Media Literacy for #FUTUREPROOFLEGAL and WHY It Matters (019)
Media literacy represents the competency allowing the bearer to identify various categories of media content and understand the message thus conveyed. Although distinctive and somehow contrasting, all media has one thing in common: someone created it for a specific reason. Understanding that reason is the very core of media literacy.
Media literacy has become a critical skill for judges and lawyers alike, as the legal profession uses media sources to a greater extent than others. A correct interpretation of facts, unclouded by media manipulation, is the bedrock of a healthy justice system.
Every media content consumer and, especially, legal practitioners must undergo proper education on how to recognize and evaluate facts, opinions, media messages, and the media creator’s innate bias if they want to become the arbiters of truth in the information age. As such, legal education should take this problem in all its seriousness and ensure that the graduates they provide to be guardians of justice are media literate enough to practice law with a trained eye towards the content they consume, use, and create. In the words of Phillip Meyer, “[i]f we exist exclusively in a hall of mirrors where there are no actual facts but only alternative facts, then there may be judgment but not justice.”