Media studies should be mandatory, says Bournemouth University

In order to tackle fake news, a research report from the university finds that critical media studies should be taught in all schools

A project from Bournemouth University’s Centre for Excellence in Media Practice has concluded that compulsory media studies would best tackle fake news and disinformation.


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The project found that critical media literacy in schools would better equip young people with resilience to fake news and online misinformation, than reactive resources such as fact-checking and verification tools.

It was also recommended that critical exploration of social media algorithms and big data should be a part of the media education curriculum.

Fact-checking tools and online media literacy resources are excellent for ‘giving a fish’ but a more sustained, educational critical media literacy provision in schools is much better for ‘teaching to fish’.
– Prof Julian McDougal, Bournemouth University

Project lead Professor Julian McDougall, a professor in media and education at Bournemouth University, said: “Our key finding, from working with key stakeholders in dialogue with one another – journalists, teachers, students and information professionals – is that fact-checking tools and online media literacy resources are excellent for ‘giving a fish’ but a more sustained, educational critical media literacy provision in schools is much better for ‘teaching to fish’.”

The project was led by the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice and funded by the US Embassy in London.

More information on the project is available at mlfn.cemp.ac.uk