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How media literacy is defined: A review
Unformatted Document Text:  8 which intended to, among other things, teach its students about the impact that televised messages could have on society at large; i.e., politics, cultural and artistic activities, consumer habits, interpersonal relations and moral values (Desmond, 1997; Meyrowitz, 1998). The second was called “Selling pictures”, and had been developed by the British Film Institute, which, amongst other things, focused on teaching students about the effects of the stereotypes presented in the media (see also Buckingham & Sefton-Green, 1997 9 ; Quin & MacMahon, 1997). Additionally, the aesthetic approach, as described by Swinkels (1992), claimed that people should learn to analyze the media on the level of their symbolic functions (44). According to Hobbs (1998d), media literacy means that people are able to understand how the codes, that make up a message, function as a part of a social system. In her description of the 1992 national leadership conference on media literacy, Aufderheide (1997) alleged that all media educators share the belief that media literacy entails knowing that media messages help construct reality and that these messages can have ideological implications. Various other researchers echoed this concept of media literacy. (Buckingham, Fraser & Mayman, 1990; Buckingham & Sefton-Green, 1997 9 ;Bazalgette, 1997; Greenaway, 1997; Masterman, 1997, 1998). Once again, only a few of the authors mentioned in the previous paragraph provided a rationale for their decision to include knowledge about the role that the media play in today’s society in their vision of media literacy. The Catholic Education Office (Brown, 1991) claimed that in teaching students about this aspect, one’s ability to enjoy, appreciate and critically evaluate mass media messages is augmented (Desmond, 1997). It further noted that students needed to know about the aspect of media literacy I defined as ‘social network’ because it would teach students to; “Appraise one’s media experience in the context of non-media environment- including formation of public opinion and society’s role of responsibility in the mass communication process. The latter includes secular concerns of human needs and social problems, as well as religious concerns involving conscience, faith and Christian morality” (74). The Boston University School of Public Communication only provided a general reason for their media education project as a whole, namely that any information about the media that people will attain will help shield people against “…the highly developed manipulative powers of television”(Piette & Giroux, 1997: 116). The British Film Institute claimed that their reason for developing “Selling pictures”, which focused solely on stereotyping, was to teach students that stereotyping and representation are contested areas, and to, as a result, help them understand the contradiction that vitiate social organizations (Piette & Giroux, 1997: 123). Other authors claimed that people needed to be aware of numerous aspects of the media and their usage, because this would teach them about the constructed nature of the media (Aufderheide, 1997; Masterman, 1997). Situations In terms of media literacy, this aspect entails knowing that what one perceives through the media is a representation of selected events, that this representation is usually a skewed and biased reflection. Additionally, this element entails the knowledge that the media play a role in people’s understanding of social reality. Definitions of media literacy, when referring to this aspect, refer to two dimensions of it: 1) knowledge about the fact that the media messages which reach the public are the result of a selection process, 2) awareness of the nature of the representations of reality in the media. Various authors, when outlining media literacy mentioned that it included knowing about the selectivity which is part of the nature of a mediated message. Lemish and Lemish (1997), for instance, in describing the goals of media education curricula as set by the Israeli 9 Buckingham & Sefton-Green (1997) referred to the principles of media education as put forward by the BFI.

Authors: Rosenbaum, Judith.
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8
which intended to, among other things, teach its students about the impact that televised
messages could have on society at large; i.e., politics, cultural and artistic activities, consumer
habits, interpersonal relations and moral values (Desmond, 1997; Meyrowitz, 1998). The
second was called “Selling pictures”, and had been developed by the British Film Institute,
which, amongst other things, focused on teaching students about the effects of the stereotypes
presented in the media (see also Buckingham & Sefton-Green, 1997
9
; Quin & MacMahon,
1997). Additionally, the aesthetic approach, as described by Swinkels (1992), claimed that
people should learn to analyze the media on the level of their symbolic functions (44).
According to Hobbs (1998d), media literacy means that people are able to understand how the
codes, that make up a message, function as a part of a social system. In her description of the
1992 national leadership conference on media literacy, Aufderheide (1997) alleged that all
media educators share the belief that media literacy entails knowing that media messages help
construct reality and that these messages can have ideological implications. Various other
researchers echoed this concept of media literacy. (Buckingham, Fraser & Mayman, 1990;
Buckingham & Sefton-Green, 1997
9
;Bazalgette, 1997; Greenaway, 1997; Masterman, 1997,
1998).
Once again, only a few of the authors mentioned in the previous paragraph provided a
rationale for their decision to include knowledge about the role that the media play in today’s
society in their vision of media literacy. The Catholic Education Office (Brown, 1991)
claimed that in teaching students about this aspect, one’s ability to enjoy, appreciate and
critically evaluate mass media messages is augmented (Desmond, 1997). It further noted that
students needed to know about the aspect of media literacy I defined as ‘social network’
because it would teach students to; “Appraise one’s media experience in the context of non-
media environment- including formation of public opinion and society’s role of responsibility
in the mass communication process. The latter includes secular concerns of human needs and
social problems, as well as religious concerns involving conscience, faith and Christian
morality” (74). The Boston University School of Public Communication only provided a
general reason for their media education project as a whole, namely that any information
about the media that people will attain will help shield people against “…the highly
developed manipulative powers of television”(Piette & Giroux, 1997: 116). The British Film
Institute claimed that their reason for developing “Selling pictures”, which focused solely on
stereotyping, was to teach students that stereotyping and representation are contested areas,
and to, as a result, help them understand the contradiction that vitiate social organizations
(Piette & Giroux, 1997: 123). Other authors claimed that people needed to be aware of
numerous aspects of the media and their usage, because this would teach them about the
constructed nature of the media (Aufderheide, 1997; Masterman, 1997).

Situations
In terms of media literacy, this aspect entails knowing that what one perceives through the
media is a representation of selected events, that this representation is usually a skewed and
biased reflection. Additionally, this element entails the knowledge that the media play a role
in people’s understanding of social reality. Definitions of media literacy, when referring to
this aspect, refer to two dimensions of it: 1) knowledge about the fact that the media messages
which reach the public are the result of a selection process, 2) awareness of the nature of the
representations of reality in the media.
Various authors, when outlining media literacy mentioned that it included knowing
about the selectivity which is part of the nature of a mediated message. Lemish and Lemish
(1997), for instance, in describing the goals of media education curricula as set by the Israeli
9
Buckingham & Sefton-Green (1997) referred to the principles of media education as put forward by the BFI.


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