Media Literacy Helps Ascertain Reliable Content

By the Secretariat, SIGNIS Asia Journalism Desk, November 10, 2021

KUALA LUMPUR: Media literacy for consumers is important for the creation of a critical thinking society, and enabling them to analyse the reliability of sources.

Educating the masses can help resolve issues of believing in inaccurate information and ultimately spreading fake news.

It also helps news consumers understand and analyse media content and messaging.

Google News Lab Southeast Asia Teaching Fellow, Trinna Leong emphasised this when speaking to 25 international media professionals at the SIGNIS Asia Journalism Fellowship Programme on Nov 9, 2021.

She was one of three speakers at the weekly webinar, titled ‘Big Data & Storytelling.’

“I believe that media literacy is very important – that we need to educate people to be able to think critically and to analyse information before making a rash decision or judgment on what to believe or what not to believe,” Leong said in her closing remarks.

She was responding to questions on which sources consumers should believe or how to determine whether a certain source was reliable or credible.

She also noted that it was not easy to convince netizens once they had made up their minds – regardless of whether it was the truth or not.

“With regards to netizens, on your social media, I think if they have really set their mind to not believe certain things, and they only choose to believe certain truths in (their) head, I don’t think any amount of data sets that you provide to them (or) official sources that you provide to them or links you provide to them is going to make any difference because they have already set their mind,” Leong stressed.

SIGNIS Asia Journalism Desk and LICAS News Asia are the organisers of the SIGNIS Asia Journalism Fellowship Programme on the theme “Journalism in a Fragmented World,” a seven-week programme for lay Catholic and like-minded journalists working in the secular media. Offered virtually, the seven-week webinar brings together 25 selected participants from 14 countries to build capacity and promote exchange among media professionals and journalists who want to use their platform for social change. Programme details: https://www.signisasia.net/journalism-in-a-fragmented-world-webinar-2021/