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Real-Life and Virtual News Sources Can Be Flat-Out Wrong: Teaching the Importance of Libel Law and Media Literacy in a Single Class Session

Real-Life and Virtual News Sources Can Be Flat-Out Wrong: Teaching the Importance of Libel Law and Media Literacy in a Single Class Session
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Author(s): Robin Blom (Ball State University, USA)
Copyright: 2018
Pages: 19
Source title: Handbook of Research on Media Literacy in Higher Education Environments
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Jayne Cubbage (Bowie State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4059-5.ch014

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Abstract

Eyewitnesses play a very important role in news coverage. Yet, scholarly research on eyewitness misidentification and memory distortion is virtually absent in scholarly work in journalism and related academic fields. This chapter emphasizes the need for such a research agenda by analyzing the amount of mistakes student journalists made in a news report they wrote during a 20-minute classroom exercise. Each of the stories about a staged bar fight, except for one, contained pieces of misinformation because the students often blindly trusted eyewitnesses and messages on social media accounts. The results indicated that there is a need for more advanced information and media literacy modules in journalism curricula to avoid inaccurate information from eyewitnesses to be disseminated to the public.

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