Canadian Press misses the misinformation mark
Greatest threats to Canadian media credibility are domestic, not foreign.
Part of the reason this newsletter exists is to promote media literacy. I do this by critiquing how media items are framed, evaluating which perspectives are given prominence and which are being left out, and attempting to explain why that might be the case.
My goal is to encourage people to read between the lines and think critically about what they read in the news, regardless of a source’s purported repute.
In this context, I present a concerning July 16 Canadian Press report, which places the importance of media literacy in the context of recent foreign interference hysteria — and not in a good way.
One could be forgiven after reading the story, headlined, “Foreign interference means Canada should get serious on media literacy, advocate says,” for thinking that disinformation1 is mostly the province of malevolent foreign actors, whom we, as honest, well-meaning Canadians, need to guard against.
Yet there’s a seemingly endless supply of domestic actors churning out distortions, falsehoods and fallacious commentary.
Rather than a protection against foreign influence, media literacy ought to be regarded as a means towards building an informed citizenry.
As usual for the wire service, the CP piece spread far and wide in full typo-riddled form. A cursory Google search shows it was re-printed at the CBC, CP24, CTV News, the National Post, Toronto Star and Hamilton Spectator.
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