Media literacy proves beneficial for everyone

Brianna Carmack, Opinions Editor

As support for mainstream media declines, media literacy is becoming less important than it should be. According to, media literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, communicate and create using all forms of media. The importance of media literacy was recently acknowledged through Media Literacy Week which spanned from Nov. 5-11.

It is the agreement of The Mentor editorial board that media literacy is important, not only the younger generation, but for all to stay up to date with the news and diversify their sources.

Without the ability to fully communicate ideas and thoughts across all forms of communication, everyone would be lost. There would be ideas that don’t get out there and also various forms of miscommunication will cause certain divisions in the news community.

For instance, look at the recent White House Press Conference involving Jim Acosta, who was barred because he was asking hard-hitting questions that the public needed to know. As a result, he has been banned from all White House press conferences. It is important to look at this in the sense that with media literacy, the only way that we news consumers can be up to date with the facts is if the news is reported honestly and fully. In this case, it becomes an issue that the public can’t get the correct information that they need to know and journalists can’t properly do their jobs.

Considering a more local event, such as our recent midterm elections, many people are talking about the rise of the Democratic party in the state of Kansas. There are, however, still many Republicans out there. But with our current reporting style, there definitely is a possibility of it only being reported from one angle.

When following up on the gubernatorial race, Kris Kobach definitely had a bigger social media presence, but because there were other forms of media coverage, such as television news broadcasts, Laura Kelly was eventually able to pull forward.

Over recent months, people have been thinking about policy over politics, which has definitely been impacted by the media’s coverage. Many Republicans did vote democratic just for this midterm election because of the fact that Kobach had similar taxation policies to former governor Sam Brownback, which was a tie that was mentioned in news reports. The media’s influx on coverage caused voters to wonder if Kobach is the right person or not. Now that people are coming to this realization, they end up disagreeing with the policy he has, even if they identify as a Republican. That’s in part due to the media’s coverage in focusing on what Kobach and Kelly were planning to do rather than them as people specifically.

In order to get the overall idea of a certain news topic, it is crucial to diversify your sources. The Internet is a very persuasive place and just reading one article will not fully give you everything you need to know about that topic or event. At the end of the day, there will be different sources that completely contradict each other, but they will always share some key points and facts. Diversifying your sources will not only show different points of view, but can also help you form a different point of view for yourself rather than just basing your opinions on one news source.

In conclusion, media literacy is a crucial skill that people must use in their everyday life if they hope to know the truth. Not only does diversifying sources create fewer divisions, but it also puts more views out on certain topics so that news followers don’t get the wrong idea. To get the full story every time, we need to compare and contrast different articles in order to get context and different viewpoints. If the younger generation follows the news, then our voices will be heard for increasingly complex and serious issues in the world at large.