Media Literacy


Relative Expertise

Relative expertise of the reporter, or the individual providing information about an event helps to create credibility in reports.When one speaks about safety factors regarding nuclear power, the nuclear physicist, has more relative expertise (a degree in nuclear physics) than the concerned English professor/citizen who may have legitimate concerns, but whose areas of expertise is not in nuclear physics.

The greater the relative expertise of a witness, the higher the credibility of reports of that witness.  In the media today, we have many people professing to be "experts." It is important, when possible, to assess the relative expertise of individuals.The key question to ask is "How do they know?" have they studied extensively in this area, have they lived in an area, do they have specialized knowledge pertaining to the area in question.While everyone is entitled to their opinion, some opinions carry more weight than others.