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Media Literacy


Media Literacy adapted in part from Media Literacy Clearinghouse – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Media Literacy

Media Literacy
  • adapted in part from
  • Media Literacy Clearinghouse

The Laws of Media
  • Its
    like the fish in
    water we dont know
    who discovered the water,
    but we know it wasnt a fish. A
    pervasive medium is always beyond
    Marshall McLuhan

What is media literacy?
  • Take a few minutes and write your
  • answer to these prompts
  • What is media literacy?
  • Why should we be media literate?

What media literacy is
  • Set of skills, knowledge, abilities
  • Awareness of personal media habits
  • Understanding of how media works
  • Appreciation of medias power/influence
  • Ability to discern critically question/view
  • How meaning is created in media
  • Healthy skepticism
  • Ability to produce create media

What media literacy is not
  • Media bashing
  • Protection against media
  • Just about television
  • Just TV production
  • How to use AV equipment
  • Teaching with media
  • rather it is teaching about the media

Media Literacy definition
  • Media literacy empowers people to be both
    critical thinkers and creative producers of an
    increasingly wide range of messages using image,
    language, and sound. It is the skillful
    application of literacy skills to media and
    technology messages. As communication
    technologies transform society, they impact our
    understanding of ourselves, our communities, and
    our diverse cultures, making media literacy an
    essential life skill for the 21st century.
    SOURCE Alliance for A Media Literate

News Stories About Media
  • Congress leaving Washington for a new Capitol?
    Only in The Onion (see next slide)
  • Clear Channel fires Howard Stern
  • Chinese Government Learning How to Spin Media
    after Riots
  • Videogames Designed for Education?
  • Kool brand targets black teens
  • Controversy over Blige and fried chicken ad
  • Meteorologists Argue With Climatologists About
    Global Warming

Check out The Onion
  • Go to
  • Got earphones? Listen to this
  • http//
  • And heres the classic article
  • http//

What is bias?
  • When a writers personal opinion comes
  • through in a story or news report, he/she
  • is revealing a bias
  • Loaded words
  • Stereotypes
  • One sided arguments
  • Facial expressions
  • Body language

What is fact?
  • Something that can be seen or proved
  • Only facts can be proved
  • Facts are indisputable
  • Closely associated with questions of objectivity
    or truth

What is opinion?
  • An opinion reveals what the writer believes or
    thinks about something
  • Certain words can signal that a writer is
    starting an opinion
  • think probably believe
    seems should

Fact vs. Opinion
  • Most writing is a combination of the two

Core Concepts in Media Literacy
  • All media are constructed
  • Media use unique languages, with their own set of
  • Media convey values and points-of-view
  • Different people experience the same media
    messages differently
  • Media are concerned with power, profit
  • Source Center for Media Literacy,

Critical Inquiry Key Questions
  • Who produced the message?
  • For what purpose was it produced?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • What techniques are used to attract attention,
    increase believability?
  • Who or what is left out why?
  • Who gains by the message being told in this way?

  • Media Literacy Clearinghouse
  • Center for Media LiteracyMedia Education
  • Alliance for A Media Literate AmericaAction
    Coalition for Media Education
  • National Telemedia Council
  • (publishes TELEMEDIUM journal)

Subliminal Below Threshold
  • The word subliminal literally means below
    threshold. To elaborate, it means that you are
    not aware of the message it is below the
    threshold of your conscious perception. However,
    you will still take the message in on some level
    as your subconscious mind processes it and stores
    this information. Subliminal messaging,
    therefore, refers to the action of sending a
    suggestion directly into the subconscious mind.

Subliminal Advertising
  • James Vicary, an advertising expert, went into a
    1950s movie theater to test his devious new tool
    for persuading others Subliminal Advertising.
  • During the movie he allegedly flashed the
    commands "EAT POPCORN" and "DRINK COKE" so fast
    that the unsuspecting audience couldn't
    consciously see the words. Vicary claimed Coke
    sales jumped 18.1 and popcorn sales leaped
  • On that day, subliminal advertising was born.
  • Today subliminal advertising is banned by most
    major countries. The FCC in America outlaws it by
    simply saying subliminal advertising is designed
    to deceive. For that reason alone it is forbidden
    to be used by any radio or television advertiser.
  • Still, self-help tapes that claim to have
    subliminal messages hidden on them continue to
    sell to the tune of 50,000,000 a year.

Take a look at these images
See any subliminal messages?
What is subliminal about this photo?
OJ Simpson
  • What message is given by Time magazine?

  • What is the artist trying to convey with this

Examine this picture closely
Examine closely
  • Notice the boys eyes? Why does he look there?
  • Why is he looking at the mans hand?
  • Does it suggest the boy doesnt want to be there?
  • What about the man?
  • Look at his left hand. What does it suggest?

