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CASE
STUDY ON FAKE NEWS: LEARNING ABOUT MULTIMEDIA PROJECTS

KERI
LEAHY

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SCPA
301

CHEDLY
BELKHODJA

DECEMBER
8TH 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABSTRACT

Les nouvelles ont considérablement changé aux fils des années, de sorte que la majorité des personnes aux États-Unis reçoivent leurs nouvelles sur des réseaux d’Internet. Le changement des nouvelles venant des journaux, de la radio et de la télévision à Internet a de sérieuses répercussions sur la société parce que tout le monde a la possibilité de signaler et de publier de l’information en ligne sans la faire réviser. LAMP est une organisation qui cherche à éduquer les adolescents, les parents et les enseignants sur l’éducation aux médias au XXIe siècle à travers diverses expériences d’apprentissage. Le but de cette étude de cas est de fournir des informations descriptives sur les données de l’organisation LAMP qui traite le problème sur les fausses nouvelles. Cette étude commence par décrire l’histoire, le but et la structure de l’organisation LAMP. Ensuite, cette étude de cas fournit un résumé et un aperçu de la question des fausses nouvelles. Suite à cela, l’étude de cas met en lumière les positions que cette organisation a prises sur la question des fausses nouvelles. Ensuite, il examine les différentes stratégies de l’organisation et fournit des exemples de communiqués de presse. Le dernier promoteur de l’étude de cas implique une évaluation critique de la façon dont le LAMP aborde la question des fausses nouvelles. Le LAMP a été créé à New York en 2007 par deux personnes nommées DC Vito et Katherine Fry dont leur objectif était de fournir des formations a l’éducation aux medias. Les fausses nouvelles sont en train de devenir un problème répandu dans la société et il est donc important d’avoir la capacité de critiquer et de contester l’information à laquelle nous sommes exposés. En raison de l’effet de fausses nouvelles sur les résultats de la dernière élection présidentielle, le LAMP a récemment lancé une campagne appelée 22×20 dont le but est d’activer, d’engager et de promouvoir le leadership dans le processus démocratique auprès des 22 millions d’électeurs adolescents pour la prochaine élection présidentielle. Cette organisation a de nombreux partenariats avec de grandes entreprises telles que Google et Mozilla qui financent continuellement l’organisation. La lampe a de nombreux communiqués de presse et a publié avec succès des articles et des vidéos sur des sites Web, des journaux et des magazines tels que Bloomberg, The New York Times et Forbes. Cette organisation offre aux jeunes, aux parents et aux éducateurs un certain nombre de programmes de formation différents visant à éduquer les individus sur les médias. Ces programmes comprennent les outils de Media, des formations sur le perfectionnement professionnel et les guides de ressources. HISTORY, PURPOSE, AND STRUCTURE OF THE LAMP

LAMP
which is also referred to as Learning about Multimedia projects is a non-profit
organization that was established in New York City in 2007. The main objective
of this organization is to educate youth, parents, as well as teachers about
living, learning, and thriving in the twenty-first century with advanced media technologies
we are exposed to daily. In order to reach its mission, LAMP provides these
groups of individuals with hands on learning experiences which enables them to
comprehend, create, and to challenge the media. Since its establishment in
2007, the LAMP has brought media literacy training to approximately
three-thousand youth, parents, and educators. There are four primary ideas in
which this organization works to foster, these ideas consists of providing
access to media literacy education, enhancing critical thinking skills,
promoting active engagement with the media, and teaching individuals to
comprehend, challenge, and critique the media. (The Lamp, 2017)

The
LAMP was co-founded in 2007 by DC Vito and Katherine Fry. DC Vito is the
current executive director of the LAMP. Other staff members of LAMP include
Meagan Carr, who represents the research and development assistant; Lizzie
Shipley, who is the operations director; Zenzele Johnson, the education
associate; and Amy Wickstein, the director of development. LAMP also has an
executive board which comprises eight individuals, an associate board with nine
members, an advisory board with eight individuals, as well as nine program
facilitators. (The Lamp, 2017)

SUMMARY AND OVERVIEW ON THE ISSUE FAKE NEWS

Although
many individuals believe the news is non-fictional and informative, the reality
is that news is a combination of being informative, entertaining and
persuasive. It is a form of media message that displays events and issues
happening around the world in which are assumed to be newsworthy. The decisions
about what stories make it into the news is made by individuals, usually
editors, news directors, or news managers, who work for that specific news
organization. The news that gets published has particular characteristics. For
example, the news often involves current events and issues as opposed to
historical ones. Stories that make the news are often ones in which have an
impact on a large number of individuals. Events and issues that are familiar
and close in proximity also tend to make the news. News is often about a
dramatic event or circumstance. The news is often told in a story context which
allows its audience to better understand the event or situation. (The Lamp,
2017)

