Articles about Media Literacy
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People Make Anti-Logos To Urge Sponsors To Withdraw From Qatar 2022 World Cup
FIFA's decision to hold the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is drawing more and more criticism as more and more allegations of everything from bribery and financial mismanagement to slavery and deadly work conditions pile up. 900 workers have died during construction for the...
Dear White America: Toya Graham Is Not Your Hero
When I told my grandma that I was among a crowd of protesters pepper-sprayed while covering the demonstration-turned-riot at Baltimore’s Mondawmin Mall on Monday, her response was blunt. “Well, that should've been your answer to take yo' ass home,” she said. Had she been...
Nonviolence As Compliance in Baltimore
Officials calling for calm can offer no rational justification for Gray's death, and so they appeal for order. Rioting broke out on Monday in Baltimore—an angry response to the death of Freddie Gray, a death my native city seems powerless to explain. Gray did not die...
Overcoming the Shock Doctrine
Lately, we’ve been talking about the techniques of manipulation used by the government and mass media, regarding the privatization of public education, and all public benefits. In these first months of legislature, the better part of this manipulation has been aimed at...
A Rogue Reporter Takes on the Masters of the Universe
The media would have you believe that it’s simply an accident that 85 people now own more than half the world’s wealth. It’s time to blow their cover. This essay is excerpted from Matt Kennard’s new book, The Racket: A Rogue Reporter vs. the Masters of the Universe, just...
Nature Needs a New Pronoun: To Stop the Age of Extinction, Let's Start by Ditching "It"
Calling the natural world “it” absolves us of moral responsibility and opens the door to exploitation. Here's what we can say instead. Singing whales, talking trees, dancing bees, birds who make art, fish who navigate, plants who learn and remember. We are surrounded by...
Does the Supreme Leader Truly Love Our Land Mass? A Funny Satire About Corporate, Mass Media Humans
Why Independent Journalism Is Challenging the Mass media
The battle for our votes has commenced. Political parties are turning their attention from Westminster to the people that grant them a mandate. But as the political propaganda is ramped-up we would do well to remember Thomas Carlyle's words about parliament in 1841: "In the...
Why I Have Resigned from the Telegraph
The coverage of HSBC in Britain's Telegraph is a fraud on its readers. If major newspapers allow corporations to influence their content for fear of losing advertising revenue, democracy itself is in peril. Five years ago I was invited to become the chief political...
No Piers Morgan. This Is How to Destroy the Islamic State
The religious façade is merely another element of IS propaganda, the mobilising ideology that provides a veneer of legitimacy for its existence Recently, in the Daily Mail, Piers Morgan wrote about his “uncontrollable rage” at watching the video of the Jordanian...
Are Islamic State’s ‘Shock and Awe’ Tactics More Awful Because of One Victim?
The Daesh (ISIL or ISIS) burning of a captured Jordanian pilot alive produced justified revulsion globally, resulting in the terrorist organization being termed “barbarous” and similar epithets. Why did it behave this way? Because it wants to terrify its opponents into...
Compare and Contrast: Obama's Reaction to the Deaths of King Abdullah and Hugo Chávez
Hugo Chávez was elected President of Venezuela four times from 1998 through 2012 and was admired and supported by a large majority of that country’s citizens, largely due to his policies that helped the poor. King Abdullah was the 
State of the Union 2015: Lethal, Predatory, Delusional
“The economy inhabited by the vast majority of Americans grows smaller and more cutthroat, with nearly all the new wealth accruing to the rich.” Tuesday night, in his next-to-last State of the Union address, President Obama flashed the suckers a bag of tricks that has no...
The Martin Luther King You Don't See on TV
It's become a TV ritual: Every year in mid-January, around the time of Martin Luther King's birthday, we get perfunctory network news reports about "the slain civil rights leader." The remarkable thing about this annual review of King's life is that several years — his last...
#ReclaimMLK Seeks to Combat the Sanitizing of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy
Martin Luther King Jr. had more than “a dream,” but you might not notice that on Monday during observances for his birthday. Somewhere between his assassination and today began an MLK-neutering campaign meant to turn the famed agitator’s holiday into a national Day of...
Noam Chomsky: 'Their' Terrorism versus 'Our' Terrorism
After the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo, which killed 12 people including the editor and four other cartoonists, and the murder of four Jews at a kosher supermarket shortly after, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls declared "a war against terrorism, against jihadism...
Watch: Russell Brand's Brilliant Takedown of Toxic Fox News Rant in Wake of Hebdo
"Violence and killing are the consequences of this hateful programming . . . And look who profits." In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack, Fox News has gone on a hate-spree of invective about all Muslims being to blame for the actions of a handful of criminals. The tirade...
