The New Digital Divide: Disinformation and Media Literacy in the U.S. Cover Image

The New Digital Divide: Disinformation and Media Literacy in the U.S.
The New Digital Divide: Disinformation and Media Literacy in the U.S.

Author(s): Christina Hicks-Goldston
Subject(s): Philosophy, Social Sciences, Education, Psychology, Media studies, Communication studies
Published by: Univerzita sv. Cyrila a Metoda v Trnave, Fakulta masmediálnej komunikácie
Keywords: Media literacy; Disinformation; Knowledge Gap Theory; Propaganda; Digital Divide;

Summary/Abstract: This research addresses the impact of disinformation and media illiteracy on civil discourse andinformed societal activity in the United States. The research provides analysis of the conditionssurrounding disinformation and media illiteracy, as well one proposed solution for the problem:a media literacy educational program for both digital and non-digital natives via an internationalalliance of experts. Initially, the „Digital Divide“ of the early 21st century referenced individualsunable to access digital information with the same efficiency as those individuals in a householdwith a personal computer. In 2007, the introduction of smart phone technology transformedsome of the Digital Divide population by providing information previously restricted to individualswith PC access to anyone who owned a phone. However, frequency of use is not the equivalentof mastery or thorough understanding. In 2016, the disinformation campaigns surrounding theU.S. presidential election, and later popular culture campaigns such as supposed controversysurrounding Disney’s The Last Jedi, emerged as foreign interference with American cultureexploiting cultural divides. This research addresses two things: (1) Recognition of a caveatto the Knowledge Gap Theory in 21st century media interaction; and (2) Creation of a medialiteracy educational program via an international coalition for the sole purpose of combatingdisinformation..

  • Issue Year: 2/2019
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 49-60
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: English