for truth.
Contributions should seek ways to couch chapters in practical aspects of teaching and reaching youth in the U.S., but can reach beyond the traditional classroom into youth culture as that intersects with critical media literacy.
We have room for about 3-5 more chapters. Please send a proposal ASAP (by April 1) or a full chapter draft within the following guidelines:
Submit 5000-6000 word chapters by June 1, 2017. (double-spaced, APA 6th, please)
To: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
- Minimal formatting as we have to prepare a camera-ready manuscript.
- 12 pt, New Times Roman font, double spaced, 1” margins
- Format block quotes and hanging indents with the Word ruler (NOT return/tab)
- Do NOT use auto-formatting citation Apps
- Do NOT use Word templates for header or anywhere in the mss
Chapters returned for revisions by August 1, 2017.
Final Chapters due by September 1, 2017.
Proofs to authors by October 1, 2017.
Book published in fall 2017.
Please include the following information with proposals or draft chapters:
- Your commitment to follow through and meet the deadlines as stated.
- All contact information (email address REQUIRED) for each author of your chapter.