On Charlie Hebdo: A Letter to My British friends
Dear friends, last week, a horrid assault was perpetrated against the French weekly Charlie Hebdo, who had published caricatures of Mohamed, by men who screamed that they had “avenged the prophet”. A wave of compassion followed but apparently died shortly afterward and all...
Ten Things You Should Know About Selma Before You See the Film
In this 50th anniversary year of the Selma-to-Montgomery March and the Voting Rights Act it helped inspire, national media will focus on the iconic images of “Bloody Sunday,” the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the interracial marchers, and President Lyndon Johnson...
Why I Am Not Charlie
There is no “but” about what happened at Charlie Hebdo. Some people published some cartoons, and some other people killed them for it.  Words and pictures can be beautiful or vile, pleasing or enraging, inspiring or offensive; but they exist on a different plane from physical...
Charlie Hebdo: This Attack Was Nothing To Do With Free Speech - It Was About War
In less than an hour of the dreadful shooting of 12 people at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, the politicians had already started to lie to their own public. John Kerry, US Secretary of State, declared that, “freedom of expression is not able to be killed by this kind of...
Charlie Hebdo: How Journalism Needs to Respond to This Unconscionable attack
The attack on Charlie Hebdo is the worst case of targeted killings of journalists ever recorded in Europe and is matched only by the massacre five years ago of 32 journalists and other media workers, by 100 armed men who attacked an election convoy in Mindanao in the...
North Korea/Sony Story Shows How Eagerly U.S. Media Still Regurgitate Government Claims
The identity of the Sony hackers is still unknown. President Obama, in a December 19 press conference, announced: “We can confirm that North Korea engaged in this attack.” He then vowed: “We will respond. . . . We cannot have a society in which some dictator some place can...
10 Natives Who Should Replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 Bill
In 2012, we spotlighted Andrew Jackson as our top pick for worst U.S. president—because he earned his “Indian Killer” nickname. He was a major proponent of Indian removal, his first effort was waging a war against the Creeks. The Creeks lost 23 million acres of land in...
America Needs to Face an Uncomfortable Truth. That's Why the #BlackLivesMatter Hashtag Is Essential.
There are myriad reasons why the rallying hashtag for the movement that grew out of ‪#‎Ferguson‬ is ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ and not ‪#‎AllLivesMatter‬. See this, 
War by Media and the Triumph of Propaganda
Why has so much journalism succumbed to propaganda? Why are censorship and distortion standard practice? Why is the BBC so often a mouthpiece of rapacious power? Why do the New York Times and the Washington Post deceive their readers? Why are young journalists not taught to...
How to Criticize with Kindness: Philosopher Daniel Dennett on the Four Steps to Arguing Intelligently
“Just how charitable are you supposed to be when criticizing the views of an opponent?” “In disputes upon moral or scientific points,” Arthur Martine counseled in his magnificent 1866 guide to the art of conversation, “let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your...
Eight Pseudoscientific Climate Claims Debunked by Real Scientists
Most people who deny that human activity is warming the planet just dismiss a massive body of scientific evidence as a big hoax. But there’s a more sophisticated set of climate “skeptics” who make arguments that, at least to the lay ear, sound like they’re grounded in...
Climate Change You Can Believe In
Just as Sunday’s big People’s Climate March and next week’s UN global summit on climate converge here in New York City, the nation and world are experiencing weather of an intensity that should rattle the stubborn false convictions of even the most fervent climate change...
The Strange, Twisted Logic of the ISIS War
Officials in Washington are inadvertently providing some insight into the strange logic of their nebulous war against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, in contradictory and puerile statements about whether the military action should be called a war, or...
How to Spot - and Defeat - Disruption on the Internet
David Martin’s Thirteen Rules for Truth Suppression,  H. Michael Sweeney’s 25 Rules of Disinformation (and now Brandon Smith’s Disinformation: How It Works) are classic lessons on how to spot disruption and disinformation tactics. We’ve seen a number of tactics come and go...
The Secret Playbook of Internet Trolls
Pleased to meet you Hope you guess my name What’s confusing you Is the nature of my game - The Rolling Stones The reason that Internet trolls are effective is that people still don’t understand their game. There are 15 commonly-used trolling tactics to disrupt, misdirect...
How America Made ISIS: Their Videos and Ours, Their “Caliphate” and Ours
Whatever your politics, you’re not likely to feel great about America right now.  After all, there’s Ferguson (the whole world was watching!), an increasingly unpopular president, a Congress whose approval ratings make the president look like a rock star, rising poverty...
