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How media literacy is defined: A review
Unformatted Document Text:  7 Boyd-Barrett, 1992; Branston, 1992; Brown, 1991; Buckingham, 1990 5 ; Buckingham, 1998; Buckingham & Sefton-Green, 1997 6 ; Considine, 1997; Criticos, 1997; Desimoni, 1992; Dorr, Browne Grave & Phelps, 1980; Greenaway, 1997; Hobbs, 1998a; Masterman, 1997; Meyrowitz, 1998; Swinkels, 1992; Thoman, 1999). Only a few of the authors who identified ‘social network’ as outlined above, provided reasons for the inclusion of this element in their conceptualization of media literacy. Various authors claimed that people need to be aware of how audiences find, choose, consume and respond to texts because this will allow them to better understand, critically evaluate and participate in the media (Masterman, 1997; Piette & Giroux, 1997; Thoman, 1999). In Australia, Quin and McMahon (1997) claimed that textual analysis alone will not reveal the sense that a reader makes of the text, and that the role of the user in making sense of a text is of such great importance that this part of the communication process must not be ignored in media education projects. They added that students need to learn about the differences between individuals and groups because such an understanding is a prerequisite to making comparisons and judgments about their own and wider community values (313). When outlining media education in South Africa, Criticos only gave a general reason for the importance of media literacy as a whole, which was that it teaches students to become critical and active citizens, who can keep both the government and market forces in check. Branston (1992) claimed that teaching about the audience is imperative because; “Audience work can shift the emphasis of teaching away from expectations that a sufficiently powerful or perceptive reading will produce the ideological goods or will ‘lift the veil’”(70). Secondly, there were numerous media literacy projects which identified knowledge about the socio-cultural conditions that influence the production of a media message as one of the aspects of media literacy. In his summary of critical viewing skills, Brown (1991) claimed that CVS programs should include the study of the broad social context of television, and that any study of television must take into account the different environments in which various mass media systems developed and now operate. In his summary of media education projects, Brown discovered that some of them also taught students about the role that the social and cultural aspects play in the production of media content (76-77) 7 . Various other media literacy researchers also presented this awareness as a part of media literacy (Alvardo & Boyd-Barrett, 1992; Bouwman, 1989; Brown, 2001; Considine, 1997; Desimoni, 1992; Hobbs, 1998a, 1998d; Lewis & Jhally, 1998; Meyrowitz, 1998). None of the authors who defined ‘social network’ as the knowledge about the socio- cultural conditions that influence the production of a message included a rationale for their decision. Finally, there were various authors who, when defining media literacy, focused on understanding the role that the media play in today’s society. For instance, one of the goals of the Israeli media education curriculum was that students should be able to evaluate the role of the media in a democratic society (Lemish & Lemish, 1997: 221; McClure, 1997). Brown (1991) provided a brief summary of the various media education projects, where he claimed that media education also focused on the dynamics between media and society in terms of social values 8 (Meyrowitz, 1998). Piette and Giroux (1997) described two media education projects, the first was developed by the Boston University School of Public Communication, 5 Buckingham (1990) here referred to the principles of media education as developed by the BFI. 6 Buckingham & Sefton-Green (1997) referred to the principles of media education as advocated by the BFI. 7 Here Brown referred to the projects developed by the French Ministers of Communication, Education, Youth, Sport, Leisure and Agriculture and the Southern Arts Association in the UK. 8 Brown mentioned the media education programs developed by the Catholic Education Office in Sydney, Australia the Boston University School of Public Communication (see also Piette & Giroux, 1997). He also claimed that the majority of the British and Latin-American media education programs focused on the impact that the media may have on society.

Authors: Rosenbaum, Judith.
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7
Boyd-Barrett, 1992; Branston, 1992; Brown, 1991; Buckingham, 1990
5
; Buckingham, 1998;
Buckingham & Sefton-Green, 1997
6
; Considine, 1997; Criticos, 1997; Desimoni, 1992; Dorr,
Browne Grave & Phelps, 1980; Greenaway, 1997; Hobbs, 1998a; Masterman, 1997;
Meyrowitz, 1998; Swinkels, 1992; Thoman, 1999).
Only a few of the authors who identified ‘social network’ as outlined above, provided
reasons for the inclusion of this element in their conceptualization of media literacy. Various
authors claimed that people need to be aware of how audiences find, choose, consume and
respond to texts because this will allow them to better understand, critically evaluate and
participate in the media (Masterman, 1997; Piette & Giroux, 1997; Thoman, 1999). In
Australia, Quin and McMahon (1997) claimed that textual analysis alone will not reveal the
sense that a reader makes of the text, and that the role of the user in making sense of a text is
of such great importance that this part of the communication process must not be ignored in
media education projects. They added that students need to learn about the differences
between individuals and groups because such an understanding is a prerequisite to making
comparisons and judgments about their own and wider community values (313). When
outlining media education in South Africa, Criticos only gave a general reason for the
importance of media literacy as a whole, which was that it teaches students to become critical
and active citizens, who can keep both the government and market forces in check. Branston
(1992) claimed that teaching about the audience is imperative because; “Audience work can
shift the emphasis of teaching away from expectations that a sufficiently powerful or
perceptive reading will produce the ideological goods or will ‘lift the veil’”(70).
Secondly, there were numerous media literacy projects which identified knowledge
about the socio-cultural conditions that influence the production of a media message as one of
the aspects of media literacy. In his summary of critical viewing skills, Brown (1991) claimed
that CVS programs should include the study of the broad social context of television, and that
any study of television must take into account the different environments in which various
mass media systems developed and now operate. In his summary of media education projects,
Brown discovered that some of them also taught students about the role that the social and
cultural aspects play in the production of media content (76-77)
7
. Various other media literacy
researchers also presented this awareness as a part of media literacy (Alvardo & Boyd-Barrett,
1992; Bouwman, 1989; Brown, 2001; Considine, 1997; Desimoni, 1992; Hobbs, 1998a,
1998d; Lewis & Jhally, 1998; Meyrowitz, 1998).
None of the authors who defined ‘social network’ as the knowledge about the socio-
cultural conditions that influence the production of a message included a rationale for their
decision.
Finally, there were various authors who, when defining media literacy, focused on
understanding the role that the media play in today’s society. For instance, one of the goals of
the Israeli media education curriculum was that students should be able to evaluate the role of
the media in a democratic society (Lemish & Lemish, 1997: 221; McClure, 1997). Brown
(1991) provided a brief summary of the various media education projects, where he claimed
that media education also focused on the dynamics between media and society in terms of
social values
8
(Meyrowitz, 1998). Piette and Giroux (1997) described two media education
projects, the first was developed by the Boston University School of Public Communication,
5
Buckingham (1990) here referred to the principles of media education as developed by the BFI.
6
Buckingham & Sefton-Green (1997) referred to the principles of media education as advocated by the BFI.
7
Here Brown referred to the projects developed by the French Ministers of Communication, Education, Youth,
Sport, Leisure and Agriculture and the Southern Arts Association in the UK.
8
Brown mentioned the media education programs developed by the Catholic Education Office in Sydney,
Australia the Boston University School of Public Communication (see also Piette & Giroux, 1997). He also
claimed that the majority of the British and Latin-American media education programs focused on the impact
that the media may have on society.


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