Media Literacy Outreach Projects
Table of Contents
1. Critical Perspectives on Media and Business
2. Media Literacy…
- In Broadcast Media and Ads
- And Children
- In the Classroom/Schools
- Education Via the Internet
- General Media Literacy Skills
- And Parents
3. Social Issues and Media
- Body Image
- Public Policy
- Treatment of Seniors
4. Social Media – Literacy, Professionalism, Safety
5. Stereotypes in Media
1: Critical Perspectives on Media and Business
Ryan Quintana In this Media Literacy Outreach project I will propose a solid communications platform for the Walnut Creek Orthopedic and Sports Medicine office and will use media literacy to show why it would be effective in not only getting new clients, but also maintaining relationships and creating interest in the community. Communications and social networking is essential in today’s world of business. It is crucial for a company to have a solid communications plan and for its management to have a good understanding of what media can do to help a business thrive. Alexis Newell Championing Media Literacy Among Public Employee Associations. The purpose of this project was to assist government unions in becoming more media literate and to make union board members more aware of the variety of media effects by expanding their perspective in the public pension debate. This will help union members positively influence negotiation tactics through knowledge of media effects. First, the Police and Fire union boards of the City of Monrovia, CA were surveyed to understand their current media literacy levels. Second, results were compiled to discover where board members need greater education on issues and identifying assumptions based on media effects. Third, negotiation policies for each board were examined to determine strategies of compiling information before negotiation. Finally, each board received a handout on how to broaden their perspective, seek out factual information before walking into a negotiation. Ideally, these media literacy processes should be built into Public Employee Association bylaws that help protect from negative media effects and create more fruitful and lasting memorandums of understanding through negotiations with local governments. Francis McCloy Corporate media entities fund political legislation that benefits media giants. Deregulation leads to the glut of conglomerates we have today, which greatly narrows our options for news and information by censoring diversity in the media. A spiral of silence is created amongst news outlets and, in turn, society. Kathryn Sparks The purpose of this community outreach project was to educate and remind the central Oregon Advertising Federation board of directors the importance of media literacy, as well as, to encourage them to help others become media literate. As professionals that work in the advertising and media industries it is very easy to forget, as we encourage and rely on society to watch media, that media literacy is crucial to the development of children and society. My goal is to inform the board of directors about media use statistics, to help them understand why being media literate is important and to encourage them to help spread that message amongst people they know. Steven Fought Title: A Big Fat Media Wedding; Audience: The local community Location: Local Branch Library in Vermont The proposed joint venture between Comcast Corporation and NBC-Universal, Inc., a subsidiary of General Electric Company, would marry the nation’s largest cable television distributor and one of the largest content providers in the world. Government regulators will assess the proposed merger on the basis of its consistency with the public interest and its impact on competition in the marketplace. In this paper, I will use the terms “joint venture” and “merger” interchangeably. References to NBC and NBC-Universal and their many divisions imply an understanding that they are currently controlled by their parent company, General Electric. Kimberly Newman Title: Advertiser Accountability; Audience: TV Advertisers Location: Spokane, WA This project was based on a suggestion from the Parents Television Council (parentstv.org). Family-friendly hour has been set aside between 8 and 9 p.m. over broadcast channels. Far too often, non-family friendly programming has made its way into this time slot. Advertisers are neither wholly to blame, nor are they blameless. Their advertising money encourages broadcasters to continue the showing of non-family friendly programming. This project was designed not only to assess current family hour programming, it also helped to make advertisers aware of their part in supporting broadcast shows during that time. Sponsors were contacted via letters, email, and telephone. Both supportive and critical contact was made. Advertisers were evaluated on ease of contact, quality, and directness of response, and willingness to support family hour programming. Alvin Price Title: Uncovering the Goal of Media; Audience: 13 people age 17 to 62 from community; Location: Austin, TX This presentation will provide an in-depth look into the media, their objectives, and the few conglomerates that own the majority of the organizations that have formed a complex web of business relationships that now form America’s media and pop culture. The presentation also investigates the four concepts of media literacy, the definition of media literacy, the need to study media literacy, the goals of media literacy, and media effects. The presentation concludes with a call to action, which lists several steps citizens can take in order to move towards becoming media literate.
2.1: Media Literacy in Broadcast Media and Ads
Matt Eichner My Media Literacy Community Outreach project was based in helping people gain a better understanding of what is news. Through Potter’s work in Media Literacy and McCombs’ and Shaw’s Agenda-Setting Theory, I help people understand where their news comes from, why it is presented and organized the way it is, and why certain issues are discussed more than others (framing). The media also uses labels in stories to frame stories and subjects in their stories. When people have a better sense of where news comes from and why it is being presented, especially with the current crop of political candidates, they can be better-informed consumers and make better choices at the ballot box. Laine Colley The role comedy plays in media literacy is increasing. With the popularity of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, people without much former interest in politics are starting to become more involved. The Tea Party movement and the Occupy Wall Street protests are testament to the growing number of regular citizens finding the courage to speak up for what they believe is right. But no matter how many people you can gather on a capital’s front lawn, if the information you are working with is faulty, your effort has been for naught. One way to ensure these people have the best knowledge on hand is to translate the media spin we are constantly being fed, and in particular, we must know how to see through the doublespeak of the political ads. Peggy Collins Television advertising has grown from the initial simple offerings of ads between shows, to a competition for time to inform the consumer of the availability of a broad range of products. People complain about commercials; however, studies have shown that, more often than not, those same people end up watching commercials, believing they are tuning them out. This study and subsequent presentation provided a group of people with some information about commercial viewing on television that could relate to the work they do with college students and employees. Richard Okumoto The mass media, which is driven by advertising dollars, constructs mediated realities that may be harmful if not tempered with critical review. Obtainment of media literacy skills can provide an individual the capability to take control of delivered media messages (Porter, 2011). This community outreach project presents three 30-second television advertisements for home loans to a group of twenty-three college students. This project applied the inoculation method mentioned by Burke (2008) about comments from Chen (2007), “Inoculation involves the idea that…media message receivers need to learn about the negative influences of media during small, controlled exposures” (p.15). Brittany Rawlings Television has an undeniable influence over society. Viewership continues to grow, revenues climb, new programs emerge, and how we watch TV is constantly evolving. From traditional TV sets to computers, mobile devices and more, television is always a click away. Even with this intrusive degree of exposure, we still cannot seem to get enough. Postman (1985) offers