SC lawmaker wants to expand media literacy teaching

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(Photo: MGN Online)

Columbus, S.C. (AP) – A South Carolina lawmaker wants education officials to develop plans to teach students to be more critical of what they read and post online.

The bill would expand on current state curriculum on social studies, English and college readiness that teach media literacy, said state Rep. Seth Rose, a Democrat from Columbia.

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“It’s not adequate and it doesn’t touch the issue at all. It doesn’t even scratch the surface. To say we’re doing this in social studies, it isn’t happening on the scale it needs to happen on,” Rose told The State newspaper.

Media literacy consultant Frank W. Baker backs Rose’s bill, saying students need to be taught to go beyond the headlines on Twitter and Instagram and consider the source of the information, the creator’s possible hidden bias and how it is being presented.

Currently in South Carolina, media literacy is sprinkled into several courses, state Education Department spokesman Ryan Brown said.

In U.S. government classes, students learn about the roles of media, political parties and interest groups in shaping public opinion.

“Media literacy is taught through multi-disciplines and therefore is included in multiple sets of standards,” Brown said.