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How media literacy is defined: A review
Unformatted Document Text:  16 McClure, 1997). Again other authors alleged that media literacy included the ability to be more selective about the kind of media messages one chooses to watch and/or read (Brown, 1991, 2001; Lloyd-Kolkin et al. 1980). Various authors, when arguing why this aspect of media literacy was important enough to include, alleged that the media has grown increasingly less pluralistic and that in order for people to obtain a complete picture of events, and to detect the bias present in every mediated version of an event, they need to know how to access, as well as compare and contrast different sources of information (Conside, 1997; Hobbs, 1997, 1998a; Masterman, 1998; Thoman, 1999). Conversely, the North Carolina Department of Publication Instruction (Considine, 1997) claimed that people need to know how to select media messages because of the vast amount of information they are surrounded with every day. McClure, in his plea for the inclusion of network literacy (literacy solely concerned with ICT) in national education programs, argued that people should be network literate if they are to remain productive and effective citizens (404). Secondly, there are those definitions of media literacy which include the ability to act against media producers, networks and other media-related institutions in regard to certain media content, or media policy decisions. In her description of media literacy, Hobbs (1998a) included the ability to undertake action with and in regard to the media. In her opinion, people have to be able to use the media to attract press interest, build coalitions, shape policy decision making and change political practices in regard to certain social issues. Media literacy also entailed the ability to take action against specific media content (see also Brown, 1991 41 ; Criticos, 1997; Singer, Zuckerman & Singer, 1980). Although none of the authors whose conceptualization of media literacy included the ability to undertake action in regard to the media explained why this ability was so important, a few did provide a rationale for the importance of media literacy as a whole. Criticos (1997) defended the importance of media education as a whole, when he claimed that any democratic society requires an active and critical citizenry, and added that this could be achieved through media education (Hobbs, 1998a). The third category includes those definitions of media literacy that focus on the awareness of how the media affects one’s actions. For example, Brown (1991), when outlining what media education should be concerned with, described that it should teach people about the effects that the media can have on one’s behavior 42 . Additionally, according to McClure, network literacy (literacy concerned with ICT only) includes understanding the role and uses of networked information in performing basic life activities (1997: 423). None of the media literacy projects described in the previous paragraph explained why people needed to be aware of the extent to which the media affect their behavior, and/or attitude. Only one author supplied a general for the importance of media literacy; McClure (1997) alleged that network literacy is an essential tool for citizens if they wish to remain productive and effective in both their personal and professional lives. Finally, some definitions of media literacy include the ability to manage their use of the media in a well-considered manner. Some projects refer to the ability to manage one’s own media use (Brown, 1991 43 ; see also Desimoni, 1992; Singer, Zuckerman & Singer, 1980; Vooijs & Van der Voort, 1990). Other authors include the ability to create a ‘media use schedule’ in their definition of media literacy (Hobbs, 1998a; Vooijs & Van der Voort, 1989). 41 Brown referred to the Singers research team. 42 Brown also described various critical viewing skills programs which echoed this claim: Southern Arts Association in Winchester, Hampshire, UK (see also Bouwman, 1989) and the Far West Laboratory for Education Research and Development. 43 Brown referred to the project developed by the Far West Laboratory for Education, Research and Development.

Authors: Rosenbaum, Judith.
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16
McClure, 1997). Again other authors alleged that media literacy included the ability to be
more selective about the kind of media messages one chooses to watch and/or read (Brown,
1991, 2001; Lloyd-Kolkin et al. 1980).
Various authors, when arguing why this aspect of media literacy was important
enough to include, alleged that the media has grown increasingly less pluralistic and that in
order for people to obtain a complete picture of events, and to detect the bias present in every
mediated version of an event, they need to know how to access, as well as compare and
contrast different sources of information (Conside, 1997; Hobbs, 1997, 1998a; Masterman,
1998; Thoman, 1999). Conversely, the North Carolina Department of Publication Instruction
(Considine, 1997) claimed that people need to know how to select media messages because of
the vast amount of information they are surrounded with every day. McClure, in his plea for
the inclusion of network literacy (literacy solely concerned with ICT) in national education
programs, argued that people should be network literate if they are to remain productive and
effective citizens (404).
Secondly, there are those definitions of media literacy which include the ability to act
against media producers, networks and other media-related institutions in regard to certain
media content, or media policy decisions. In her description of media literacy, Hobbs (1998a)
included the ability to undertake action with and in regard to the media. In her opinion, people
have to be able to use the media to attract press interest, build coalitions, shape policy
decision making and change political practices in regard to certain social issues. Media
literacy also entailed the ability to take action against specific media content (see also Brown,
1991
41
; Criticos, 1997; Singer, Zuckerman & Singer, 1980).
Although none of the authors whose conceptualization of media literacy included the
ability to undertake action in regard to the media explained why this ability was so important,
a few did provide a rationale for the importance of media literacy as a whole. Criticos (1997)
defended the importance of media education as a whole, when he claimed that any democratic
society requires an active and critical citizenry, and added that this could be achieved through
media education (Hobbs, 1998a).
The third category includes those definitions of media literacy that focus on the
awareness of how the media affects one’s actions. For example, Brown (1991), when
outlining what media education should be concerned with, described that it should teach
people about the effects that the media can have on one’s behavior
42
. Additionally, according
to McClure, network literacy (literacy concerned with ICT only) includes understanding the
role and uses of networked information in performing basic life activities (1997: 423).
None of the media literacy projects described in the previous paragraph explained why
people needed to be aware of the extent to which the media affect their behavior, and/or
attitude. Only one author supplied a general for the importance of media literacy; McClure
(1997) alleged that network literacy is an essential tool for citizens if they wish to remain
productive and effective in both their personal and professional lives.
Finally, some definitions of media literacy include the ability to manage their use of
the media in a well-considered manner. Some projects refer to the ability to manage one’s
own media use (Brown, 1991
43
; see also Desimoni, 1992; Singer, Zuckerman & Singer, 1980;
Vooijs & Van der Voort, 1990). Other authors include the ability to create a ‘media use
schedule’ in their definition of media literacy (Hobbs, 1998a; Vooijs & Van der Voort, 1989).
41
Brown referred to the Singers research team.
42
Brown also described various critical viewing skills programs which echoed this claim: Southern Arts
Association in Winchester, Hampshire, UK (see also Bouwman, 1989) and the Far West Laboratory for
Education Research and Development.
43
Brown referred to the project developed by the Far West Laboratory for Education, Research and
Development.


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