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

  • Classmates preparing for exams in the library, photo by Prostock-Studio/Getty Images

    Report

    Understanding Media Use and Literacy in Schools

    Schools can play a key role in fighting Truth Decay—the diminishing role of facts in U.S. public life—by teaching media literacy to students. How much emphasis do teachers and schools put on this subject?

    Jun 29, 2020

  • Virtual human 3D illustration with computer code, photo by monsitj/Getty Images

    Commentary

    A Machine Learning Approach Could Help Counter Disinformation

    Disinformation has become a central feature of the COVID-19 crisis. This type of malign information and high-tech “deepfake” imagery poses a risk to democratic societies worldwide by increasing public mistrust in governments and public authorities. New research highlights new ways to detect and dispel disinformation online.

    Jun 25, 2020

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    A Message from Our President and CEO, America's Wealth Gap, Disinformation: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on doing more to address systemic inequalities and structural racism, paying the bills during COVID-19, America's growing wealth gap, and more.

    Jun 5, 2020

  • Illustration of people talking, public discourse, truth decay

    Multimedia

    COVID-19 Briefing Series: A Crisis of Disinformation

    RAND's Jennifer Kavanagh and Todd Helmus discuss the effect of the pandemic on public trust in important sources of information and institutions that provide information.

    May 22, 2020

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    What Happens When States Reopen, Truth Decay, Telemedicine: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the health and economic consequences of states reopening, the dangers of 'Truth Decay' during the coronavirus crisis, helping refugees, and more.

    May 22, 2020

  • The business centre Lakhta-2, which reportedly houses internet research companies known for the trolling on social media, in St. Petersburg, Russia, February 20, 2018, photo by Anton Vaganov/Reuters

    Commentary

    Exposing Russian Information Operations Does Not Violate the First Amendment

    Russia's hostile information operations are continuous and extend to a broad range of domestic issues. First Amendment concerns are important, but they do not protect hostile information campaigns by foreign actors, nor are they a legal excuse for inaction by the United States.

    May 11, 2020

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    A Proposed COVID-19 Cure, Economic Decline, North Korea: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the unintended consequences of a proposed COVID-19 treatment, another wave of economic destruction, North Korea after Kim Jong Un, and more.

    May 1, 2020

  • A crowd of people surrounding images representing the news, design by Alyson Youngblood/RAND

    Article

    What Americans Think of the News—and What That Means for Democracy

    RAND researchers asked a nationally representative sample of adults about their news-consumption habits. The answers reveal clues about what it might take to address Truth Decay—the decline of facts in U.S. public life.

    Apr 28, 2020

  • Two men looking at a phone and wearing face masks, photo by ozgurdonmaz/Getty Images

    Commentary

    How to Contain the Disinformation Virus

    Like COVID-19, disinformation spreads only if we help it spread. While we have all been asked to stay at home as responsible citizens to contain the virus, we should also feel responsible for making it harder for disinformation to spread.

    Apr 9, 2020

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    Experts Discuss COVID-19: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on COVID-19, how the United States is responding to the coronavirus outbreak, the spread of misinformation during this time, and more.

    Mar 20, 2020

  • A man wearing a face mask looks at his phone at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, March 12, 2020, photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    Q&A

    Truth Decay in the Coronavirus Moment: Q&A with Jennifer Kavanagh

    Jennifer Kavanagh, who wrote the RAND book Truth Decay about the diminishing role that facts play in making important public policy decisions, calls the unfolding situation with the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 a worst-case scenario.

    Mar 17, 2020

  • Periodical

    Periodical

    RAND Review: March-April 2020

    Feature stories spotlight how technology can better serve the world's displaced people, the promise of supportive housing for people with mental illness, and a RAND climate scientist's personal brush with wildfire.

    Mar 9, 2020

  • A woman holding a newspaper and a cell phone, photo by izzetugutmen/Adobe Stock

    Essay

    American News Habits and the Challenge of Truth Decay

    RAND researchers asked people where they get their news, how reliable they think it is, and whether they seek out viewpoints that are different from their own. The results provide some new clues to help diagnose and treat Truth Decay.

    Mar 4, 2020

  • Panelists discuss how media organizations can help address "Truth Decay," the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life, at the RAND Corporation office in Santa Monica, CA, February 25, 2020, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

    Blog

    How the Media Can Help Fight Truth Decay

    Truth Decay is the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life. As part of this phenomenon, Americans are losing faith in once-trusted sources of information, including the news. How might media organizations address this?

    Feb 25, 2020

  • RAND leaders and media experts speak at a “Truth Decay and the Media” panel on February 20, 2020 at RAND's Santa Monica headquarters.

    Multimedia

    How the Media Can Help Fight Truth Decay

    Truth Decay is the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life. As part of this phenomenon, Americans are losing faith in once-trusted sources of information, including the news. How might media organizations address this?

    Feb 20, 2020

  • Report

    Report

    Fighting Disinformation Online: Building the Database of Web Tools

    This report describes a database of online tools that are developed by nonprofit, civil society organizations and are designed to reduce the spread of online disinformation.

    Feb 18, 2020

  • People waiting to board a subway train, photo by william87/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Our Actions Determine What We Read and See Online. Algorithms Are Only a Part of That Process

    As social media has increasingly become the main outlet for people to acquire news and opinion, there are concerns about the effect of algorithm-driven services on the spread of misleading information. But the issue doesn't merely lie with how social platforms use algorithms to deliver content.

    Feb 7, 2020

  • Two digital faces facing each other, photo by wildpixel/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Artificial Intelligence and the Manufacturing of Reality

    Humans carry flaws in deciding what is or is not real. The internet and other technologies have made it easier to weaponize and exploit these flaws. And artificial intelligence will likely be used to exploit these weaknesses at an unprecedented scale, speed, and level of effectiveness.

    Jan 20, 2020

  • RAND Weekly Recap

    Blog

    How Americans Get the News, Iran, Caregiving: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how Americans consume the news, U.S.–Iranian relations, how federal disability payments help caregivers, and more.

    Dec 13, 2019

  • News Release

    News Release

    One-Third of Americans Use News Sources They Consider Less Reliable

    One-third of Americans rely on news platforms they acknowledge are less reliable, mainly social media and peers. The other two-thirds of the public consider their primary news sources trustworthy, mainly print news and broadcast television.

    Dec 10, 2019

Research conducted by