that television has become our culture (p. 79); that it is our culture’s principal mode of knowing about itself (p. 92). Through the sensation of television, violence plays an active role in entertaining and impacting the lives of today’s youth. This paper will (1) discuss the growing popularity of television, (2) provide evidence of violence on TV, (3) offer theoretical contributions and potential effects of viewing violent programming, and (4) outline the details of my media literacy outreach project designed to educate people on the realities of television violence. Peter Clark For my Community outreach project I decided to try and raise awareness of media’s affects on nutrition and supplements. The average child see’s about 10,000 food advertisements per year, most of it for fast food and junk food. Even the so-called health food and supplement companies have advertisements and the vast majority of them don’t do what they say they do. I presented to high school and college aged students and athletes to help them gain a better understanding of what the advertisements are trying to do, sell product! Not make them healthy or happy. Included are a shortened version of what I presented and some responses to it. Chris Tohm This project involved studying the broadcast industry to see how best to make stations obligated to do more public service announcements for non-profits and try to give them a voice where they have little. I found there is little support–and a letter writing campaign to FCC Commissioners, the Senate (that confirms the Commissioners) and member of Congress seems to be the best way to call attention to the cause. Broadcast and advertising associations have no real desire to give up airtime. I chose to create a live website, http://www.psafairness.org, that gives an educational background and encourage people to write to their Senators, Congresspersons, and the FCC Commissioners. The site has letter templates and links to the contact information for lawmakers and the FCC. Adrian Balbo My Outreach Project was a media literacy presentation and discussion session for a Military Family Readiness Group. I want to address media literacy and discuss the media and the military with this group. Many people who were in attendance had a loved one overseas so I did not want to get to serious about the topic of media and military reporting but was more curious about the group’s opinion on how the reporting of activities overseas has affected them. The group consisted of mostly teenage girls and older women, mothers, daughters and wives of a deployed soldier. Some of the participants were concerned with OpSec but I made sure that we kept the conversations focused on discussing media literacy and their opinions and not so much one what they soldier was doing as part of their mission. Kara Knaack Title: Deconstructing Super Bowl 2010 Advertisements; Organization: Johnston Evangelical Church Junior High Youth Group; Media Literacy Theme: Advertising My project plan was to create a power point presentation that will feature popular Super Bowl advertisements that have been deconstructed. The presentation, “Deconstruct this! A lesson in media message deconstruction,” was designed to incorporate Caputo’s four key concepts of media literacy: media constructs reality, media use identifiable techniques, media are business/commercial interests, and all media contain ideology and value messages. The goal for my project was to teach youth, ages 12 – 14, how to deconstruct advertisements for themselves. It was my intention for youth to be able to develop deconstruction skills in order from them to be able to pick apart hidden and intended messages in advertisements. I took the following deconstruction aspects into consideration in my presentation: source, audience, text, subtext, persuasion techniques, and point of view. Sheila Schooner Title: Big Bucks, Big Pharma: Marketing Disease and Pushing Drugs; Audience: A nurse, a marketing director for a medical clinic, a spokesperson for a statewide political organization, and an intergovernmental affairs person working for city government The idea to do this project came for Fr. Staudenmaier’s (n.d.), Moving at the Speed of Light. In it, he explains how advertising has changed over the years, from rational descriptions of products to emotionally charged manipulations based on what products can do for people (p. 41). Prescription drug advertising has become more prevalent on television so I wanted to research this area more to learn how this kind of advertising can have serious consequences to consumers. I used Dr. Caputo’s notes for the Cone Effect and the four media literacy concepts to help my participants understand how media gets constructed and alters our perceptions as it related to the film. Teaching these principals allows my participants the opportunity to enhance understanding, control, and appreciation so that they become more aware of the messages around them and helps to solidify my own understanding as well (Potter, 2008, p. 25). Matt Machia The goal of “The Truth Behind the News” is to teach people how to properly study media literacy and the language that is used, allowing them to understand what is a point of view and what are cold hard facts. My goal for this project was to understand the Cultivation Theory and tie it into what adults believe to be actually true on the news and to be fallacies. I generated surveys that specifically targeted what news stations people typically listen to, either on the radio or on TV; how many hours per day they watched, read or listened to the news; and whether they consider themselves a Republican or Democrat. Knowing the views and opinions of this I could generate a good idea to how adults view media, and whether they believe it or not. Nichole Santa Maria The purpose of this community outreach project is to educate the NBC advertising department on the import role that media literacy plays in our everyday workplace across all platforms of media. In the world of advertising, things can be exploited in biased and untruthful ways. Smart phones have given people the ability to have immediate access to anything. Due to this demand, journalists and advertisers fall into quick production deadlines to get people instantaneous information. This often distorts the message and unintentionally distracts the community from seeing the entire picture. It is my hope that after the department understands why being media literate is essential, they will encourage our community– including other station colleagues, friends, and family members– to strive to become more media literate. This will not only help the department, but the community by learning how to communicate messages in a more unbiased way across all platforms. Glenna Watkins A group of people partnered with Art Feeds, a local non-profit, to help raise awareness in our community of the continued effects (PTSD) of media exposés on natural disaster and its continuing effect on children. We found experts in the community who would assist us with onsite counseling and any available art therapists who might donate some time and talent to help us create the environment in which to help people heal. We were invited to exhibit in City Hall along with two other organizations that were offering help and assistance to victims. Supplies were donated by a local business. We created a brochure with information on how to get assistance. We wrote and distributed news releases to all area media explaining our project and inviting them to visit us at the Art Walk. Our emphasis was on the aftermath of the storm’s effect on our community and its younger residents and their helplessness or inability to voice their concerns, fears and storm-related issues. We saw approximately 400 people who viewed some of the artwork, crafted their own, shared their experience with a counselor for the first time, or took advantage of the opportunity to put on paper what they had been feeling. Christopher Barr This is an in-depth inquiry of a media literacy outreach project that was presented to a Toastmasters group at the Amgen Massachusetts site. The analysis focuses on the history of reality television and illustrates the impact it has had on society. Reality television’s presence has been around longer than just the past decade, but the effects on society are becoming more evident today. The paper will comment on how these effects are changing the way we view the characters and ourselves in this new manufactured-for-television generation. Finally, the analysis will provide more data to help determine whether reality television is just harmless entertainment or more of a detriment to society. Christine McFetridge In his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death Neil Postman argues that