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Friday, June 9 • 9:30am - 11:00am
Media Literacy Relationships: The Social Contract of the Media with a Lens on Justice

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A social contract may be seen as the tacit consent between communities and their representatives so that individuals within communities’ natural rights may stay protected. Empirical evidence suggests that institutions are shifting responsibility to individuals. In turn, tacit agreements between those institutions and the authorities they answer to may also be suspect.

The news media have practiced two functions—as a representative of the people and as the truth-telling informer to those people. The role of the expert has emerged within this system, where the user implicitly substitutes the media for the source. Moreover, as so-called right-wing news channels compete in the same arena as so-called left-aligned ones, this paradox is clearer: With agendas and evidence that point to convenient sides, they exploit the media user’s trust in the unwritten contract. At the very least, that social contract may need rewriting.

Several questions warrant unpacking. First of all, what is the social contract of news and the media? Secondly, is it being breached in the age of digital and social media? As such, what public policies around media literacy are being hastily drafted to follow this convenience? What are the implications of the steadily declining public trust and increase in selective avoidance of news mean for media literacy practice and scholarship? How does the future of technologies evolve into the practice of media literacy education? Where do issues of peace and justice fit into the dialogue of media and media literacy? Where do schools fit into this construct as well as social contract?

Further this panel seeks to examine, as media literacy makes efforts to instill the ability to analyze and examine media texts, the operation of news may collide with it. Hence, can media literacy’s effort to help in critical analysis justifiably and reasonably help learners scale the opacity and the logic of news media?

avatar for Belinha De Abreu

Belinha De Abreu

Media Literacy Educator, Sacred Heart University

Meredith Baldi

Lead Educator/Teacher, George School, United States of America
avatar for Shashidhar Nanjundaiah

Shashidhar Nanjundaiah

ABD, Southern Illinois University
Media literacy and illiteracy scholar; Teacher of journalism and media studies; Media practitioner; Columnist.Interests: Political rhetoric and news, Aesthetics of news, Media and the modernization project, Media ethics and social justice, Visibilization and invisibilization, Technology... Read More →

Renee Cherow-O'Leary

Education for the 21st Century, United States of America

Prescott Seraydarian

George School, United States of America

Friday June 9, 2023 9:30am - 11:00am EDT
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