News in Context

Media Education Lab members featured in a 2-part podcast

We are thrilled that Gina Baleria participated in the #DIGIURI Media Club and composed a 2-part podcast in response to her experience. Many members of the Media Education Lab community are featured in these 2 episodes and her interview with Renee Hobbs offers insight on conspiracy theories, media literacy pedagogy, and more. 

In PART 1, Gina , Renee and the Media Education Labsters explore the allure and growing influence of conspiracy theories, and how they are both combated by and influenced by Media Literacy. This includes the role of conspiracy theories in our sociopolitical context, and the issues and challenges in our current marketplace of ideas - in the classroom, on social media, and in our public discourse. Renee Hobbs, professor of communication studies at the Harrington School of Communication and Media at the University of Rhode Island, and Director of the Media Education LabShe is also the author of the new book, Mind Over Media: Propaganda Education in a Digital Age (W.W. Norton).  


In PART 2, Renee, Gina and the Media Education Labsters explore how some tenets of media literacy can be co-opted by conspiracy theorists, and how to approach media literacy education in a way that ensures students have the skills and abilities to navigate this landscape and assess information holistically. They discuss and explore the strengths and limitations of media literacy taught in isolation, including how it can be flipped by conspiracy theorists, as well as the importance of teaching media holistically, and hand-in-hand with things like empathy, discernment, art, and collaboration.