Media Literacy

Featured

  • Images of two White woman with a third image of their faces combined in the center, photo by FotografieLink/Getty Images

    Commentary

    America May Not Be Ready for the Looming Tsunami of Deepfakes

    Images and videos have been falsified since the first photographs were taken. But deepfakes are fundamentally different. Their realism, and the scale and ease with which they can be produced, make them incredibly potent disinformation tools.

    Nov 10, 2022

  • A teen boy using a laptop sitting on a bed, photo by SelectStock/Getty Images

    Essay

    Improving Media Literacy in Middle School

    Middle schoolers can be savvy users of news and information—when they know where to look. But they're also easy marks for misinformation, disinformation, and trolls. Helping them find their way in today's media landscape is important both for their futures and for the future of democracy.

    Sep 6, 2022

Explore Media Literacy

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Vaccine Hesitancy, Working from Home, Arctic Diplomacy: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on vaccine hesitancy as a symptom of ‘Truth Decay,’ how to make remote work beneficial for all, U.S. Arctic diplomacy, and more.

    May 21, 2021

  • A health care worker from the El Paso Fire Department administers a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in El Paso, Texas, May 7, 2021, photo by Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters

    Commentary

    How Truth Decay Is Fueling Vaccine Hesitancy

    A recent poll found that more than a quarter of Americans will not try to get vaccinated. The spread of misinformation and disinformation, which is rampant over social media, is one of the factors fueling vaccine hesitancy. And in turn, it's threatening our ability to end the pandemic for good.

    May 14, 2021

  • A woman reads the news on her phone, photo by fizkes/Getty Images

    Project

    Truth Decay: Causes, Consequences, and Solutions

    The United States is experiencing an era of

    Mar 26, 2021

  • An illustration of human hands holding various smart devices, image by zubada/Getty Images

    Project

    Explore Truth Decay Research and Commentary by Topic

    From how disinformation spreads online to Americans' trust in democratic institutions, RAND researchers are studying a wide range of topics related to Truth Decay—the diminishing role of facts in U.S. public life.

    Mar 23, 2021

  • Pro-Trump supporters hold flags as they gather at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, January 6, 2021, photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    Commentary

    Giving Teachers the Tools They Need to Provide 21st-Century Civic Education

    The Capitol attack has rightly led to many calls for teachers to address civic education in a much more robust way in their classrooms. However, a national survey of social studies teachers suggests that teachers lack the critical training and incentives to do so.

    Feb 23, 2021

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Keeping COVID-19 Vaccines Moving, the Capitol Attack, Media Literacy: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on keeping COVID-19 vaccines moving to save more lives; why we need a national commission to investigate the U.S. Capitol attack; media literacy as a tool to counter “Truth Decay,” and more.

    Jan 22, 2021

  • Books and a laptop in a library, photo by Nutthaseth Vanchaichana/Getty Images

    Report

    Media Literacy Standards to Counter Truth Decay

    Media literacy may be a powerful tool against Truth Decay, the diminishing role of facts in public life. What standards could help teachers, policymakers, and others implement media literacy education more effectively?

    Jan 19, 2021

  • Blog

    RAND Commentary Highlights of 2020

    The roughly 400 op-eds and blog posts published by RAND researchers during the year reflected an enormous variety of expertise and perspectives, from remote education to election cybersecurity to the economic harms of racial disparities. Here are 10 highlights that landed in high-profile news outlets.

    Dec 18, 2020

  • A second grade student votes during a mock election at his school in Gainesville Florida, Nov. 3, 2020, photo by Brad McClenny/Reuters

    Article

    Want to Rebuild Public Trust? Focus on Civic Education

    Truth Decay—the diminishing role of facts in American public life—has led to political paralysis, the erosion of civil discourse, and widespread uncertainty. Investing in civic education could help turn the tide.

    Dec 8, 2020

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Restoring Public Trust, COVID-19 and Thanksgiving, Vaccinating Teachers: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how the Biden-Harris administration can restore public trust, the risk of Thanksgiving becoming a super-spreader event, why teachers should be among the first to get a COVID19 vaccination, and more.