television is “transforming our culture into one vast arena for show business.” Assuming that Postman is correct, how does this transition to ‘show business’ affect our television news? There are a number of features of our news shows that should lead us to question the depth and utility of the content presented therein. The first concern viewers should have concerns the idea of credibility. The second concern serious viewers should have lies in the presentation of the news itself. The third, and final, concern viewers might consider is the length of the individual stories themselves. How could a 30 – 45 second news bit possibly cover any issue of any significance? Postman (1985) states: “…it is quite obvious that TV news has no intention of suggesting that any story has any implications.” Why then would our culture bother with the news at all? And perhaps most importantly, why do we continue allow these entertainers to present us with information that we, as a society, still view as vital to our daily lives? With these questions and concerns in mind, I set out to share a new perspective on the television news media with my community. To facilitate this, I designed a two-sided, full color flyer which included still photos of news media crews working to ‘create’ the news, a number of open-ended questions designed to prompt critical thinking about our entertainment masked in news regalia, additional online resources, and to liven things up a bit, links to videos of actual news crew bloopers. The goal of this community outreach effort was not to answer questions my neighbors might have had but instead to inspire a new line of questions for media consumers and producers alike. After all, in the words of Dr. John Caputo (n.d.), “what is important about media literacy is not to have the right answers but to ask the right questions.” In its essence, this project is, and will continue to be, a grassroots public awareness announcement. Aaliyah Miller Reality television has become a hot commodity in the world of television as well as an entertainment escape in people’s everyday lives. Although it has been around for decades, its popularity continues to prevail. There is no denying its impact on our culture. For better or for worse it is here to stay. For my outreach project I wrote a critical essay that examines the cultural impact of reality television in the United States. The essay uses the theoretical framework of the “cone effect” to analyze the perceived messages audiences get when viewing reality TV shows and addresses how media literacy can be effectively used as tool to better inform and educate audiences watching it. In addition to the essay, I created a multimedia presentation on reality television in Prezi, a cloud-based presentation software that opens up a new world between whiteboards and slides. The Prezi presentation has been submitted to the Journal of Digital and Media Literacy in their digital projects category. I’ve also submitted my essay to Zmagazine, an independent monthly magazine dedicated to resisting injustice, defending against repression, and creating liberty, and published it to my blog In the Mix, which was emailed to 250 individuals. Kristy Smith Title: Media Literacy and What it Means to Me; Audience: Students at the READ center Kristy volunteered with the Junior League of Richmond, and organization of women designed to train women for leadership roles, to help a local non-profit adult literacy program in Richmond. The READ (Reading and Education for Adult Development) Center is for low-level reading adults to help meet their individual literacy goals and communication skills. Kristy presented a media literacy presentation that concentrated on advertising, with the goal of educating on how the READ students were affected by television and advertising. The students responded well to her presentation, and she wrote, “That evening, I received an email from her stating that the adults were interested in having another presentation on media but wanted to learn more about the news and the information it provides.” Therefore, Kristy is currently working with the READ center to provide further information and media literacy curriculum. Nicole Kroupa Title: Viewing Monk in Alternative Ways; Audience: Friends and acquaintances Nicole performed a survey with the purpose of determining if a group of people would answer differently on the survey after a given media literacy plan. Ten people participated in a night of viewing an hour-long Monk Christmas special. She explained “all ten people were to watch the program but five of the participants were to be given a media literacy lesson before the program began.” She found that most participants commented that media did not influence them, and became defensive when given examples of how media might affect them.
2.2: Media Literacy and Children
Giulia Fiorini The purpose of my outreach project, Family Media Literacy Scavenging Adventure, was to reach out to my family, my children in particular, as a first step in my quest to become an active media literacy messenger. This experience focused on how subliminal messages of constant advertising influence dominant values of cultures. The theoretical framework used for this project is a combination of the default model of automaticity, used by Potter as a way to describe the mechanism we use to deal with constant media message overload (2005), and the theory of connotative meaning articulated by semiologist Roland Barthes (Griffin, 2009), which I used to illustrate how the symbolism in ads delivers subliminal messages even when we are not fully engaged with the content of messages. Julie Smith I chose to present a media literacy PowerPoint to my son’s first grade class of 20 students. The Center on Media and Child Health recommends introducing the topic of media literacy to children between the ages of six and ten. Not surprisingly, this is the time when children typically watch the most television. In fact, children spend more time with television, music, movies, computers, the internet, cell phones, video games and magazines than they do engaging in any other activity, except sleeping (http://www.cmch.tv/mentor_parents/ messages.asp). Potter (2008) claims that compared to teens and adults, children are at a higher risk to experience negative media effects because of their lower levels of knowledge, maturation and experience. A solid education where students acquire basic facts about the world serves as a strong foundation to childhood knowledge structures (Potter, 2008). Acquiring fundamental ideas about geography, civics, science and history gives children the tools they need to become media literate. As long as children remain educated and maintain a healthy relationship with all forms of media, their knowledge structures should continue to grow, allowing them to become very media literate adults. Dari Rogers My project was to create a guide to help children understand celebrity endorsements. The toolkit is for the leaders of the Butterflies, a community organization that teaches life skills to girls 12-18. The toolkit will be presented to the director of the group, Mary Callen, to use anytime they want but the first presentation will be given by me on October 30 at the girl’s bimonthly meeting. The girls will learn why celebrity endorsements are used and why celebrities agree to endorse products. At the end, the girls will have the chance to make their own celebrity endorsement campaigns. This presentation will be one of several presentations about money, spending habits and saving they will participate in that day. Jennifer O’Harra The purpose of this media literacy outreach project is to educate the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada organization as well as their adult volunteers on the importance of media literacy. The violence children see on television is very influential to them and typically the children in the program do not have adults at home teaching them right from wrong and monitoring what they are watching. My goal is to inform both the children “Littles” and their “Bigs” (adults) associated with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada about these statistics, to help them understand why being media literate is so important and to suggest ways to implement change among children Rudie Swanson Many people question why they and their children should be media literate. Media literacy is crucial for children’s development in our technological society. First, Children are a very vulnerable audience. Here, children have very low cognitive, emotional, and moral skill sets. Children also lack real world experience in understanding the media’s messages and are constantly surrounded by media images. Next a few severe consequences may derive from media