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Media Literacy in Social Studies


Vincent Youngbauer

on 5 February 2013

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Transcript of Media Literacy in Social Studies

media literacy in social studies "The most effectual engines for [pacifying a nation] are the public papers... [A despotic] government always [keeps] a kind of standing army of newswriters who, without any regard to truth or to what should be like truth, [invent] and put into the papers whatever might serve the ministers. This suffices with the mass of the people who have no means of distinguishing the false from the true paragraphs of a newspaper.”
Thomas Jefferson to G. K. van Hogendorp, Oct. 13, 1785. (*) ME 5:181, Papers 8:632 NCSS Position Statement:
“The Multimedia age requires new skills for assessing, analyzing, evaluating, creating, and distributing messages in a digital, global, and democratic society.”
“These changes in society and the experiences the students bring into the classroom challenge social studies teachers to change both how and what we teach.” Two approaches:
Protectionist--Fear the changes and try to protect our students from things we do not understand or appreciate—neither helpful or pedagogically sound. Take advantage instructionally of the wealth of experiences that young people have making media choices by respecting those choices when consistent with democratic principles. Purpose of media literacy A pedagogical approach that questions the roles of media and society and the multiple meanings of all types of messages.
Uses a process of critical inquiry.
Meanings are dependent on historical, social, political, economic, and cultural contexts in which the text is both created and received. Political Economy Approach Analyzing cultural texts within their system of production and distribution.
Who is sending/creating the message and why? media literacy "formula" Sender--> Message--> Receiver (audience) Sender Message Media studies/cultural studies approach:
Stuart Hall, Frankfort School, etc. Obvious applications of media literacy in pop culture formats.
Students are inundated with images, messages, and texts everyday and therefore must be taught to critically analyze dominant and oppositional readings and the narratives created by those readings, in context. The role of narrative has been studied in many media and has been shown to have a significant impact on human cognition and effect. Richardson, B. (2000) Receiver The bulk of media effects research focuses on how the audience receives messages. Examples:
Media Priming Framing
Uses and Gratification Third Person Effect However, let’s not ignore the effects of media throughout history or how media effects what we teach in the social studies. Some Examples of Media influence on history Common Sense by Thomas Paine
Federalist Papers
Spanish-American War
Vietnam War
Gulf War-Desert Storm
Rwanda Genocide
September 11, 2001 Examples in political science Media focus on hype (hoopla and horserace) during election coverage.
News casts focus on narratives when reporting news, in fact narratives are the driving force of news reporting. Because of this, how we receive and analyze news is hampered by the effect of narrative. “news and truth are not the same thing, and must be clearly distinguished. The function of news is to signalize an event, the function of truth is to bring to light the hidden facts, to set them into relation with each other, and make a picture of reality on which men can act. Only at those points, where social conditions take recognizable and measurable shape, do the body of truth and the body of news collide.”
Walter Lippmann, Public Opinion 1922 Examples in economics How can one understand the intricacies of the recent economic recession without analyzing the role of financial advisors, many who have their own cable television shows, and the advice they gave their viewers on investing in companies such as the now-bankrupt Lehman Brothers. http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-march-4-2009/cnbc-financial-advice In conclusion While Thomas Jefferson’s statement refers to printed media, it is no stretch of the imagination to assume that he would have felt the same way towards all of the current forms of media. It is also reasonable to assume that Jefferson, a major advocate of public education, would see the need for media literacy in education. As a topic in the social studies, media literacy is rarely given the ‘face time’ of the more traditional disciplines (history, civics, et.al). In fact, it isn’t even considered a discipline within the social studies. This is ironic considering that there is probably no bigger influence on the ‘social’ than media. How to approach the study of media within the social studies. The Media/cultural industries are Ambivalent, Complex, and Contested. Ambivalent in regards to the 'modus operandi' of the media industries; the reason that the industries produce texts in the first place is due to the fact that the commodification of texts is PROFITABLE. The media is a market-driven industry. Complex because there is an intricate web of symbiotic relationships between producers of texts, the consumers of those texts, and the government entities that regulate those texts. Contested, because of the continuing struggle between those who produce and those who consume. George Lipsitz, 2006 What is news? Tea Party Movement US Population slightly more than 300 million So, how big of a movement--based on news coverage--is the Tea Party Movement? 16% according to Rasmussen tracking poll:
48 Million people.
18% according to NYT/CBS poll 4/15/10:
54 Million people. Compare with Homosexuality Public conception: 1 in 5 Americans:
60 million In reality 2-3% of poplulation:
6-9 Million people. So, how do we reconcile these numbers with the amount of news coverage assigned to these topics?
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