Technological change is just one of the cultural shifts that bedevil anyone trying to teach news literacy. Teaching students to assess a source’s credibility presumes they will recognize the legitimacy of traditional credentials. In this ideologically polarized era, will students from some conservative families dismiss a source’s doctorate as evidence of liberal academic indoctrination rather than objective expertise? So far, news-literacy educators say they haven’t encountered that situation, but they acknowledge that such challenges may arise as the programs reach a broader audience. Still, they are confident that they will soon be lucky enough to have such a problem.

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Ben Adler covers climate-change policy for Grist and is a contributing editor for CJR