illiteracy. Here, children may confuse the realities of life with the fantasies of media. They may also begin to act out the inappropriate behaviors they see on television. In addition, there are ways to help children become more media literate. These methods are: restrictive mediation, co-viewing, active mediation and use of program ratings. Victoria Caswell I decided to work with youth on my media literacy project. IPOD, which stands for Indian People’s Own Determination, is a youth group that stems from my office, Lummi System of Care. The group consists of ten to 30 Native American youth aged 13 to 18. The group leader is 21. IPOD meets twice a week; on Tuesdays they do a cultural art project and on Thursdays they have a meeting. I surveyed the youth and spoke to them about their thoughts about the media on Tuesday. I presented the brochure on Thursday. This paper will provide the theoretical framework for my brochure and for my conversations with the youth. Jericho Tallman For this outreach project, I chose to work with a child daycare service that operates out of the home in an inner city neighborhood. One hundred percent of the children attending the day care are of Mexican decent. The children are between the ages of six-months and thirteen years old. I developed a loose media literacy curriculum, based on our readings and research, to speak directly to the children between the ages of ten and thirteen. Specifically, I addressed and engaged with the children in defining of media literacy, the stages of media literacy, and how to critically analyze the media they engage with daily. We also addressed the ideas of “why should I care” and “how to get started”. With that, these children were given the opportunity to practice critical thinking skills, problem solving-skills, as well as increase their current levels of media literacy. My curriculum included symposium-style conversations, critical analysis of ads and commercials and a power point presentation. Kiran Malik-Khan This paper captures the results of three media literacy workshops conducted with Pakistani children. During the first two workshops the groups were divided according to age – under nine and over nine. The older group was given surveys that inquired about their viewing and reading habits as well as thoughts about television. The younger group consisting of seven children was asked to answer the latter question only. (Surveys attached as addendum). The third workshop held after a week followed-up with the 13 older children only, ranging in ages from nine to 15. The idea was to see what if anything had they learned. In addition local and social media was used to promote the concept of media literacy and its importance for children. Justin Kishefsky I do not have any kids of my own and most of my friends who live in my surrounding area do not have kids either. I do have a six-year-old nephew who lives in Wisconsin, but other than those brief visits home several times a year I have never really had the opportunity to witness on a daily basis just how much of a role television plays in the life of a child today. However, I became more interested in this topic as we progressed through the course. Some of the initial statistics of just how much television kids watch and what they are viewing at such a young age were both surprising and a little disturbing to me. That led me to approach Slinger (WI) Elementary School –– where my nephew attends first grade –– about writing an article for their parent’s newsletter detailing some of the impacts of television on kids. The areas my article touched upon included a look at how kids process what they see on television at different developmental stages, how prevalent television is in the lives of kids, what extensive television viewing takes away, an examination of advertising to kids, the ease of viewing mature themes and their impact on kids, and how television can serve as a positive experience. Margaret Denninger Title: Media Literacy Presentation; Audience: St. Leo Youth Group, St. Leo Parish Location: Stamford, CT 90 minute PowerPoint presentation introduces concept of media literacy and media reform to 30 teenagers aged 14-17. The group was comprised of media saturated suburban youngsters who belong to this social and service oriented volunteer club. Sunday night meetings include guest speakers, dinner, discussion and free time. Overall, kids appeared to have learned idea of media literacy although at times they appeared as though ML would ruin the media experience, take the fun out of TV, music, etc. Got past the concept by the end. Within presentation are two YouTube videos; 3 follow-up student video interviews are included. A brochure with ML tips and information was created and an op-ed supporting ML in schools sent to the Stamford Advocate newspaper. Russ Riesinger Title: Public Service Announcement (PSA) for Media Literacy; Audience: Parents; Location: Savannah, GA Russ produced a public service announcement (PSA) for television and the internet about the negative effects of violence on children and the importance of parents monitoring their children’s electronic media use and familiarizing themselves with the ratings system. The PSA and article were published on the television website, WSAV.com, and also picked up by several aggregator sites. The hope is that this will be the beginning of a media literacy campaign that will also air on television. Russ believes this is one way that members of the media can be more responsible and become part of the solution instead of part of the problem. http://www.wsav.com/sav/news/local/article/keeping_kids_safe_from_the_negative_effects_of_electronic_media/10007/ Demetrius Prado The project was intended to help me understand what some of the youth within my neighborhood are watching and listening to. The goal of my project is to ask the participants why they consume the media they consume and understand the meaning they attribute to their favorite media in their own words. I was given parental permission to survey 16 participants total, all whose ages ranged from 13-20 years old. The theoretical bases of the project were Media Cultivation Theory and Media Dependency Theory. I felt that because the youth tend to be more vulnerable than the typical adult, I expected that my results would end up proving these two theories to be correct. Minnie Larry “In general, my children refused to eat anything that hadn’t danced on TV” (Bombeck, 1983 p. 30). No quote holds more truth when it comes to cereal advertisement to our children. This paper will present an overview of the theoretical framework used in my media literacy project concerning the teaching of media literacy to children. Mass media is a business and must make a profit. It is my hope that we can teach media literacy to children by breaking the process down into something they can relate to, using the familiar product of cereal. Through this paper, I hope to illustrate how I introduced the children who attended the Simon Kidgits Club Book Blast to the advertising tricks, and branding techniques used by mass media. This paper will include the project procedures i.e. flyers, media literacy theory, and PowerPoint. Heather Mickley Mass media has changed the way society functions. In this evolving culture, children are particularly susceptible to the influence of media content. Introducing media literacy at a young age is essential to the future of education, commerce and every facet of human culture. The goal of my media outreach project was to plant the seed of media criticism in the minds of our youth. Dr. John Caputo (1993) states, “The fact is that this generation of school children live in more of a media world than the last, and the next will be even more so,” (p. 183). As the landscape of media evolves to become more encompassing, so must the dedication to equip individuals to manage media content and consumption in a critical manner. My media outreach project is pursuant to this knowledge by presenting media literacy to the fourth graders of Nichols Hills Elementary with the intention to convey the concept of messages in media and develop an understanding of media literacy. Jay Rickerts Title: Media Literacy for 6th Graders- Is what you see really what you get?; Audience: 6th graders in a North Carolina public school Jay Rickerts created a presentation and held a discussion with about 90 sixth-graders broken up into three classes at Northwest Guilford Middle School in Greensboro, North Carolina. He spoke to the kids about being aware of the media, where it comes from, and what messages it sends to them. Jay wrote, “Some kids admitted they had never thought twice about the fact that someone has to write the news or the commercials they see…Others were far more savvy about what they saw.”
