RAND “Truth Decay” Report

This report, Media Literacy Standards to Counter Truth Decay, is one in a series that is part of the Countering Truth Decay initiative. RAND defines “Truth Decay” as the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life. This phenomenon has taken hold over the last two decades, eroding civil discourse, causing political paralysis, and leading to public uncertainty and disengagement. The original report, Truth Decay: An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life, by Jennifer Kavanagh and Michael D. Rich, was published in January 2018 and identified a research agenda for studying and developing solutions to the Truth Decay challenge. In July 2019, the RAND Corporation released a follow-up report linking media literacy to Truth Decay (Exploring Media Literacy Education as a Tool for Mitigating Truth Decay); that was followed in August 2020 by a report describing a nationally representative survey of teachers’ opinions on media in schools (Media Use and Literacy in Schools: Civic Development in the Era of Truth Decay). NAMLE Executive Director Michelle Ciulla Lipkin provided feedback on this report.