 

Today,
newspapers, magazines, television, radio, as well as the internet are the
outlets in which people obtain their news.  Each one of these mediums differs from one another
and these differences are significant because they present the news in
different forms. The result this is that people receive different perspectives
about what is happening depending on which form of media they are receiving
their news from. News today is changing quickly and the internet provides us
with the majority of our news. (The Lamp, 2017) Research suggests that 62% of
adults living in the United States obtain their news on social media websites.
(Allcott & Gentzkow, 2017) Since the early 2000’s as online news began to
increase, there have been numerous concerns about the accessibility to
information and the emergence of many different perspectives. Today, the major
concern involves social media because almost anyone has the ability to collect
information and post it on the internet without having the facts reviewed.
(Allcott & Gentzkow, 2017) This process has changed the ways in which news
is produced, changed the ways in which people obtain their news, and has
altered the ways in which people think about the news they encounter. Because
many individuals have access to electronic devices which allows them to send
information to others, traditional news mediums no longer have control over the
news that people have access to. (The Lamp, 2017)

 

In
his article titled “The genuine problem of fake news” Waldrop (2017) argues
that social media users are targeted and are being exposed to fabricated
stories and advertisements which reduce the trust in several American
institutions. Solutions to the elimination and prevention of fake news are
unclear, however, increasing fact-checking on information and teaching media
literacy to individuals can help. Allcott and Gentzkow (2017) define fake news
as news articles in which intentionally contains unjustified information which
has the potential to mislead its audience. 
In addition to this finding, many individuals who encounter fake news
reports are likely to believe them. Researchers have argued that the influence
of fake news had an effect on the 2016 presidential election because the
stories were more likely to favour Donald Trump over Hilary Clinton. (Allcott
& Gentzkow, 2017)

 

The
majority of the news we receive today from different news organizations in the
United States is financed by advertisers. It is important to understand who is
paying for the news because conflicts between gatekeepers or the individuals
deciding what will be in the news and advertisers which are those who are paying
for it often arise. (The Lamp, 2017)

POLICY
DECISIONS AND POSITIONS TAKEN

Today,
the USA faces serious issues with regards to the youth’s knowledge about the
media as well as civic participation. Research suggests that electoral
participation for the youth is lower than the electoral participation of older
age individuals such that 50% of individuals between the ages of eighteen and
twenty-nine did not cast a vote in the 2016 elections in the United
States.  Having the ability to
distinguish and challenge fake news is an important part of democratic
participation more than ever before because of the increased spreading of
misinformation in the media. (The Lamp, 2017) Research suggests that over 80%
of high school students in the United States do not review the sources of news
claims found on social media. In addition, 82% of high school students have a
hard time differentiating online advertisements with news. (The Lamp, 2017)

The
LAMP has recently launched a crucial, non partisan campaign titled “22X20” with
the intention of activating, engaging, and equipping the twenty-two newly
eligible voters for the 2020 presidential elections. The main focus of this
campaign is to activate and facilitate youth voices and foster leadership
within the democratic process by providing media literacy as well as civic
education to the 22 million first time teen voters for the next presidential
elections in 2020. This campaign will build and mobilize a coalition of teens
by means of allowing these individuals to become informed and active in a
democracy. The widespread of fake news on social media websites is considered
to be among the most significant issues we face today within our global
community. The spreading of misinformation on social media also interferes with
the great benefits that derive from it. It is therefore necessary to address
the issue of the spreading of fake news using technology as well as through
education programs so that internet users have the tools needed to challenge
it. In addition to the campaign’s major sponsors, the 22X20 campaign is also
affiliated with partners who are devoted to educating media, civic, and digital
literacy. These partners include the
American library association, common sense media, the engagement lab,
generation citizen, circle, the harry potter alliance, KQED, the national
association for media literacy education, DoSomething.org, the national council
of teachers of English, The national Counsel for social studies, the national
speech and debate association, the national writing project, virago futures and
WGBH. (The Lamp, 2017)

STRATEGIES
OF THE LAMP

The
LAMP is affiliated with a number of partners from programming partners to
corporate and foundation donors, to in-kind donors to individual donors.
Examples of companies in which LAMP has partnerships with includes Google which
has funded the organization for several years. Another company in which LAMP is
affiliated with is Mozilla and this company has funded them for a lot of
different projects and has been a big sponsor for the LAMP’s
MediaBreaker/Studio tool. The LAMP provides different schools across cities
with equipment and educators to give workshops on media literacy. It also
provides professional development training which provides teachers with tools
necessary to create media literacy environments inside their classrooms. (The
Lamp, 2017)

