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Media Literacy: Be Your Own Critic

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Media Literacy: Be Your Own Critic

  • NYU Steinhardt, Media, Culture, and Communication 239 Greene Street New York, NY, 10003 United States (map)

Media thought-leaders and front-line journalists examine lessons learned from the 2016 White House run, the prominence of fake news, the status of investigative reporting, and how to know what to believe. 

Presented with NYU Steinhardt, Department of Media, Culture and Communication.




Andrew Kaczynski is the senior editor and founding member of CNN's KFILE — the leading investigation team for the social, mobile generation. KFILE is widely praised as a "scoop team," known for breaking news by scouring the internet through research, fact checking, and investigative reporting. Kaczynski and KFILE have exposed some of the most controversial statements, deceptions and hypocrisies from politicians -- both in office and on the campaign trail including uncovering interviews of Donald Trump's controversial comments on Howard Stern's Show.

Kaczynski comes to CNN from BuzzFeed, where he started as a political reporter in 2011. He quickly built a reputation at a young age for unearthing newsworthy archival videos, many of which later went viral. Notable scoops include the revelation that Donald Trump expressed support for the Iraq War in 2002 and evidence Kentucky Senator Rand Paul plagiarized speeches.

Kaczynski's use of social media has earned him many awards, including The Daily Beast's 2013 "Beast Best" award for his Twitter Feed and New York Magazine's 13th most influential Tweeter in New York City in 2014.


Michelle Ciulla Lipkin is the Executive Director of the National Association for Media Literacy Education. As Executive Director, Michelle has helped NAMLE grow to be the preeminent media literacy education association in the U.S. She launched the first ever Media Literacy Week in the U.S., developed strategic partnerships with media companies such as Participant Media, Nickelodeon, and Twitter, and restructured both the governance and membership of the organization. She has also overseen three national conferences and done countless appearances at conferences and in the media regarding the importance of media literacy education.

Michelle began her career in children’s television production, in various roles on both corporate and production teams. She earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from New York University. Michelle focused her grad work on children and television where she caught the “media literacy bug”. After graduate school, Michelle worked as a facilitator for The LAMP (Learning about Multimedia Project) teaching media literacy and production classes for Pre-Kindergarten to 5th grade students.

Michelle also serves on: NY Advisory Committee for the News Literacy Project, National Advisory Council for the Media Smart Libraries Initiative of Rhode Island, and National Judge’s Panel for Trend Micro’s “What’s Your Story?” Youth Media Contest.


Eli has dedicated his career to figuring out how technology can elevate important topics in the world -- as an author, an online organizer, and most recently, as a co-founder of Upworthy.

Eli joined in 2001, serving as Executive Director from 2004-2009. During that time, MoveOn revolutionized grassroots political organizing by introducing a small-donor-funded and email-driven model that has since been widely used across the political spectrum. quickly grew to more than 5 million members, who gave over $120 million to campaigns on topics like climate change and campaign finance reform. During this time he also co-founded, which is now the largest online advocacy organization in the world totaling over 30 million members.

In 2011, as a senior fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, Eli published the New York Times bestseller The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You. The book highlights the ways that important content can get lost in the newsfeed era. The TED talk that Eli gave based on The Filter Bubble has generated over 3 million views.

Insights from The Filter Bubble helped to inspire Upworthy, which Eli founded with longtime collaborator Peter Koechley in March of 2012. The pair set out to prove once and for all that what’s important can be incredibly popular, even if what’s popular isn’t usually important. To date, the Upworthy community has logged more than 1.5 billion minutes of attention on topics ranging from the criminal justice system to advertising’s adverse effects on body image to clean energy.

Eli is based in Brooklyn. You should follow him on Twitter here.



Brian Stelter is the host of "Reliable Sources," which examines the week's top media stories every Sunday at 11:00 a.m. ET on CNN/U.S, and the senior media correspondent for CNN Worldwide. Stelter reports and writes for CNN/U.S., CNN International,, and on a regular basis.

Prior to joining CNN in November 2013, Stelter was a media reporter at The New York Times. Starting in 2007, he covered television and digital media for the Business Day and Arts section of the newspaper. He was also a lead contributor to the "Media Decoder" blog.