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Rafael Epstein

Year of Award: 2017 Award State: Victoria Multimedia > Print, Publishing And Journalism
To ensure fake news and extremism don't distort debate while ensuring a diversity of voices - USA
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Conclusions and Recommendations

My conclusions are both simple and complex. Audiences need to understand more about the way the news is made, so they can begin to assess the value and veracity of the news reports they consume. America’s media is a good way to begin to describe the complexities of this issue, because their divide is bigger, and their media debate is more exaggerated than ours. It’s also a salutary lesson in what we do not want to become.

It is as simple as explaining to an audience why the term fake news can sometimes shut down conversations. And why it can be a block to crucial conversations that help illuminate the ways that the media operates. Evaluating the news, you receive is a life skill; a task that never really ends. In a digital world, it becomes more complicated. Journalists and program makers need to be more transparent about how they source stories, and how they verify facts.

Audiences need to begin to understand what media literacy might mean. It used to be enough to read a newspaper article and catch some TV news. Now audiences need more education about the track record of the journalist and the outlet. And we urgently need more education about the realm of social media, and news that comes through other applications like WhatsApp.

I have already been discussing my reporting and my conclusions with ABC audiences. I have done four radio interviews; ABC Overnights (national audience), ABC Brisbane Breakfast, ABC Darwin Mornings, and ABC Melbourne Drive. A shorter version of this report has appeared on the ABC website. And I also delivered a version of this report at an ABC organsied two-day conference in October, called Navigating the News.

Keywords: Fake news, news literacy, media polarisation, information pollution, democracy, politics 

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