What would media literacy mean for Colorado’s students?

Boulder Weekly: Earlier this year, regional director of the Associated Press Jim Clarke, speaking in favor of a bill to mandate media literacy education in Colorado, told a group of state legislators that his news organization’s “hair is on fire.” Lisa Cutter (D-Littleton), who sponsored the bill, was surprised Clarke agreed to testify — the AP doesn’t typically do that — but what she heard him say made it clear why he had chosen to do so.

“They don’t know what’s real and what’s not when they’re accessing news and information. Around the world, fake information and manufactured videos and doctored videos are proliferating,” Cutter says, recouting Clarke’s testimony.

And so if the AP, that bastion of objective news-gathering, is struggling to tell fact from fiction in today’s media landscape, how are Colorado students, with far less training, expected to separate truth from disinformation?

That’s the impetus behind Cutter’s bill, which, if passed, would engage a consultant and form a committee of educators and media members to provide the blueprint to implement mandatory media literacy education in Colorado classrooms from kindergarten to 12th grade. It would make Colorado one of only a handful of states to require such education, even though the need, Cutter says, is widespread and urgent.

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