The digital structural change of the public sphere has radically changed the way we communicate and brought us new challenges – from disinformation to information overload. News literacy, including digital literacy, is thus the new foundation of the knowledge society. We help to implement it from politics to civil society.
»Knowledge is knowing where it is written.« (Albert Einstein)
The "digital structural change of the public sphere" has thrown a few basic principles of public sphere overboard. Whereas journalists used to be the full-time gatekeepers of the information that reaches us via the news, today, from Twitter to YouTube, everyone can create their own media space – or even create and distribute news from it. The new gatekeepers are joined by social media platforms whose algorithms sort the information according to attention-economical factors.
As a result, digital public spheres have become more preconditioned than analog ones. The ability to separate information from disinformation, to fact-check fragments of information that reach us via social media, or to assess the trustworthiness of a source is now left to the users. But this also means that they need completely new skills and abilities in order not to drown in the flood of information.
To ensure that the road to the digital knowledge society succeeds, there is a massive need to catch up in terms of both analog and digital information and news literacy. We help educational institutions, politics, media and civil society to make this leap by creating and implementing knowledge concepts that give citizens the necessary tools to navigate successfully through the information flood.
If you want to find out for yourself how news-competent you are, you can do so in the news test we helped develop for the study, which was created together with the design studio nach morgen.
News needs perspective. Constructive journalism is the logical development from the insights we have gained about journalism in the last century. We want to help editorial offices to develop their working methods and to think up new formats.
Digitization offers completely new opportunities for knowledge processing and networking that we as a society can use. This also means leaving the attention economy behind and, for example, placing strategic social megatopics on resubmission. To achieve this, science and journalism need to move closer together to think in terms of joint information platforms.
The first age of social networks was a gigantic global success with a new form of human interconnectivity and communication, but also dark underbellies of destructive disinformation and propaganda. What can we learn from the first age, about business models, blueprints, algorithms, and echo chambers, and do better in the next?