The student news site of Midlothian Heritage High School

The Roar

The student news site of Midlothian Heritage High School

The Roar

The student news site of Midlothian Heritage High School

The Roar

Read Between the Headlines

Lack of News Literacy Is Having Major Negative Effects
Photo by McGlauthon (Mac) Fleming IV
The ability to understand and engage with the news is an important skill for people in an information age to possess. May, however, do not and instead read the news as if they lack common sense or are wearing a blindfold. – Made in Canva

People need to learn how to properly consume news to weed out misinformation and disinformation, especially in the age of free-flowing and non-consensual information that we now reside in.

From the time that people learn to talk and converse, they naturally pick up the ability to tell when someone is keeping something from them or just lying to them. This should extend to a sense of how to discern right and wrong information from a news source, using common sense and research. However, since a seemingly growing amount of people lack these skills, the volatile attitudes drowning the country the way they are just keep continuously growing, giving us the country we currently find ourselves in.

This does not excuse the people who are spreading the information, obviously. Providing accurate and informed information to the masses is the responsibility of news media and organizations. Unfortunately, they are not fulfilling their end of the bargain, so an important skill that people need to possess is the ability to properly sift through that information.

But, since neither side is fulfilling their end of the bargain, whether it be handing over solid information or being able to interpret and understand it in the way it should be, the country’s media along with the trust in it is fastly eroding. This is interesting because as much as our situation is precarious, it is much worse in other places around the world, and many want to model ours more around the other, admittedly less effective, forms of media.

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This is because Americans themselves have two major issues when it comes to interacting with the media. Firstly, they have a major inability to critically and logically engage with it, regardless of who it is or what the topic is, and it will always end with someone taking away either a lie or a manufactured and twisted version of reality that they then share out to others.

Secondly, Americans have a major victim complex when it comes to how certain information can paint a broader picture of life in the country. Every piece of information is a personal attack on them or the effects of a larger issue that no one is willing to address but them. Even if the issue is real, more than likely, they have a stance on it that would be better left unsaid.

Do not get me wrong, this is not a problem that every single person possesses. But the number is going steadily and shows no signs of stopping. How does the issue get fixed? Well, try to force as many people to see the error of their ways through methods that meet them where they are instead of condemning or being condescending to them.

If that doesn’t work, they are a lost cause. And the rest is up to making sure that the people who are still learning how to interact with the news and media know what they’re doing when they finally get into the real world.

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