Critical Media Literacy Today – Watch program recording

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Critical Media Literacy Today: An Antidote to Fake News & Corporate Media Bias

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In this presentation, Nolan Higdon, author of The Anatomy of Fake News, and Steve Macek, a professor of media studies at North Central College, provide an overview of the problem of fake news and corporate misinformation and discuss the need for critical media literacy in our schools. They detail what a genuinely critical media literacy education involves and distinguish it from the corporate-friendly media literacy curriculum that is sometimes taught in our schools. Higdon and Macek are currently co-editing a book for Peter Lang entitled Censorship, Digital Media and the Global Crackdown on Freedom of Expression.

This program was produced as a community virtual learning event by AAUW Naperville Area (IL) on March 14, 2023.

About the Presenters

Dr. Steve Macek (Ph.D., University of Minnesota) is Professor of Communication and Chair of the Department of Communication and Media Studies at North Central College in Naperville, IL, where he teaches courses on media studies and the First Amendment. He is the author of Urban Nightmares: The Media, the Right and the Moral Panic over the City (University of Minnesota Press, 2006), a critical analysis of media representations of American cities and the urban poor during the 1980s and 1990s. His articles on Chicago’s radical and alternative press have been published in A.R.E.A. magazine and in the collection A Moment of Danger: Critical Studies in the History of US Communication since WWII (Marquette University Press, 2011). He has contributed chapters to several of Project Censored’s recent yearbooks, including the recently published The State of the Free Press 2023 (Censored Press/Seven Stories Press, 2022). Macek speaks and writes frequently for non-scholarly audiences. His op-eds on media, communication policy and academic freedom issues have appeared in The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The News and Observer, The Seattle Times, Truthout, Common Dreams and The Columbus Dispatch

Dr. Nolan Higdon is an author and university lecturer at Merrill College and the Education Department at University of California, Santa Cruz. Higdon’s areas of concentration include podcasting, digital culture, news media history, and critical media literacy. Higdon is a regular contributor to Savage Minds and is a Project Censored National Judge. He is the author of The Anatomy of Fake News: A Critical News Literacy Education (University of California Press, 2020). His most recent publications include Let’s Agree to Disagree: A Critical Thinking Guide to Communication, Conflict Management, and Critical Media Literacy (Routledge, 2022) with Mickey Huff and The Podcaster’s Dilemma: Decolonizing Podcasters in the Era of Surveillance Capitalism (Wiley, 2021) with Nicholas Baham III. Higdon is a founding member of the Critical Media Literacy Conference of the Americas. He has been a source of expertise for CBS, NBC, The New York Times, and The San Francisco Chronicle.