Part One

We are all media creators

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What kind of media creator are you? Click all that apply:

If you’ve answered yes to any of those questions — or done anything where your online action might have been seen by more than someone to whom you might have sent an email — you’re a media creator.

Five examples of media creation:

  • Write a restaurant review on Yelp

  • Create a poll on an Instagram story

  • Retweet a link on Twitter

  • Reply to a discussion board

  • Post a recipe on a blog

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As we’ve noted, the tools for creating media have never been so numerous or easy to use. Our smartphones and laptop computers are media-creation powerhouses, and because they’re connected to digital networks they are part of the fast-expanding information ecosystem.

Media creation is wonderful! We should all do it. But let’s do it with integrity. We’ll go into more detail on these principles in Module 3, but here’s a quick introduction.

Principles for media creators

The principles for consuming media more wisely apply to creators, too. But creators — those who want others to trust them, anyway — should adopt some other principles as well. The first four — thoroughness, accuracy, fairness, and independence — are ethical standards for journalists of all kinds, and are widely accepted inside of traditional news organizations. The fifth — transparency — is somewhat new and, until recently, somewhat controversial, but even more critical in a distributed media age.

  • 01

    Do your homework, and then do some more.

  • 02

    Get it right, every time.

  • 03

    Be fair to everyone.

  • 04

    Think independently, especially of your own biases.

  • 05

    Practice and demand transparency.