We’ve witnessed a year of unprecedented attention to fake news, misinformation, disinformation and propaganda on the web. Countless articles have detailed Russian bots spreading misinformation, Macedonian teenagers profiting from fictional Facebook posts and Americans’ general inability to evaluate digital content.
As a result, state legislators have rushed to draft legislation requiring media literacy in K-12 education, according to Education Week. Connecticut, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Washington have passed new laws. The California legislature mandated the creation of media arts standards. Another law proposed in California would require the creation of a model media literacy curriculum. (Editor’s note: A bill requiring the New Jersey Department of Education to encourage boards of education to offer instruction in media literacy, S-436, was passed by the Senate in 2016; a companion Assembly bill was introduced but did not progress beyond that.)