The Importance of Media Literacy

The Importance of Media Literacy

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1) Media can present content that seems and is more or less real, however, it is our duty as the viewers to be able to distinguish, and differentiate between “reflections of reality, and constructions of reality”. The prime targets of the media are young people because they so unwittingly believe everything the media tells them, from “how to talk, how to dress, and how to relate to others”. This newspaper article, seeing is not believing by Leslie Fruman is essentially explaining that now “for the first time students will take a mandatory course to help separate fantasy from reality in the media.” The mandatory course is referred to as media literacy, and will teach young people the classifications of reality and fantasy.
2) I believe that the majority of teenagers today know the underlying themes of the media, and know that it is all scripted, however, the matter of fact is that teenagers can relate so much to the themes in the media that they slowly begin to believe it. Once they get introduced to the characters, they gradually start to consider them real, and relating to them more and more.
3) On average students spent approximately 11 000 hours at school, 15 000 hours watching TV, and 10 500 hours listening to popular music. This shows that the influence of media is inevitable, and therefore inescapable, and has more of an impact then schooling.
4) According to Ministry of Education’s Resource Book “Media literacy is one of the few instruments that enables teachers and students to challenge the great inequalities in knowledge and power that exist between those who manufacture information in their own interests and those who consume it innocently as news or entertainment.” Media literacy is a course to help students separate fantasy from reality in the media. Media literacy is a set of skills that enables people to critically analyze messages in the media. By using an inquiry-based instructional model, media literacy encourages people to ask questions about what they watch, see, and read.
5) a) I believe that here is a strong link between the messages these girls get from soap operas that they practically worship in that girls find the characters in soap operas to be so real and lively, where they begin to question, and fantasize about their dream guy that carries all the characteristics portrayed within the soap opera.
b) Boys endure just as much pressure from the media to conform to society's expectations as girls do---what differs between the two is the type of pressure they face.

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While our society generally assumes that girls are weak, sensitive, and indecisive, society perceives boys as just the opposite: they are strong, stoical, and endlessly confident .Both girls and boys are encouraged to groom themselves in order to attract a suitable partner, but the type of "grooming" differs. While girls are told to groom themselves physically, boys are more often told to groom themselves behaviorally. Boys who are expressive about their emotions, who are overly concerned about their appearances, and who go out of their way to be courteous to others are considered effeminate and therefore less desirable as mates. After all, ours is a society that still uses the expression "Men don't cry" and is quick to accuse a primping man of being gay This caveman ideal arises primarily from media icons, who promote tough-guy attitudes as the winning attributes for "getting girls." On the other hand girls are prompted to being physically attract, carrying traits of having a thin hourglass frame, small nose, large eyes, smooth hair, and fair skin.
6) I think that media studies is a generally new course since young people have been so addicted to influences of the media, and being deceived by the media, light has been shone on this recurring issue. I believe that the media studies course has been around for maybe 10 years however has become a mandatory course recently. The significance of the presence of media studies is that it helps students distinguish the reality of the media, and contrarily the fantasy of the media.
7) Pervasiveness means “the quality of filling or spreading throughout”- Dictionary.com. Subtle influence means “an influence that doesn’t let you realize what it can make you do”-Dictionary.com
8) Activities within the media studies course include, watching TV commercials and then making their own, watching popular situation comedies on TV and then looking at what happens to TV families as compared to what happens in their own families.
9) The negative effects of the media can be seen most predominantly in today's young people. Research studies have shown media can have negative effects when the content contains themes such as violence and aggressive behavior, sexual content, body image, and stereotypes. Exposure to the wrong types of media is not the only concern. Studies have also shown that too much exposure, even too positive media forms, can inhibit mental development and adversely effect physical health. If not closely monitored, young people can suffer a vast array of negative effects from media exposure. Young people, who might be called media illiterate, are far more vulnerable to media influence than older and more mature individuals who have developed these skills.
10) We understand from the media what the world is like, and the media represents the major means by which individuals and groups construct an understanding of the lives, meanings, practices and values of other individuals and groups, thus obtaining a picture of how 'social reality' hangs together. Reality is not in any sense 'given', it is constructed, media texts do not reflect reality, they are the construction of reality. Two examples of media constructions are the media’s impact on females to look a certain part, which is to be physically attractive. Secondly, the media’s impact on males to act a certain way, which is to be strong and stoical.
11) According to Susan Cole, women in rock videos are portrayed as an object where the man is depicted as the master. I agree strongly with this, because in most music videos, the males refer to the women using explicit words and vile tones, and the women in are usually shown holding on to, or being positioned behind the man, implying that she is inferior to him. Proof of this line within most hip-hop lyrics, “You remind me of my jeep. I wanna ride it. Something like my sound. I wanna pump it. Girl you look just like my cars. I wanna wax it. And something like my bank account. I wanna spend it, baby.”-You Remind Me of Something R. Kelly
12) According to Barry Duncan, the purpose of the media literacy course is to look at how the media works, and to raise key questions to make us think about what we see.
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