This essay discusses the well-meaning, but sometimes misguided efforts of media educators to offer up media literacy as the principal remedy to the current crisis of fake news. After charting the near collapse of the funding model for public interest journalism, I offer a case study on the reporting of student finance in England to show that mainstream media can be both a source of—and a correction to—fake news about a divisive social issue. I conclude that a limited graduate tax has been consistently misrepresented and mis-communicated to university students and their parents in the form of tuition fees. Key to my discussion of fake news will be the element of intent. As an alternative to standard media literacy, which has failed to take on this falsehood, I propose a literacy that is rooted in a critical understanding of state funding and of the considerable resources that funding can make available.
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Quinn, A. (2023). Fake News: Problems with—and Alternatives to—the Media Literacy Project. In: Fowler-Watt, K., McDougall, J. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Media Misinformation. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-11976-7_8
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