2.3: Media Literacy in the Classroom/Schools
Kelly McCarty As a teacher at a career college, I propose to do the project at my school. I propose to lead a class in becoming more literate with the media, and more specifically, recognizing stereotypes within the media, like in shows the students here typically watch and in the ads they are constantly exposed to, and how those stereotypes affect how people perceive things. The students would gain a better understanding of media representations and would be asked to compare them with reality. This could also fit in really well with my class in our discussion on stereotypes and bias, and using shows they watch on a regular basis as well as ads for some of their favorite brands would draw them in. Leigh Ann Esch The goal of this outreach project is to initiate a change in the teacher preparatory curriculum at Kansas State University to prepare students to successfully implement media literacy education into tomorrow’s classrooms. The United State’s education system needs a concentrated effort to incorporate media literacy into core curriculums. Media literacy education provides students with necessary critical thinking skills to decode media’s many messages thus ensuring a future of democracy. It also enables students to communicate ideas using multiple mediums. Despite the many benefits of media literacy education, many schools and teachers still refrain from integrating media literacy into instruction. Often teachers own media literacy skills are underdeveloped, and they don’t understand the significance of media studies. Jodi Weber I choose to focus my media literacy outreach project on student journalists. I determined that there were two areas I wanted to focus on for this project: making the students more alert and responsible media consumers and helping them become more aware of the responsibility that comes with being a journalist. Before participating in this seminar, I assumed that I was media literate. However, I quickly realized that trained journalists (myself included) are just as susceptible to manipulative media messages as the general public. Nicole M. Workman My Media Literacy project centered on a presentation. My goal was to create awareness, show results of media in our actions and thoughts, while providing the audience with the foundation to be informed and make good literate choices in regards to the messages they are receiving. The group that I chose as my audience was a group of nine high school junior and senior students (three boys and six girls). The demographics in this case consisted of eight Caucasians and one African American. The students represented three different local high schools and were joined together to study in a Social Science elective course named Investigating Social Problems. I wanted to arm them with the ability to filter media messages when making decisions. Spring Shank For my Media Literacy project I wanted to promote media literacy within the community, Pen Argyl High School’s Journalism class took part in a weeklong analysis of media and media literacy. The goal was to merely scratch the surface and introduce the idea of media, messages, and media literacy and to begin the process of deconstruction. Students participated in a lecture and discussion, mini 15-minute lessons, and a debate and discussion. Students then analyzed their knowledge of the material in a newspaper article that they wrote for class at the end of the week. Students are, through the classroom dynamic and the nature of the course, encouraged to discuss everything from class at home with family and friends. This dynamic promotes that the literacy these students now possess will educate others and enhance media literacy exponentially through each encounter that they have in the future. Linda Moran The librarian I was working with suggested I look at the project somewhat through the parents’ eyes. She is looking to engage them and get support for her recommended websites. I wanted to be realistic by putting myself in the place of the parents and focusing my research to the manner in which they would be doing research, on-line. I expanded their reach and give them some credible websites to use as springboards. I was also investigating further a project that I touched upon in our media literacy organization presentation the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. They are supporting cutting edge research in media literacy and learning among youth. I wanted to see who was doing that research and what they were discovering. I knew it would all be current, and that was important to me. I was challenged as to how I would be able to present this and reach as many people as possible and the librarian mentioned pod casts. Kelly Robbins The outreach project was designed to introduce the idea of media literacy to an undergraduate level introduction to public speaking class of 21 students at a community college. The goal was to define, understand and promote Media Literacy Awareness. I used a pretest asking the audience to define media literacy and surveyed the audience about the number of TVs and computers, hours a day on computer and watching TV, etc. I used giant posters on the walls where everyone could write their answers and see everyone else’s. The PowerPoint included the media alphabet, usage stats, definition of media literacy, and steps to literacy, why it is important, and what they can do to help promote media literacy. Sara Cureton I have offered my support to my local high school’s Journalistic Writing course. I held an informal roundtable discussion to define media literacy and ask the students how it affects their role on their magazine staff and in the community. After our discussion, they brainstormed articles to implement media literacy education in their stories. I will continue to engage with these students in a longer-term capacity, and I am very excited about it. Jonathan Dashner The purpose of this learning project was to teach a group of teenagers the importance of media literacy, and, in turn, have them educate a larger group of elementary students in what they had learned. The project began with a discussion with my high school communications class concerning media literacy. At the end of the class period, I explained to this group that I wanted to lead them in creating and presenting a fifteen-minute lesson to our school’s 4th-6th graders. For the next class period, we discussed what they wanted to communicate to these young students. Their first choice was to teach the young students about what to “watch out for” in commercials. I found that the teenagers present (ranging from 14 years old to 17 years old, both male and female) were extremely savvy in determining the ploys used by advertisers. They understood that advertisers try to tap into an ideal fantasy world of who we want to be rather that who we are. Haleakala Media literacy can and should begin in schools with the next generation. With that in mind I used Project Look Sharp’s lesson plan, Real Bugs, to teach 6th graders to learn about how children are portrayed in the media. The group I presented to was made up of several different 6th grade classes. We identified gender stereotypes, group stereotypes, touched on ethnic stereotypes, and discussed how the media markets to the public. http://www.ithaca.edu/looksharp/ Chrisann Ricciardi The children of today live in an age where media messages barrage them on every corner. As we prepare them to be contributing adults of tomorrow’s democratic society, it is important that we empower them to question and respond responsibly to this inundation. While media literacy skills are important to learn both at home and at school, this outreach project concentrates on the impact teachers possess in the classroom where they have the opportunity to train their students with this necessary skill for the 21st century. Laura Jollay For my media literacy outreach project, I chose to educate current undergraduate communication arts students at Catawba College about the importance of media literacy. The students at Catawba College are not offered a course on media literacy so this served as an important introduction to the topic. The interactive presentation allowed students to learn about media literacy through the consumption and practices of a medium they so-widely use: social media. Martina Newell Becoming a comprehensive and academically sound student stems from the moment that you enter your respected University to be utilized throughout your college career. Without formal introductory education skills on becoming a successful student in your discipline, you will not be able obtain the proficiency needed to aspire in your field. Using the University of Tampa’s Baccalaureate Gateways model for their incoming first year students, both nationally and internationally, I will articulate ways to incorporate media literacy models that may enhance the future progress for these students and generate better critical skills with much success. In addition, I will provide research that gives specific frameworks to classify what is defined as effective media literacy training. Nikki Mitchell In November 2010, media awareness seminars were conducted for approximately 30 high school seniors and 71 juniors at Brownsburg High School (Brownsburg, Indiana). These consisted of media statistics (Caputo) and a theoretical overview of media programming and media literacy (Potter, 2008) as an alternative to media programming. Participants watched the film Spin the Bottle: Sex, Lies, and Alcohol, which examines the messages about alcohol propagated by media. Finally, the seminar concluded with group examination of various alcohol advertisements in relation to the message tactics identified in the film. Surveys were