PRESS RELEASES

The
LAMP has numerous press releases. They have successfully published articles and
videos on websites, newspapers, and magazines such as Outbrain, Bloomberg, The
Washington Post, The New York Times, and Forbes, to name a few. These press releases
date back to 2007 when LAMP was first established until 2017. In 2017, LAMP had
four press releases distributed. The first was a “questions and answers” on the
topic of Fake news and Media Literacy and was released by Outbrain which is an
online advertiser.  A second article
released in 2017 was titled “Can Philanthropy rebuild trust in news and the
public square?” and was released by the National Committee for Responsive
Philanthropy. A third press release in 2017by Bloomberg was titled “How to stay
sane in a world of Crazy News?”  The
final press release in 2017 was titled “Stuart Elliot: Will Ads During the Big
Game Be Super?” The LAMP has numerous press releases dating back to 2013 where
they launched their Media Breaker Online educational Video editor as well as
the NYC-based education non profit the Lamp Media breaker. In 2014, they have 5
press releases which focused on superbowl commercials, military and marketing
alliance, and a press release called visual literacy program brings African culture,
photography, and empowerment to Bronx teens. They also have five press releases
in 2015 and two in 2016. (The Lamp, 2017)

 

 

 

 HOW LAMP APPROACHES FAKE
NEWS

The
LAMP provides the youth, parents, and educators with a number of training
programs to educate individuals on the media. These programs include but are
not limited to Media Breaker Critical Remix Tools, Professional development,
and Lamplit resources guides. The following section briefly explains each
program. (The Lamp, 2017)

The
purpose of the Media Breaker Critical Remix Tools is to integrate critical
thinking skills, media literacy, fair use and media production into a wide
range of educational settings. It represents an online platform in which
educators have the ability to create digital learning experiences for their
students. (The Lamp, 2017)

The
LAMP offers professional development in areas such as media literacy and media
breaker/ studio training. With regards to the media literacy professional
development, LAMP offers teachers training in which they can acquire hands on
experience with technology. In addition, the LAMP works with these individuals
to create their own personal media and production focused lesson plans for
their classes. The LAMP also issues a one to two day media breaker and studio
training in order to encourage people to engage with media and develop critical
thinking skills. (The Lamp, 2017)

Lamplit
is a guide that is offered by LAMP and helps individuals better understand the
news by explaining what is it, where to find it, the different ways in which it
is produce, how it has evolved, how to evaluate it, and how to make smart
decisions when we encounter it. Lamplit is divided into a number of sections
and each section is concerned with an issue related to the media. (The Lamp,
2017)

One
of the sections of Lamplit is titled Break the Elections Programming. The goal
of this section is to assist the youth in finding their own voices, practice
critical thinking skills, and to become active and engaging citizens of
community. In order to achieve these goals, students are encouraged to critique
current political commercials and news reports. Additionally, they are
challenged to point out false information and biases in the media that are often
used to persuade public opinion. One of the major media literacy skills taught
in Break the Elections Programming involves the deconstruction of political
advertisements. It is suggested that through the deconstruction of messages, one
has the ability to expose candidate’s point of view, values and biases. (The
Lamp, 2017)

CONCLUSION

As fake news continous to spread on social media outlets, it is
necessary to start taking action in the face of this serious issue. As such,
the non-profit organization called the LAMP has since 2007 began to challenge
the spreading of misinformation by teaching individuals media literacy skills.
There are many programs in which this organization offers to individuals which provides
them with the hands on learning experiences needed to assess news information.
This case study has described the history, purpose and structure of the LAMP.
It has also provided a summary and an overview on the issue of fake news in
today’s society and has briefly mentioned a few possible solutions to help
prevent the spreading of it. This case study also examined the positions this
organization has taken on the issue of fake news by talking about the campaign
called “22X20” that it has recently launched by means of providing media
literacy to the twenty-two million first time voters in the 2020 presidential
elections. This study also looked at different strategies this organization
uses such as their partnerships with large companies who provide the LAMP with
large amounts of funding. The case study also highlighted articles and videos
from the LAMP that were released on popular websites, magazines, and
newspapers. This study also provided an assessment with regards to how the LAMP
approaches the issue of fake news by looking at the types of training it offers
to different groups of individuals.

 

REFERENCES

Allcott, H., Gentzkow, M. (2017) Social Media and Fake
News in the 2016 Election. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31 (2), pp.
211-236. Retrieved from https://moodle.concordia.ca/moodle/pluginfile.php/2930890/mod_resource/content/1/Allcott%20and%20Gentzkow%2C%202017.pdf

Waldrop, M.M. (2017) The Genuine Problem of Fake News. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of
America, 114 (48).
Retrieved from http://www.pnas.org/content/114/48/12631.full

 

The Lamp (2017) Retrieved from http://thelamp.org/