10 Commandments for Media Consumers
10 Commandments for Media Consumers is a checklist that gives media consumers the knowledge to assess mass media communications properly.
The Ten Commandments for Media Consumers is a checklist invented by Cees Hamelink in his article “Ethics for Media Users,” published in the European Journal of Communication in December 1995. Hamelink, active in ethical journalism and media accountability, recommends awareness to three categories of media consumers: readers, viewers, and listeners. He argues consumers should severely question the freedom, quality, and liability of media. They should not only be careful of the nature and scope of media messages but also take on proactive behavior when called to react to persuasive messages. For this cause he developed the subsequent Ten Commandments:
1. Be a considerate and discriminating media consumer.
2. Vigorously fight against any censorship.
3. Do not hinder editorial independence.
4. Do not accept or support any racism and sexist behaviors undertaken by the media.
5. Always find different sources of information.
6. Claim manifold supplies of information
7. Guard your own privacy.
8. Make yourself a reliable source of information to give an accountable Word-of-Mouth.
9. Do not include yourself in mercenary, corrupted or biased journalism.
10. Demand accountability from media producers.
The author finds a lack of flexibility and intuitiveness as a chief restraint in using his 10 Commandments. He argues that his structure must be contextualized and adapted to every circumstance. The main goal of Hamelink’s Ten Commandments is to give common guidelines to media consumers and not strict rules. Consumers’ responsiveness to media can rely on culture, demographic variables, values and lifestyles.
- Media literacy: Media literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and create media in various forms. It is an essential skill for media consumers to develop.
- Critical thinking: Critical thinking evaluates information and arguments logically and systematically. Media consumers need to apply critical thinking skills when evaluating the accuracy and credibility of media sources.
- Information overload: Information overload occurs when a person is exposed to too much information and has difficulty processing it. Media consumers need to be aware of the risks of information overload and take steps to manage their media consumption.
- Filter bubble: A filter bubble is a phenomenon in which people are only exposed to information reinforcing their beliefs and opinions. Media consumers need to be aware of the risks of filter bubbles and seek out diverse perspectives.
- Fake news: Fake news is false information presented as true. Media consumers need to be able to distinguish between fake news and accurate information.
- Data Privacy: Data privacy protects personal information from unauthorized access or use. Media consumers need to be aware of the risks to their data privacy and take steps to protect their personal information.
- Cyber Security: Cybersecurity refers to protecting computer systems and networks from unauthorized access or attack. Media consumers need to be aware of the risks of cyber-attacks and take steps to protect themselves.
- Confirmation Bias: Confirmation bias is the tendency to seek out and interpret information to confirm one's beliefs and opinions. Media consumers need to be aware of the risks of confirmation bias and seek out diverse perspectives.
- Skepticism: Skepticism questions the validity of claims and arguments. Media consumers need to apply skepticism when evaluating the accuracy and credibility of media sources.
- Digital footprint: A digital footprint is the trail of information a person leaves behind when using digital technologies. Media consumers need to be aware of their digital footprints and take steps to manage their online reputations.
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