Kramer vs. Kramer
The Rest of the Story
  • Ted Kramer is a career man for whom his work
    comes before his family. His wife, Joanna, cannot
    take this anymore, so she decides to leave him.
    Ted is now faced with the tasks of housekeeping
    and taking care of himself and their young son,
    Billy. When he has learned to adjust his life to
    these new responsibilities, Joanna resurfaces and
    wants Billy back. Ted, however, refuses to give
    him up, so they go to court to fight for the
    custody of their son.

Can you identify the advertisers associated with
this alphabet?
How Is Media Manipulated?
  • In public relations, spin is a form of
    propaganda, achieved through providing an
    interpretation of an event or campaign to
    persuade public opinion in favor or against a
    certain organization or public figure. While
    traditional public relations may also rely on
    creative presentation of the facts, "spin" often,
    though not always, implies disingenuous,
    deceptive and/or highly manipulative tactics.

Or What Does It Mean to Polish the Truth?
Who Uses Spin?
  • Politics has been around for ages, but
    surprisingly the term spin doctor is relatively
    recent. It arose during the 1984 US presidential
  • Politicians are often accused by their opponents
    of claiming to be honest and seek the truth while
    using spin tactics to manipulate public opinion.

What tactics do they use?
  • Selectively presenting facts and quotes that
    support one's position (cherry picking)
  • Non-denial denial
  • Phrasing in a way that assumes unproven truths
  • Euphemisms to disguise or promote one's agenda
  • Burying bad news announcing one popular thing at
    the same time as several unpopular things, hoping
    that the media will focus on the popular one.

Cherry Picking
  • The act of pointing at individual cases or data
    that seem to confirm a particular position, while
    ignoring a significant portion of related cases
    or data that may contradict that position.
  • Cherry picking can refer to the selection of data
    or data sets so a study or survey will give
    desired, predictable results which may be
    misleading or even completely contrary to

Examples of Cherry-Picking
  • Car salesmen assisting only customers who
    appear well-to-do
  • In sports, waiting close to the opponent's goal
    in hope of receiving the object in play (ball,
    puck, etc.) and redirecting it towards the goal

Clear Example
In fact, National Snow and Ice Data Center
records show conclusively that in April 2009,
Arctic sea ice extent had indeed returned to and
surpassed 1989 levels."
Non-Denial Denial
  • Characterizing a statement as "ridiculous" or
    "absurd" without saying specifically that it is
    not true
  • Saying "We are not going to dignify that with a
  • Impugning the general reliability of a source
    (e.g. Mitchell, "The so-called sources of the
    Washington Post are a fountain of
    misinformation") without addressing the
    particular fact alleged by the source.
  • Denying a more specific version of events than
    that which was actually alleged. For example, for
    an allegation of corruption, saying "I have never
    received any money from anyone in the party" when
    an exchange of goods took place

  • Euphemisms can be used by governments to rename
    statutes to use a less offensive expression. For
    example, in Ontario, Canada, the "Disabled Person
    Parking Permit" was renamed to the "Accessible
    Parking Permit" in 2007

Common Euphemisms
  • ill-advised for very poor or bad
  • peer homework help or comparing answers for
  • fee for fine
  • alcohol-related, single-car crash for drunk
  • to cut excesses (in a budget) for to fire

Do you re-define stupid?
  • Lame duck
  • Half a bubble off plumb
  • Dorkus Maximus
  • Lost your marbles
  • Low brow
  • Meat head
  • Slow but sure
  • Waste of space
  • Lights are on but nobodys home
  • The elevator doesnt go to the top floor
  • Bottom feeder
  • Brain dead
  • Criminal stupidity
  • Bird brained
  • Act the fool
  • Ask a silly question and youll get a silly

Have You Seen This One?
  • http//

Burying Bad News
  • Announcing one popular thing at the same time as
    several unpopular things, hoping that the media
    will focus on the popular one.
  • For example, guess when this ill-advised memo was
    released in England
  • It's now a very good day to get out anything we
    want to bury. Councillors' expenses?

Fictional Spin Doctors
  • Nick Naylor - Protagonist of Christopher
    Buckley's bestseller Thank You for Smoking.
  • Deputy Mayor Mike Flaherty in the American sitcom
    Spin City.
  • Conrad Brean - hired to save a presidential
    election in Wag the Dog.

Real Life Spins
  • Texas Spins History, Again
  • http//
  • San Francisco's Toxic Sludge - It's Good for
  • http//

And try this one
  • http//
  • http//
  • Can you detect the spin?

And How Does Spin Differ from Disinformation?
  • Disinformation is false or inaccurate information
    that is spread deliberately. It is synonymous
    with and sometimes called Black propaganda. It
    may include the distribution of forged documents,
    manuscripts, and photographs, or spreading
    malicious rumors and fabricated intelligence.
    Disinformation should not be confused with
    misinformation, information that is
    unintentionally false.