My media literacy

If you follow this blog or my Twitter feed, you’ll know that there is a daily post called OTR Links. I think I’ve explained this before but, when I’m reading and learning, I will share my reading with others. Share and share alike. With some software magic, it all gets packed together in terms of a blog post.

Where do I get these stories?

Basically, I use Flipboard with a couple hundred categories, News360 and about one hundred categories, the stories generated by my Speed Dial on Opera and the news feed from Microsoft Edge. Favourite news sources are tucked away in my instance of The Old Reader. I also have a separate Twitter account that just follows news sources.

I read a lot of articles and the ones that I find interesting, useful, helpful, challenging, or educational, I’ll pass them along. There are many articles that I don’t share for any one of a hundred reasons.

I’d like to think I’m objective but I know that I’m not. And, I don’t make apologies for it; it’s my own personal learning after all. If you like what I’m sharing then great, if not, you always have the opportunity to ignore or mute me. Unlike signing up for a course, I’m able to learn in different directions on the fly and based upon what’s current and interesting.

I tend to focus on Current News, Canadian News, Education, Technology, and more. Here’s the title bar from my Flipboard instance.

I never really think seriously about where the stories that I read come from. I know that some come from other people’s feeds and some are generated from my location. Sometimes there are assumptions – oh, you like in Canada – you must also like French language articles and things from the United Kingdom! p.s. I do but not for the reasons they think…

All of this will change.

This story got my interest…

Microsoft lays off journalists to replace them with AI

As a result, some of the stories will be generated by artificial intelligence and not a real person who has actually read them and passed them along.

I suppose that I should have known that it was coming and, in fact, may already be present in some cases. That’s set a red flag for me; we know how media sources can game a community or a service so that it gets hits and generate resulting advertising income.

In the long run, it’s going to take my own personal media literacy to a new level. I hope that AI will allow the service to dig deeper in its search for interesting and relevant content. But, having found that content, the responsibility will end up with me to be careful about the truthfulness of the content.

2 thoughts on “My media literacy

  1. It’s important that there is a human in the mix. In the case of your OTR links, we have a reputable educator at the helm, selecting items for inclusion in the list.

    With services like paper.li, there are algorithms at play organizing items into categories. The collections there are as accurate as the focus of the individuals upon whose streams the source content is based.

    With ScoopIt, items may be pre-recommended to the curator based on their chosen interests, but the final call is that of the person who minds the list.

    I wonder whether the MSN process still includes a human who checks/confirms the recommended output, or whether it is solely based upon the selection by AI? When I read of preference tracking and feeding news based upon the readers interests/beliefs, I worry about content silos and echo chambers. There is considerable strength in diversifying your media sources, and personally making the decision about what you wish to read.

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  2. Pingback: OTR Links 06/09/2020 – doug — off the record

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