The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Media Literacy for Revolution

Better understand what you see online in 5 steps

September 21, 2020

There is an infinite amount of information available to us online, from #StormArea51 to #BlackoutTuesday, Fox News to Al Jazeera, and every meme you could ever think of. Who, and what can we trust? How can we help? These issues apply to all people, not just journalists like our staff at the Golden Gate Xpress.

So here are five steps to building your media literacy skills for revolution. These are meant to be done in order; if you can’t finish one step, you can’t move on to the next.

1. Trust your instincts, Trust your gut

2. Find the source

3. Check their reputation

4. See previous work, Ask what’s missing

5. Choose to share, subscribe or ignore

It is easy to get lost or overwhelmed. Journalists receive years of training in analyzing information, but others rarely get the experience. But as with every skill, with time you become faster and faster and more adept at figuring out what’s been said, what hasn’t, and what you should do about it. Here’s your first five steps.

Check out the written feature of this story for Xpress Magazine here.

Please contact our staff with any questions or suggestions. Happy analyzing!

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About the Contributors
Photo of shaylyn martos
shaylyn martos
shaylyn martos (she/her) works to provide better representation of LGBTQ+ people in media, and produces stories that address possible solutions to larger, systemic issues. She currently serves as multimedia editor for SF State's Golden Gate Xpress and produces The Happy Hour Podcast. In 2019, shaylyn was honored as an NPR Next Generation Radio Mentee. When not chasing a story, shaylyn can be found reading speculative fiction, cooking her favorite native Chamorro foods or bombing at a stand-up open mic. She's online @shaylynmartos
Photo of Harika Maddala
Harika Maddala
Harika Maddala is a senior year student at San Francisco State University, pursuing a bachelor’s

in Photojournalism and a minor in International Relations. Born and raised in India, Harika

earned her BA in journalism in the country and transferred to SF State in 2019, to earn a four-

year bachelor’s degree. She has been clicking photos since age 14 and has had her photos

displayed at various galleries including at a TedX exhibition in India in 2016, at Yerba Buena

Arts Gallery in June 2019, and at Samy’s Camera in the Spring of 2019. Harika enjoys shooting

anything with a lot of action- dance, weddings, concerts, protests, and riots. She is currently

exploring multimedia and finds video and audio editing relaxing- almost like a craft of weaving

things together. She joined the Xpress newspaper team in Summer 2020 and this is her last

semester in college. She aims to work on more projects related to queer identities, race and

immigration issues, body image, and mental health in the future.
Camille Cohen
Camille Cohen is a French-American photographer and journalist studying at San Francisco State University. Inspiration for stories and images are derived from her time living in California, France, and Thailand. She loves live music (of all kinds) and jewel-toned colors. Camille primarily reports on social justice topics, environmental issues, and international relations. Find more of her work at here.
Photo of Siobhan Eagen
Siobhan Eagen
Siobhan Eagen is a storyteller based in San Francisco, California. Siobhan began reporting as a staff member at the Southwestern College Sun newspaper in Chula Vista, CA. During their time at The Sun they were editor of the opinions section and news section. They have written about politics, elections, police brutality, district attorneys, and much more. Siobhan has two San Diego Press Club awards for editorial cartoons, the Best Enterprise News Series award from JACC for coverage of a campus race scandal, Third Place Column Writing from JACC SoCal and an SPJ Finalist for a Sex and Relationship Column. Siobhan was grateful to be part of the staff which saw The Sun inducted into the ACP hall of fame and win the SPLC 2017 Reveille Seven College Press Freedom Award.

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