Sunday, June 13, 2021

The Need For Media Literacy

Just because you think you know politics doesn't mean you do. Also, being religious doesn't necessarily mean that you are well versed in theology. So begins the column in the Catholic News and the need for education in media literacy for pastoral workers by a retired journalist and teacher in media communication.

He worked for almost 30 years as a journalist, desk, and production manager. He admits that he has still a lot to learn about journalism. He realized this after retiring.
After his retirement, he worked as a full-time member of the Korean Newspaper Ethics Committee. The Committee conducts daily post-verification of newspapers and Internet newspapers published by members of the Korea Newspaper Association. Depending on the results of the verification, there are various levels of disciplinary action such as cautions and warnings. It is a voluntary ombudsman in the newspaper industry.

(In modern democracies that respect the constitutional value of freedom of expression, they cannot verify in advance. Of course, exceptions are made in emergencies such as military revolutions. After any media such as newspapers, broadcasting, publications, and movies are made public, the industry starts self-regulation. In the case of the Korea Communications Standards Commission, it is an institution that examines what has been made public. If a person violates the current law or brings court action,  the prosecution, the court, and the Press Arbitration Commission will verify and take necessary measures.)

What the newspaper ethics committee uses as the yardstick for post-verification are the newspaper ethics code and ethical practice. Newspaper ethics is a rule of journalism that has been established worldwide throughout modern times. The ethics of the modern media such as broadcasting ethics and Internet ethics are based on newspaper ethics.

Every day, he opens his eyes to journalistic theory and the ethical reality of our newspaper media by reviewing newspaper ethics clauses. When he began as a reporter he had no time to pay attention to "other things". He was immersed in media practice such as gathering, writing, and producing. Compared to that time, the horizon of journalism as a whole expanded greatly.

Furthermore, the experience of directly gathering the news in our recent history, with its many twists and turns, gave him an overall understanding of newspaper ethics as a great need. At that time, the book that was written using such daily experiences as a driving force was "The Handicapped Journalists" (2011).
The human race is enjoying, the largest media revolution in history. But civilization's counterattack has also hit like a tidal wave. The media greatly distorts and undermines journalism for commercial profits. Stimulating and provocative news, news that has not been verified, and news that is stained with confirmation bias and factional logic.

Fake news is a weapon that destroys democracy and peace by spreading hatred in the lives of people around the world. When journalism began to become careless about "facts" we have its weakening. Governments, businesses, and private organizations are scrambling to enact related laws, strengthen fact-checking systems, and implement universal media literacy education as countermeasures. Some people say: "Today's world depends on the media and economy."
At the Second Vatican Council, the church wanted to identify the signs of the time, adapting them, and reforming them when necessary. With that in mind, the writer felt great regret for the church. He wonders whether the church is now not neglecting her efforts at this time in the great transition in civilization. The fact that there are no subjects on the media in the process of training priests, religious and pastoral workers, and others who will embrace the world is the example with which he ends the article. Why should that be the case?

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