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Remapping Pedagogical Borderlands: Critical Media Literacy as a Pedagogy of Freedom
Unformatted Document Text:  Remapping Pedagogical Borderlands 11 challenge media messages and popular culture to empower students through an active engagement in the terrain of cultural politics, instead of simply trying to protect them from harmful media content. Therefore, the project of critical media literacy unfolds into two dimensions: 1. Critical interpretation of media and cultural texts; 2. Implementation of alternative and oppositional media practices. In an attempt to propose some viable ways of transforming media literacy education, I hereafter develop two main dimensions of critical media literacy into four strategies. First and foremost, media literacy education should be politicized. Media educators and researchers now say that mass media have become so embedded in students’ daily lives. However, they so often uncritically focus on mere psychological effects of media content on readers and viewers. This dominant paradigm is apolitical in the sense that it does not attack the economic and political conditions of unequal social relations in the media. Therefore, as I mentioned earlier, what is missing in the current media education is of the meaningful and critical connections between the practice of media literacy and the vision of realizing a substantive democracy. Therefore, Justin Lewis and Sut Jhally claim that a media literacy that fails to approach media as political loses an opportunity to promote not only understanding of the world, but the ability to change it. 14 By the same token, Robert W. McChesney observes that “the current malaise or impasse in academic communications is not only a problem for a small group of professional academics, it is a

Authors: Nam, Siho.
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Remapping Pedagogical Borderlands
11
challenge media messages and popular culture to empower students
through an active engagement in the terrain of cultural politics,
instead of simply trying to protect them from harmful media
content. Therefore, the project of critical media literacy
unfolds into two dimensions: 1. Critical interpretation of media
and cultural texts; 2. Implementation of alternative and
oppositional media practices. In an attempt to propose some
viable ways of transforming media literacy education, I hereafter
develop two main dimensions of critical media literacy into four
strategies.
First and foremost, media literacy education should be
politicized. Media educators and researchers now say that mass
media have become so embedded in students’ daily lives. However,
they so often uncritically focus on mere psychological effects of
media content on readers and viewers. This dominant paradigm is
apolitical in the sense that it does not attack the economic and
political conditions of unequal social relations in the media.
Therefore, as I mentioned earlier, what is missing in the current
media education is of the meaningful and critical connections
between the practice of media literacy and the vision of
realizing a substantive democracy. Therefore, Justin Lewis and
Sut Jhally claim that a media literacy that fails to approach
media as political loses an opportunity to promote not only
understanding of the world, but the ability to change it.
14
By
the same token, Robert W. McChesney observes that “the current
malaise or impasse in academic communications is not only a
problem for a small group of professional academics, it is a


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