Digital Disinformation & Deception: Developing Critical Online News Media Literacies

Schools of Public Engagement: Media Studies

Non-Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Graduate Course
Degree Students (with Restrictions)
Digital Disinformation
Spring 2023
Taught By: Robert Berkman
Section: A

CRN: 13256

Credits: 3

Our digital media news environment is currently toxic. Misinformation, disinformation and deliberate attempts by actors with malevolent intentions to polarize the online audience have harmed not only public discourse, but public health, our political processes, and the health and future of our democracy. Today’s online media economics of attention requires that media outlets need to cultivate fear, anger and other strong emotions to get attention, and as we know, the motivating forces of entities that produce these effects, whether state or commercial, are often manipulative and malevolent, and whose interests are not its audience nor the public at large. These forces have greatly contributed to, if not had a major role in creating deep political and culture polarization; and are a threat to our democracy. Digital Media Literacy Competencies for the 21 st Century will examine the forces that brought us to this disturbing point. It will also answer questions like: what does it mean to be media literate in our current challenging digital media environment? And how can media scholars make a contribution to help create a more media literate society? The course will identify which of our current information/cultural challenges are novel and which are long-standing, and unpack the critical underlying forces. It will also teach the meta awarenesses, mindset and practical skills required today to effectively navigate and even neutralize the power of false and destructive online content that deceives and causes harm to individuals, the culture, and democratic government. It will also show how media scholars can play an important public role in being part of the solution to addressing the current toxic nature of our digital media ecosystem. Readings from this course will draw from a wide range of disciplines including media theorists, librarians, journalists, historians, public intellectuals and media practitioners. Students will engage in discussion and reflection on the readings; learn and apply specific digital media skills and dispositions; work as a team to produce a group digital media creation project, and choose to write an opinion essay or a research paper.

College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department: Media Studies (NMDS)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: Online - Asynchronous

Max Enrollment: 15

Add/Drop Deadline: February 5, 2023 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 16, 2023 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 1:26am EST 2/6/2023

Meeting Info:
Building: Online Course
Room: 999
Date Range: 1/23/2023 - 5/17/2023