used to gauge participant attitudes prior to and following the seminar. Ashlee Tate Our country expects its citizens to be well-educated, critical thinkers who have the ability to discern valuable and invaluable information. In order to create a society of these types of citizens we must first help them understand how to analyze the information they receive. In a world with internet, IPods and television, children are exposed to media at all times. Whether they have the ability to choose the medium or the message is not always the case, therefore children should be equipped with the tools to analyze the information they are receiving in order to decrease the possible negative effects of media. Most schools have some form of media usage and even some aspects of a media literacy curriculum; however it is very rare for schools to have a complete media literacy program. This paper will address what media literacy is, how it affects children, why it should be in schools and possible approaches to incorporate it into education. Tricia Peetz-Ballweg Title: Media Literacy; Audience: Children ages 10-18 / Grades 5-8 and 9-12; Location: Community Center / Middle School /High School I developed a five-day lesson plan, which covered the topics of; what media literacy is and how these children can use the tools I demonstrated to look more critically at the media they encounter on a daily basis. I also created demonstrations to show the children how advertisements affect various aspects of their lives, from what they buy, what they eat, and how they dress. I also touched upon eating disorders and violence in the media they view and interact with. I included many notes on the slides to use in conjunction with the PowerPoint and will post a word document with these notes as well, so the PowerPoint can be viewed as a slide show so viewers can experience the full effect of pictures and information coming in a click at a time if they so desire. Mark Koves Title: “The Fair Learning Society”; Audience: High School Students; Location: Merrillville, IN You know the saying “History repeats itself” People always say the best way to deal with current issues are to look back to see how similar problems were dealt with before. What happens when our history has been rewritten and is being taught to our children incorrectly? Who is to prevent a teacher, school, book publisher, etc. from teaching falsehoods as truth? This project will analyze how students are taught… what they are taught, and what historians really say about the stories of our past. The media aspect will be based on the companies that publish, produce, and write the textbooks. I have initiated a group of students from my high school alma mater to create a group called the Fair Learning Society. I have provided the group with my thoughts on what they can do to if they feel that history is not being taught correctly to them. I have also provided them with the contact information for the CEO of Pearson Education, Inc., William Etheridge. I personally have tried calling and have heard no response, and have written a letter questioning information left out or misrepresented in the history books used by Merrillville High School and published by Pearson Education, Inc. Lyndsey Buschbacher Title: Jesuit Communication Project Las Vegas- Media Literacy for Students; Audience: Teachers in Las Vegas; Location: Las Vegas, Nevada This project made use of the Jesuit Communication Project already in place to reach local students in Los Vegas. Lyndsey reached out to teachers so that they could be informed enough to teach their students about media literacy. She did so through a website (www.jcp-lasvegas.org), presentation and survey. She spread the word about this information through business cards and other connections, and she even went to a local elementary school to present her information to teachers. They learned a lot from her presentation and some even visited her website. Thomas Jaime Title: Media Literacy for fourth graders; Audience: 4th grade class; Location: Los Angeles, CA This project was a presentation given to a fourth grade class. The class viewed a presentation about media literacy, along with a few handouts to help teach. The students responded well to the presentation, asking lots of questions making many comments about the media. Laura Beamer The purpose of the project is to assist sports coaches and activity sponsors at Ritenour High School in using communications technology to keep students informed. Potter (2008) pointed out that children are more likely to try new technologies and types of messages than adults. This is certainly true of our school communications systems. Although some staff members have begun using communications technology, the majority limits their communication to face-to-face interaction, the daily announcements, and sending notes to students. While the students are constantly updating each other via their electronic devices, most staff members are sharing information no more than once a day. This project will not only enable coaches and sponsors to communicate more effectively with their team and club members, but will increase media literacy among the staff. Sarah Bishoff This paper outlines an endeavor to establish a student-run media literacy group on the campus of Rocky Mountain College. Working in conjunction with communication studies students and teachers, a group title was determined, flyers and other advertisements were circulated and an initial meeting was held. The goal of the project was to create a group that can continue to act as a resource for future generations of students who are interested in media literacy – as well as raise media literacy awareness around campus and the community. The focus of the initial meeting was to explain what media literacy is, why it is important and how students can begin to understand the vast implications of media influence. A student president was elected and the continuation of the group will be this student’s responsibility. It is the goal of the students and staff of the communication studies department of Rocky Mountain College to continue to educate students and staff through active participation in this media literacy group. Emily Hedges Title: Newseum Education Center Lessons; Audience: Middle school and high school students Emily created a lesson plan for middle school and high school age students for the Newseum Education Center, where any teacher can bring a class and request a supplement to its curriculum. She created a media literacy course that met the standards of the Newseum, and she sent out pre-visit activities to get the students starting to think about the topics they would learn. During the visit, students attend a class on media literacy, and after the visit, she sends a post-visit activity to keep them thinking on the topic. After this lesson was achieved at the Newseum, Emily received positive feedback from the educators. Shannon Leinen Title: Outreach at York College; Audience: Students at York College Shannon directed her outreach toward the campus of York College. She created her own version of a Media Usage Survey to give to students, and developed a way to survey a good representation of the student body. She distributed the survey in classes at the college, tabulated the results, and presented her information in two of the classes in which she had collected data. Her presentation provoked good discussion in the classroom. She wrote, “The students were very receptive of the points that I had made and were full of questions about things that they should be aware of and analyze in themselves.” L. Michelle Kuwasaki Title: PEO Meeting, Girl Scout project, and education; Audience: Members of PEO, Girl Scouts, and students Michelle undertook various projects that she continues to develop. The first was a presentation at a PEO meeting held in December. She created a presentation that included an opening activity, PowerPoint presentation, and discussion on media literacy. She taught a member of PEO to give the presentation, which provoked discussion about possible media literacy badge for girl scouts and helping her school district include media literacy in their curriculum. Catherine Lavelle Title: Presentation to High School Students; Audience: High school students at Academy of Finance Catherine spoke with about 15 high school juniors and seniors from two local high schools through the Academy of Finance (AOF). The students got the day off school to participate in programs and break-out sessions. She created a lesson plan focused on marketing and advertising to teach and discuss with the students. Victoria Hertz Title: Launching the Media Literacy Lesson; Audience: 7th Grade Students Victoria created a lesson plan in media literacy for 7th grade students through Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALR) for Washington State. She taught the lesson in four classes, and designed the lesson plan so that it could be further implemented by teachers later on. She commented, “Overall, I believe the literacy lessons were well received by the students, inviting engaging discussion about the influence advertising and programming can have on their behavior, their thinking, and their relationships. Lara Fluharty Title: Television Literacy; Audience: Teenage Students Lara created a lesson plan for students with the goal of helping them analyze the portrayals of teens in television, stereotypes, and influence of media. Her lesson included analysis of specific television shows and class interaction and discussion. She taught a series of lessons to a class and was able to see their development and learning. At the end of her project, the student performed skits on how media affects them and what they learned from her media literacy outreach.
