Topic: Accuracy in Media
Cliff Kincaid has disappeared from Accuracy in Media.
An AIM employee for more than 30 years, Kincaid hasn't written an article for AIM in a month, but near as we can tell, neither AIM nor chairman Don Irvine has made any statement regarding his job status. Curiously, though, it has been begging for "freelance writers to write about media bias for our website" on its Twitter account. Kincaid is no longer listed as employee on AIM's website, though he was in June (editor Roger Aronoff has similarly disappeared)
If Kincaid is gone, though, AIM has an apparent replacement in Brian McNicoll (though it appears he too is a freelancer and not a full-time AIM employee).McNicoll proves he's following in the conspiratorial steps of Kincaid with a July 25 column in which he rants that libraries are engaging in "liberal indoctrination" by teaching people how to understand the media and be on the lookout for fake news:
Sponsored content can be hard for anyone to tell apart … most is written to look like news copy and contains information that can be relied upon as long as the sourcing is indicated. And questioning the source of a photo is a second-level operation for most journalists, let alone middle schoolers.
But this test is being used as a pretext to dramatically expand K-12 teachers’ ability to influence children on how to pick sources, which to rely on, what constitutes authority and which affiliations compromise objectivity.
There are workbooks and programs. There are grants and curricula. The Agency of Education’s 2014 Quality Standards now call for one full-time library media specialist and sufficient staff” to implement such programs.
There’s a new app from Google called Internet Awesome that uses games to “get kids thinking about what makes the best password, how to behave online and how to sort real from fake information.”
It even has a name – media literacy. The people who bring you declining educational results despite increased spending now want to teach our children their version of how to interpret content on the Internet. Given their political predilections, this bears watching.
Why is this even a question when we’re talking about a presidential election? Isn’t it up to voters to decide which information is useful?
Besides, according to a study out last week from the Newseum Institute, Americans’ trust in what they read on the Internet is declining anyway. Amazingly, people have begun to realize all on their own that those Nigerian bank scams are not real.
There’s a reason two entities firmly on the left – educators and Facebook – suddenly have decided to help us improve our media literacy. It wants us to learn to discern the truth as they see it.
“We want students to come to conclusions that are not only true but personally meaningful and relevant,” one of the librarians said.
And now they want to guide them to that conclusion. What could go wrong?
Probably a lot less than what could go wrong if the likes of McNicoll and AIM try to do so.