The Connecticut State Library hosted the Media & News Literacy Fair this month; an event billed as important critical thinking skills for educated voters.
The goal of the half-day workshop was to help patrons identify truthfulness in everyday news stories, especially on social media.
Hugo Balta, Publisher & Executive Editor Of CTLatinoNews.com was the moderator of a journalism panel that featured Lynne DeLucia, editor, and co-founder of the Connecticut Health I-Team (C-HIT), and Elizabeth Hamilton, editor of The Connecticut Mirror.
The session addressed topics of accuracy and fairness in journalism, the reputation and trustworthiness of professional media, and the relationship between libraries and media.
DeLucia shared how C-HIT fills a necessary void in news coverage on health matters given the continuing contraction of legacy media budgets. Where once there were health care units in newsrooms like the Hartford Courant where DeLucia once worked, “now it’s a part-time beat or the added responsibility of overstretched full-time reporters”, she said.
Hamilton spoke about how The Connecticut Mirror only focuses on producing stories related to topics on public policy. Also born out of necessity due to massive layoffs in traditional news outlets, The Connecticut Mirror’s mission is to produce in-depth reporting on government policies and politics, and hold policymakers accountable for their decisions and actions.
Balta shared how CTLN is the only English language news, information, and entertainment digital news website dedicated to serving Hispanic, Latinos in Connecticut. “Despite that the majority of U.S. Hispanics are born in this country, and are English dominant – there are only a few Hispanic, Latino focused news outlets providing content in English”, he said. “And CTLN is only one of 9 in the digital platform”, he continued.
“In the current political climate where Donald Trump has been fact-checked for telling more than 13-thousand false or misleading claims, often at the expense of the Hispanic, Latino community…CTLN is changing the biased untruths by telling the real stories of a community that is key to the economic, political and cultural growth of this country”, explained Balta.
Other presentations included context about what media Literacy and news literacy are, as well as practical tips and techniques for teaching these literacies to library patrons and students.
The Media & News Literacy Fair was held at the Farmington Library.