2.4: Media Literacy Education Via the Internet
Ashley Richards Knowing that a major “key to media literacy is to be flexible and aware” (Potter, 2011, p. 134), I wanted to create a project that helped individuals become more aware of the media around them and present it in such a way that it would be flexible enough to fit into their schedule any time of day, not simply as a onetime presentation. For that reason I chose to present my media literacy outreach project through the medium of a blog. James Ryan The purpose of this project is to reach out to the Internet, specifically the video watching portion, and educate viewers about media literacy through an ongoing episodic format. The theoretical content is heavily based off of the Potter book, my own life experience and observations. For ease of access, links to web pages and articles are provided in the information section for viewers to use for further reading and cross referencing. From the view counts and several positive responses, I feel confidant that using video, as a medium of education is extremely effective tool and one that I will continue to use. Gregg Helland I was privileged with an opportunity to give a presentation on a panel discussion at a Communication professors’ conference. Organizers did not give me a topic on which to talk; however, the theme of the conference was online teaching—perfect! I discussed the online environment from a student perspective, which the professors enjoyed hearing about these ideas, tribulations, and practices regarding online learning. I felt that the information I shared regarding media and the use of online learning was beneficial to the group. Rhiannon Rossi I chose to author an article in hopes of getting it published on herrochester.com. I also constructed a Media Literacy blog on http://www.wordpress.com which will continue to be updated even after this class is over. I am bringing media literacy to my audience through the article and through my posts on my blog in regards to various aspects of the media, and how to become more media literate and aware. I am providing the article for download and the link to my blog. Please read the blog if you can and leave your thoughts and comments, as I will likely use this blog as a stepping stone for future projects. Thomas Dietz Title: Las Vegas Blog Community Literacy Project; Audience: I will be delivering my presentation at the April 23 PRSA Luncheon Seminar to the local Las Vegas chapter. The intended audience for the PowerPoint presentation is people who practice public relations in the city of Las Vegas. Audience members will consist of PR colleagues from Kirvin Doak Communications, R&R Partners, PR Plus, Preferred PR and other public relations practitioners from the large resort and entertainment corporations. The goal/ purpose of this project was to spend time working with and supporting independent media outlets such as The Gold Plated Door (http://www.goldplateddoor.com/), Vegas Deluxe (http://www.vegasdeluxe.com/) and Vegas Happens Here (http://thestrippodcast.blogspot.com/). As blogs become increasingly popular, they cover stories that may not get the attention from a larger news organization (local TV affiliates, daily newspaper, radio stations, news magazines, etc.). I have created a media literacy presentation for my fellow public relations colleagues in Las Vegas that raises awareness of how to better understand the role of media and blogs in our city. Throughout the presentation, I showcase the importance of independent news organizations, such as blogs, and how they can offer differing/refreshing viewpoints from what we are accustomed to. I evaluated the messages behind traditional media and compare it to an independent news sources, that cover relevant local issues. It was important for me to share an understanding of where our news and information comes from. As active consumers/ participants of the media, I believe that it is important for us to understand the various messages we receive, and our role as an audience member. I also conducted two case studies in the presentation and analyzed how the same story was covered by traditional media vs. the independent blogs. At the end of the case study I evaluated the results. It is important for public relations professional to understand the media landscape as it is continually changing. Because blogs are often viewed as offering diverse voices, I highlight this fact throughout my presentation. Blogs are an alternative media source for my community, and because of their position in the media hierarchy, they chose to address other issues that might not see the light of day. Kevin Lamb Title: A Community United in Artistic Expression; Audience: Royal Oak Community For my media literacy project, I sought to create a blog for the city of Royal Oak to promote understanding and awareness in an ever growing media present society. Royal Oak is a young, hip town featuring Metro Detroit’s most popular and populated downtown. The city is full of culture and arts; it was my effort in this outreach project to tap into that passion for the arts, and channel its energies into the subject of media literacy with the goal of community improvement and unity through shared expression and experiences. Over a two week period I flyered the downtown area: coffee shops, the community college, the Royal Oak Music Theatre, the Landmark Movie Theatre, and bars. This past Saturday I held a group gathering at a local coffee shop. Helped by a few friends, we attracted a surprisingly decent crowd consisting of 10 individuals. While my target flyer demographic was 16 to 30, possibly arts related, we attracted a few interested 40 +. I provide everyone in attendance with an agenda, but we mostly just talked, shared thoughts and feelings over the idea of a community blog, and most significantly, the idea of building awareness and common bond through various forms of artistic expression. People were sincere, open, and walked away with an excitement that made me quite content. Everyone left with the assignment of finding a video on the web that targets the issue of media literacy and awareness, and sending me a link with their thoughts or chosen form of expression. Our blog is growing by the day; as it grows I believe it will attract a growing body of Royal Oak citizens that become comfortable with sharing possibly intimate and personal experiences. Liudmila Bishop Title: Russian Speaking Community Form “Privet”; Audience: Russian-speaking community in the US; Location: Spokane, WA I choose a media literacy theme focused on the effects of commercialism on the Russian-speaking community. I used Privet community forum, which is the largest Russian speaking community online in the United States. I created a poll that asked questions about how American commercials influenced their buying habits. I also was interested in how they felt about commercials affecting their children. For their education I introduced a link to my blog about media literacy. The results of my poll showed an obvious change from the idea that commercials don’t have an effect on them to the awareness that media might have a negative consequence. Kiesha Marusa Title: Media Matters for America; Audience: Wesbite; Location: Gig Harbor, WA I became a media monitor and advocate for Media Matters for America, a web-based, not-for-profit research and information center committed to “monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.” As a media monitor, I am responsible for critically viewing news stories and reporting inaccurate information to Media Matters. As an advocate, I participate in outreach campaigns requesting that inaccurate information be corrected by the media. As a media monitor, I have yet to witness or report any misinformation. As an advocate, I have participated in two outreach efforts. Going forward, I will continue to work with Media Matters. Aaren Newman Title: MediaLitProject.com; Audience: Website; Location: Spokane, WA I am proud to present my first ever web site. Please check out http://www.medialitproject.com. This site is intended for people who are interested in media literacy, but who have never explored it before. In a sense, like many of us were just a short time ago. The site uses many of the resources found on BlackBoard, as well as many others. I used Open Source