SJ Quinney College of Law, University of Utah
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Abstract

The Trump administration’s delegitimizing refrain characterizing legacy media as “fake news” institutions has doubtless exacerbated growing public distrust in government and accountability institutions. It has also promoted arrogation of power by the Executive. Media literacy must be broadened to encompass the more capacious goal of helping citizens understand the structure, operations, and structural role in democracy, and the interconnected ways in which it is threatened. Expanding the public’s understanding of the proper role of the press and the ways in which modern information industries operate attention markets, promoting the audience’s awareness of its own cognitive blind spots, increasing reporters’ critical acumen when dealing with information, and reframing newsworthiness norms and awareness of disinformation techniques in order to lessen the mainstream press’s vulnerability to informational manipulation can all be positive expansions of the notion of media literacy beyond the ability to spot factual errors in particular articles.

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