    Nov 26, 2020

  • U.S. President-elect Joe Biden speaks about the U.S. economy as Vice President–elect Kamala Harris stands by in Wilmington, Delaware, November 16, 2020, photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    Commentary

    Putting America's Civic Infrastructure on the Biden-Harris Agenda

    Much like our bridges and roads, America's civic infrastructure has been allowed to crumble. This has allowed Truth Decay to set in. The new administration can begin to repair the deep fissures in our society by explicitly and implicitly rehabilitating the nation's civic infrastructure.

    Nov 19, 2020

  • A line chart indicating a decline, with a government building in the background, images by Naypong Studio/Adobe Stock; design by Pete Soriano

    Report

    The Drivers of Institutional Trust and Distrust

    Trust in the government, news media, and other institutions has declined in the past two decades. What factors might explain this decline? And what else do we need to learn in order to begin rebuilding public trust?

    Nov 17, 2020

  • Surreal landscape with a split road and signpost arrows, photo by Bulat Silvia/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Three Under-the-Radar Lessons from COVID-19

    COVID-19 has sculpted into high relief already recognized societal problems, which could be addressed once COVID-19 passes. Failure to do so could be a failure to learn the meta-lessons from COVID-19.

    Nov 2, 2020

  • Jayson Chang teaches civics at Santa Teresa High School in San Jose, Calif., photo courtesy of Jayson Chang

    Essay

    The Importance of Teaching Civic Responsibility in America

    A survey of civics and social studies teachers asked what they teach, how they teach it, and what they think students need to know. Most said their students absolutely need to learn to be tolerant of different people and groups. And they want their students to see themselves as global citizens.

    Oct 29, 2020

  • A compass pointing to facts, image by frankpeters/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Think Tanks in the Era of Truth Decay

    Truth Decay is the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life, and it cuts much deeper than any political party or demographic. It's why nonpartisan think tanks like RAND are as important now as they have ever been.

    Oct 22, 2020

  • Laptop depicting Russian propaganda on Facebook with a bullseye mark, images by guteksk7, iiierlok_xolms, carmelod, and FishPouch/Adobe Stock

    Report

    Facebook Users May Spread Russian Propaganda Less Often If They Know Its Source

    Russian propaganda is hitting its mark on social media, generating strong partisan reactions that help intensify political divisions. But Facebook users are less apt to press the like button on content when they learn that it is part of a foreign propaganda campaign.

    Oct 15, 2020

  • NYPD officers distribute face masks in Washington Square Park, New York City, May 10, 2020, photo by nycshooter/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Police Officers: This Article Will Make You Better at Combatting Misinformation

    By deliberately addressing misinformation, police officers can promote safe and healthy behaviors among those in their communities. The actions they take to combat misinformation and improve protections in their communities are a critical part of the collective campaign to end the pandemic and help people return to their normal lives.

    Aug 24, 2020

  • Female high school teacher standing by student table teaching lesson, photo by Monkey Business/AdobeStock

    Report

    Social Studies Teachers' Perspectives on Key Civic Outcomes in 2010 and 2019

    High school social studies teachers play an important role in fostering the civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions that students need to thrive after graduation. How have these teachers' perspectives on student civic development changed from 2010 to 2019?

    Aug 3, 2020

  • Examples of Facebook pages displayed during a House Intelligence Committee meeting on Russian use of social media to influence U.S. elections in Washington, D.C., November 1, 2017, photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters

    Commentary

    How You Can Fight Russia's Plans to Troll Americans During Campaign 2020

    The goal of Russian interference is to trigger emotional reactions and drive people to ideological extremes, making it nearly impossible to build a consensus. But Americans are less likely to have their emotions manipulated if they are aware that manipulation is the goal.

    Jul 14, 2020

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Preparing for a COVID Surge, Reducing Police Violence, Media Literacy in Schools: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on helping hospitals prepare for a surge in COVID-19 infections, an approach to reducing police violence, teachers' concerns about students' media literacy, and more.

    Jul 2, 2020

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