Part One

Principles for media consumers

Search Icon

We start with principles, which don’t change even as media evolve. Then we move to practices — techniques and tactics, some of which do change. As media users, we can adopt key practices in our roles as consumers and creators. Let’s start with principles for media consumers:

  • 01

    Be skeptical.

    Even trustworthy media organizations make mistakes, and social media is full of misinformation. So we have to start with skepticism — about everything.

  • 02

    Exercise judgment.

    While we should be skeptical of everything, we should not be equally skeptical of everything. So we need to apply judgement, to sort out what’s more or less trustworthy.

  • 03

    Open your mind.

    We need to read (listen/watch) widely, going far outside our cultural and ideological comfort zones. And we need to challenge our own assumptions.

  • 04

    Keep asking questions.

    No single article or video tells the whole story. If you have questions, you may find answers in coverage by others. If the topic is close to home, you can ask your own questions directly.

  • 05

    Learn media techniques.

    We need to understand the ways people create digital media. We also, crucially, need to understand how media are used by various parties to inform, influence, and even manipulate the rest of us.