Media Literacy 101 : 1A : NPR

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Pedestrians walk past a newspaper stand with copies of The Wall Street Journal and a front page report on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are being sold in Los Angeles, California.

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images


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FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images


Pedestrians walk past a newspaper stand with copies of The Wall Street Journal and a front page report on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are being sold in Los Angeles, California.

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Earlier this year, we asked you what you wish you’d learned in school, but didn’t.

Our series, “In Case You Missed It,” dives into these topics with leading experts and educators so we can help catch you up. As part of the series, we’ll talk about civics and finance and nutrition.

But today, we’re getting into all that you didn’t learn in school about media literacy and critical thinking.

Here’s how Tammy from Minnesota put it:

“I think they need to teach critical thinking in school and it should be a separate unit but it should be applied throughout all the other classes in history and science and it applies to everything. Part of the problem we have I think in society, in general, is people accept what they’re told without questioning it and that’s a problem because clearly, people are told lies.”

Critical thinking skills are at the heart of media literacy – and there’s a movement to make media literacy a requirement in schools across the country. Last year, Illinois became the first state to pass a law requiring it in all high schools.

We discuss media literacy and how it should be taught. We also discuss what you need to know if you didn’t learn about it in school.

Like what you hear? Find more of our programs online.

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