Factors In Understanding the Media and Its Messages

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In a culture enthralled by the use of technology, it is important to note the ever-changing landscape of the media. Due to the pervasiveness of the media in today’s culture, it is vital to understand how media messages influences individuals. Media literacy is defined as the process of interacting with media content and critically analyzing it by considering its particular presentation, its underlying political or social messages, and the ownership and regulation issues that may affect what is presented and in what form (Pavlik 37). Media literacy is part of an ongoing process with no end goal in sight, so constant efforts to understand the media needs to be made. Consumers of media need to question the content they see and be critical of mediated communication as a whole. Although today’s complex media environment is overbearing, and striving to comprehend the factors allowing us to find meaning in media messages is essential. What factors allow consumers of media to understand media messages the way they do? By paying close attention to the history of media, the presentation of media, the political and social implications of messages, and being aware of regulation issues, society can take several steps forward to understanding the meaning of media messages and how to interact with media. Examining the history of media is the first step to understanding how people understand how “the medium is the message.” This is a quote from a noted communication scholar by the name of Marshall McLuhan. McLuhan claims that reading printed words has altered the way that people think and perceive the world around them (Pavlik 72). The presentation of material is important, because it affects how people understand that form of media co... ... middle of paper ... ...McLuhan stated, “The medium is the message,” and when readers look at certain media formats this can be discovered along with an understanding of underlying messages. Companies consolidate and when this happens regulation and deregulation may be imposed that affects the messages they produce. Media literacy encompasses all of these factors and each are just as important to understand how the media is designed. An example of this is Gmail. Everything on Gmail was designed with certain messages in mind, and users have to know who owns the service and why they chose to layout their site in that manner. Making the constant effort to improve upon media literacy leads to a better understanding of the media and its messages. Works Cited Pavlik, John V., and Shawn McIntosh. Converging Media: A New Introduction to Mass Communication. New York: Oxford UP, 2013. Print.

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