FREELAND, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Many adults realize getting accurate news information comes from turning to proven sources. But that’s hardly the case for young people who’ve grown up with social media.
The discussion Eyewitness News anchor Kelly Byrne and Eyewitness News reporter/anchor Mark Hiller had with MMI Preparatory School freshman students centered on news sources and media literacy.
But what if that source is social media?
Stanford University found 88 percent of children by age 18 get much of their news from what is shared on social media. Hayden Schwabe found out firsthand that’s no guarantee instant news is verified.
“Someone said, like, they’re burning crops or something like that but then it was like it was actually because the crops were diseased,” said Schwabe, a freshman at MMI Preparatory School.
Freshman students at MMI Prep just completed the Media Literacy portion of their Strategic Communications course. And what they learned has helped them discern what is factual and something that is far from it.
It’s been an eye-opener for students like Alyssa Demshick.
“Prior to taking the course, I wasn’t very aware of how biased certain media were and that’s something that kind of shocked me,” stated Demshick.
Strategic Communications instructor Marci Hosier learned something herself about the 14 and 15-year-olds in her class.
“There was a fair amount of them that didn’t watch the news, period. Most of them,” explained Hosier.
But that changed over the past several weeks.
“This class really teaches students how to look for sources. It teaches them how to analyze news,” said Hosier.
So after checking out traditional sources including television news and social media, what will students like Kiyan Paknezhad do?
“I try to consume like a little of both so I can kind of get all angles and see what everyone is thinking,” stated Kiyan Paknezhad.