The Atlantic – “As “Do the research” becomes a rallying cry for conspiracy theorists, classical information literacy is not enough…For too long now, shared reality has been fracturing before our eyes. Eli Pariser’s concept of the “filter bubble” is already a decade old. Yochai Benkler’s research on propaganda networks finds that the roots of our epistemic crisis predate even the existence of the social web. The origins of this broken informational environment may be complicated, but the stakes are quite clearly life-and-death—and they prompt a question: How can so many people believe things that are obviously untrue? Setting aside the fact that the people most likely to share misinformation haven’t been in a classroom for decades, most students in the past 50 years have received instruction under various names: media literacy, digital literacy, news literacy, information literacy, civic literacy, critical thinking, and the umbrella concept of meta-literacy. This curriculum is constantly being reinvented to meet perceived crises of confidence, largely driven by the emergence of new technologies.
But the present moment demands serious inquiry into why decades of trying to make information literacy a universal educational outcome hasn’t prevented a significant portion of the population from embracing disinformation while rejecting credible journalistic institutions. This failure has many roots: The low social status of teachers and librarians relative to those in other professions, the lack of consistent instruction about information and media literacy across students’ educational experience, the diminishment of the humanities as a core element of general education, and the difficulty of keeping up with technological change and digital culture have all played a role. So has the fact that information literacy has no specific place in the curriculum. It’s everywhere, and nowhere. It’s everyone’s job, but nobody’s responsibility. In many cases, the people who care about it the most—those in academia, journalism, and nonprofits especially—have had their jobs felled by the austerity ax…”