Technology in Education

Media Literacy & Mass Media

Media literacy is an important skill in our world today. With so much information shared every day on the internet with no requirement of fact checking before being posted there is a lot of false information out there. Media literacy is not just an issue that we face today. Propaganda is a long standing tradition, same with advertising, specifically targeting a certain audience to see things in a desired light. Media literacy helps students develop the tools to develop critical understanding of the nature of mass media and what techniques are used by the creators of mass media and what affects those techniques have on the consumer. As a teacher by helping to develop an understanding of how they are organized, produced and sold will hopefully help students understand the need for deeper research of topics covered in mass media. By providing students with examples of all different types of literacy, including mass media, hopefully students will develop the tools allowing them to be informed citizens.

There are five core concepts within media literacy that are important to remember:

  • All media are ‘constructions’
  • Media are ‘languages’ with their own rules
  • Media convey values and points of views
  • Audiences ‘negotiate’ meaning
  • Media=power & profit

These are what we discussed in class as the main core concepts of mass multi media. When designing mass media the creators use specialized language and ploys to capture their audience attention. The specialized language and ploys along with specific camera angles, lighting, and music manipulate the audience. Throughout production the producer thinks about who their audience, how they can reach them, and how to persuade people how to side with their view.

As an audience member you must think about who created or paid for the creation of the message. What was the purpose for the message, what was the goal of its creation? Who was the targeted audience? Was it meant for you or a different audience? Mass multi media is everywhere and the more you are aware of what is going on the less influence it will have over you. You will have the knowledge to know to look beyond what is said to the real issue. As a teacher you can pass these skills on to your students.

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