Against Conspiracy Theories - Why Our Activism Must Be Based in Reality
A talk given at Occupy Wellington, New Zealand, to counter the prevalence of conspiracy theories amongst the local wing of the Occupy movement. Kia ora kotou, thanks everyone for coming. First, I want to make it clear that I'm not here today to debunk or debate any specific...
What's So Special about Storytelling for Social Change?
A new world requires new stories, but people will only listen to them when they themselves are included in the storyline. This requires a ‘gear-shift’ in conversations about radical action. While working in the belly of corporate communications some years ago, I stumbled...
The Forms of Violence That Our Corporate Media Never Talks About
The corporate media loves to talk about violent protestors, while the biggest forms of violence in our society go unchallenged. An Aug. 19, 2014 Wall Street Journal article headline blared: Strong Police Presence Felt After Night of Violence in Ferguson. “Night of...
The Double Identity of an "Anti-Semitic" Commenter
Smearing a Progressive Website to Support Israel Like many other news websites, Common Dreams has been plagued by inflammatory anti-Semitic comments following its stories. But on Common Dreams these posts have been so frequent and intense they have driven away donors from...
Every Problem in the World is a Result of the Stories We Tell Ourselves. Change the Story, and You Change Everything.
Forget about solving climate change for a moment. Forget about all the problems we face. All of these problems are symptoms of a way of life that few of us are really happy with - especially when we have glimpsed the possibility of a world that could be so much more. We need...
The Baloney Detection Kit: Carl Sagan's Rules for Bullshit-Busting and Critical Thinking
Necessary cognitive fortification against propaganda, pseudoscience, and general falsehood. Carl Sagan was many things — a cosmic sage, voracious reader, hopeless romantic
Chris Hedges: Why Israel Lies
All governments lie, as I.F. Stone pointed out, including Israel and Hamas. But Israel engages in the kinds of jaw-dropping lies that characterize despotic and totalitarian regimes. It does not deform the truth; it inverts it. It routinely paints a picture for the outside...
Israel/Palestine: Some Of What The Media Ignores
Obviously, there’s a wide range of opinions (and variations on each of those opinions) when it comes to anything related to Israel and Palestine (in particular, Hamas) but to cultivate a truly nuanced perspective requires a lot more evidence and context than we’ll ever get...
Five Israeli Talking Points on Gaza - Debunked
Israel claims that it is merely exercising its right to self-defense and that Gaza is no longer occupied. Here’s what you need to know about these talking points and more. Israel has killed upwards of 1500 Palestinians in the past three weeks. The UN estimates that more than...
'Human Shield' Propaganda Used to Justify State-Sponsored Massacres for Decades
It’s been three weeks since Israel launched its bombing campaign and subsequent invasion of the Gaza strip. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, over 1,500 Palestinians have been killed and over 6,500 have been wounded in what has become one of the bloodiest...
Wouldn't It Be Great If Tabloids Had Any Value to Society at All?  These Images Imagine If They Did.
Waiting in line to pay for groceries, it’s hard not to notice all the ridiculous tabloid headlines: So-and-so wore shorts yesterday! Who's cheating on who? People are on diets! As entertaining as it all may be, shouldn’t *real* stories get the kind of attention the pointless...
Israel's Military Has No "Moral Superiority." It's Time for Media to Cover Gaza Fairly
How commonly is the alleged moral superiority of the Israeli military invoked? So commonly that if you type “the most moral army in the world” into Google, you’ll immediately get a bunch of articles discussing the Israeli “Defense” Forces. Just last week, Slate’s William...
New York Times Rewrites Gaza Headline: Was It Too Accurate?
Wednesday (7/16/14)  the New York Times posted its first account of the Israeli strike that killed four young Palestinians on a beach in Gaza. The headline looked
Comedy Vs. Anti-Science: 10 Videos That Show How Humor Can Make a Difference
From Colbert and Oliver to Sarah Silverman and Louis CK, comedians are torching anti-science activists with aplomb  In the latest version of America’s long-running culture wars, conservatives (and even some liberals) have zeroed in what once might have seemed like an...
The Undisputed Truth About Israeli Occupation
All too often the 'honest brokers' mediating negotiations agree with our occupiers that the destructive spread of settlements is not on occupied land.
Comic: How Big Media Drowned Out the Rest of Us
Today, six corporations own most of our media—but we could be poised to take it back.  
Top Ten Bill Moyers Videos on the Web
Modern America has a strong generational divide.  Whether it’s cultural or political, there are a wide-range of topics that can be off limits when talking to “the grandparents.”  On the reverse side, it can be hard to listen to the “wisdom” of a generation that’s had such a...