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How media literacy is defined: A review
Unformatted Document Text:  19 However, what is important to keep in mind is that for a number of authors, ‘production’ is not an end in itself, but a means to achieve a better understanding of the constructed nature of the mass media (e.g., Davison, 1992; Lund, 1998; Tufte, 1992), knowledge that is already included in the constructivist model of media literacy. Amongst other things, this literature overview has shown that many of the conceptualizations of media literacy lack any sort of rationale why media literacy should be defined as such. Most of the authors, whose definitions were summarized in one or more the above paragraphs, provided only a general reason why people should be media literate at all, without specifying why they should know about genres, or media institutions for instance. However, some authors do specify why media literacy should include certain abilities or knowledge, and these reasons can be reduced to four basic categories. First, some authors argue for the inclusion of a specific aspect in the concept of media literacy, because knowledge of this element will teach people to understand some important aspect about the nature of the media and/or their content. The second category of reasons provided for the importance of specific elements of media literacy is the notion that media literacy will teach people how to become critical and autonomous citizens. Additionally, another reason that is often provided as a rationale for the inclusion of a specific element is the idea that media literacy should teach people how to become more critical towards the media. Finally, media literacy is supposed to teach people how to perform better in non-media related environments, such as an improvement in one’s basic comprehension skills. References Abelman, R., & Courtright, J. (1983). Television literacy: Amplifying the cognitive level effects of television’s prosocial fare through curriculum intervention. Journal of research and development in education, 17(1), 46-57. Alvardo, M., & Boyd-Barrett, O. (Eds.) (1992). Media education: An Introduction. London: British Film Institute. Alvermann, D.E., & Hagood, M.C. (2000). Critical media literacy: Research, theory and practice in ‘new times’. Journal of education research, 93(3), 193-205. Aufderheide, P. (1997). Media literacy: From a report of the national leadership conference on media literacy. In R. Kubey (Ed.), Media literacy in the information ag. Current perspectives: Information and behavior (Vol.6, pp.79-86). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction. Bazalgette, C. (1997). An agenda for the second phase of media literacy development. In R. Kubey (Ed.), Media literacy in the information age. Current perspectives: Information and behavior (Vol.6, pp.69-78). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction. Bouwman, H. (1989). Culturrpessimisme en de paradox van een kritische mediapedagogie (Cultural pessimism and the paradox of critical media education). Masscommunicatie, 17(1), 61-73. Branston, G. (1992). Turning to audiences: Some suggestions for the classroom audience. In C. Bazalgette, E. Bevort, & J. Savino (Eds.), New Directions: Media education worldwide (pp.70-74). London: British Film Institute. Brown, J.A. (1991). ‘Critical viewing skills’ education: Major media literacy projects in the US and selected countries. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Brown, J.A. (1998). Media literacy perspectives. Journal of Communication, 48(1), 44-57. Brown, J.A. (2001). Media literacy and critical television viewing in education. In Singer, D.G., & Singer, J.L. (Eds.), Handbook of children and the media (pp.681-697). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Authors: Rosenbaum, Judith.
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19
However, what is important to keep in mind is that for a number of authors, ‘production’ is
not an end in itself, but a means to achieve a better understanding of the constructed nature of
the mass media (e.g., Davison, 1992; Lund, 1998; Tufte, 1992), knowledge that is already
included in the constructivist model of media literacy.
Amongst other things, this literature overview has shown that many of the
conceptualizations of media literacy lack any sort of rationale why media literacy should be
defined as such. Most of the authors, whose definitions were summarized in one or more the
above paragraphs, provided only a general reason why people should be media literate at all,
without specifying why they should know about genres, or media institutions for instance.
However, some authors do specify why media literacy should include certain abilities or
knowledge, and these reasons can be reduced to four basic categories. First, some authors
argue for the inclusion of a specific aspect in the concept of media literacy, because
knowledge of this element will teach people to understand some important aspect about the
nature of the media and/or their content. The second category of reasons provided for the
importance of specific elements of media literacy is the notion that media literacy will teach
people how to become critical and autonomous citizens. Additionally, another reason that is
often provided as a rationale for the inclusion of a specific element is the idea that media
literacy should teach people how to become more critical towards the media. Finally, media
literacy is supposed to teach people how to perform better in non-media related environments,
such as an improvement in one’s basic comprehension skills.
References

Abelman, R., & Courtright, J. (1983). Television literacy: Amplifying the cognitive level
effects of television’s prosocial fare through curriculum intervention. Journal of
research and development in education, 17
(1), 46-57.
Alvardo, M., & Boyd-Barrett, O. (Eds.) (1992). Media education: An Introduction. London:
British Film Institute.
Alvermann, D.E., & Hagood, M.C. (2000). Critical media literacy: Research, theory and
practice in ‘new times’. Journal of education research, 93(3), 193-205.
Aufderheide, P. (1997). Media literacy: From a report of the national leadership conference
on media literacy. In R. Kubey (Ed.), Media literacy in the information ag. Current
perspectives: Information and behavior
(Vol.6, pp.79-86). New Brunswick, NJ:
Transaction.
Bazalgette, C. (1997). An agenda for the second phase of media literacy development. In R.
Kubey (Ed.), Media literacy in the information age. Current perspectives: Information
and behavior
(Vol.6, pp.69-78). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.
Bouwman, H. (1989). Culturrpessimisme en de paradox van een kritische mediapedagogie
(Cultural pessimism and the paradox of critical media education). Masscommunicatie,
17
(1), 61-73.
Branston, G. (1992). Turning to audiences: Some suggestions for the classroom audience. In
C. Bazalgette, E. Bevort, & J. Savino (Eds.), New Directions: Media education
worldwide
(pp.70-74). London: British Film Institute.
Brown, J.A. (1991). ‘Critical viewing skills’ education: Major media literacy projects in the
US and selected countries. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Brown, J.A. (1998). Media literacy perspectives. Journal of Communication, 48(1), 44-57.
Brown, J.A. (2001). Media literacy and critical television viewing in education. In Singer,
D.G., & Singer, J.L. (Eds.), Handbook of children and the media (pp.681-697).
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


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