materials for the site including a web template and the photographs. If you are interested in making an inexpensive (and legal) site, I encourage you to take a look at the links in the bottom right-hand corner of each page. Every journey begins somewhere. Why not start here? We spend so much time involved in our day-to-day activities that revolve around television, internet, and print media, but we seldom stop to ask who is sending us these messages and why. On an even darker note, we often allow our children to spend hours with these devices- totally unsupervised. It is the hope of this site that its readers will leave better informed and more cautious about the messages we receive every day. Jennifer Romsos Title: Media Literacy Blog; Audience: People in their 30s-50s; Location: Twin Cities, MN The blog Saturated TC takes a critical look at the local media in the Twin Cities (MN) region and offers a place for open dialogue on the subject. The objective of this blog is to teach my peers basic concepts of media literacy, as well as application of those concepts through analysis of media messages being produced at a local level. As I progress, I hope to expand my audience and number of contributors and become a respected and trusted location to find valuable discussion on this topic. Corey Protzman I decide to write an Op-Ed piece on http://burlingame-hillsborough.patch.com that primarily focused on the extinction of the traditional newspaper and the evolution of media literacy from a technological standpoint. Patch is “an innovative way to find out about, and participate in, what’s going on near you. It is a community-specific news, information and engagement platform driven by passionate and experienced new media professionals. Patch is revolutionizing the way neighbors connect with each other, their communities, and the national conversation.” Patch utilizes modern forms of technology (i.e. website and mobile) to try to continue the idea of the local newspaper. They also appeal to the principles of Media Literacy: Media Construct Reality (link ideas and actions to form a reality), Media use identifiable techniques (lightning, photos), Media are business/commercial interests (Ads), all media contain ideology and value messages to help make the transition from tradition to relevance.
2.5: General Media Literacy Skills
Valerian Eshelman Many concepts are morally acceptable, such as Smokey the Bear and Michelle Obama’s campaign for children’s health; such ideas are perfectly justified to be presented to people at their earliest stage of comprehension. And this is the communication concept behind the 3rd Day Worship Service at First United Methodist Church of Denton. First United Methodist Church in Denton, where my family attends, has recently launched a family-oriented worship service, which it calls 3rd Day Worship. I have helped prepare some of promotional materials for the launch of the program and for this project I would like to write an article for publication analyzing the experience from a communication perspective. My analysis will include the overall mission of the program, how the message is delivered differently, and a high level assessment of the results and impact on the church. Jeff Abel My goal through the Media Literacy project was to help empower people by introducing them to media literacy and raising their awareness of messages in media. I knew that the multiple TVs of King George Pub would provide an endless stream of examples for me to spark discussion and material to apply the materials in my project. With Huxley in mind, I wanted to help people become aware of the messages that we are all inundated with everyday and the affects they can have on us. The way in which a person understands media and the way it is consumed can be a very opinionated and troublesome task. I kept this in mind as I decided on my project. I decided to keep my outreach project simple, and purposely, low-tech. I didn’t want bells and whistles. I chose to reach people by simply introducing them to media awareness and its benefits. Mark Eggleston Cultivation Analysis has been and remains one of the most influential mass communication theories of the last two decades. It is the foundation of much contemporary research and, as we’ve seen, has even become an international social movement. Another source of its influence is that it can be applied to everyone. It asks people to assess their own media use alongside the socially constructed reality of the world they inhabit. I will examine the theoretical base of the cultivation analysis theory as described in the literature, give a rationale for this choice of media theories, and provide examples of this philosophy. I gave a speech to the Bethel Assembly of God Church in Yreka, California that was a mix of scholarly and spiritual language to convey the powerful message of my presentation to the 45 members of the church that assembled to hear my presentation. Linda Moran This community outreach project is in conjunction with Christ the King school, my community’s Catholic Elementary and Intermediate School. The librarian has implemented, and recently launched, an online catalogue, which includes websites for the students to explore and conduct research for school related projects and topics of general interest. Her focus is to provide safe and credible websites for the students. She wants the students to recognize that a Google search is more time consuming and sometimes not as credible as these more academic leaning sources. She is having trouble with a bit of apathy from the parents. I created a presentation to encourage media literacy and an appeal for the parents’ involvement and advocacy. I presented to the faculty November 1, 2011 and to the parent board of advisors on November 21, 2011. In addition, I created an MP3 recording to be listened to on its own, or to accompany a power point presentation. Greg Pond In this media literacy outreach project, I made arrangements with Marilynn Kirkham, English department head at Scotts Valley High School, to make a presentation to a High School class of 11th and 12th graders on the subject of media literacy. The theme of the narrated slideshow is the introduction of ideas on viewing media messages critically. Included was an explanation as to why this new critical thinking has become necessary. This paper discusses the connection between the media and the rapidly changing culture. Today’s astoundingly high level of exposure to media messages is explained as well as how people are forced to automatically process these messages. The mass media’s underlying motivation for profit, their basic business strategy, and some brief background on their limited perspective are also discussed. Finally, the paper includes a summation of the presentation itself, namely, the audience’s introduction to the topic of Media Literacy, and is provided with some practical tools as a knowledge structure to assist them in looking at the media through a more critical lens as they interpret the meaning of the messages they encounter. Melissa Melcombe This paper will seek to explore the theoretical framework behind my chosen media literacy project. It will give details as to why I chose to write an Op-Ed piece, the format of the piece, the importance of this topic related to media literacy, and feedback about the piece. The paper will conclude with final thoughts about the topic, including my stand on the topic after conducting the project, and hopes for further educating others on media literacy. Jenel Nels This community outreach project takes media literacy straight to the source—the people of media. This project reaches out to both media professionals at NBC5 in Chicago, as well as broadcast students at Tribeca Flashpoint Academy. The sessions focus on understanding media literacy in branding, commercialism and community values. This project explores media literacy through its definition as described by W. James Porter. Tiffany Hoffman, Amanda Rikard & Caitlin Robirds This community outreach project brings media literacy to people directly in the surrounding community. This was achieved by holding a media literacy house party. The purpose of this event was to create awareness of the impact that our current media has on society, and more specifically reality television. According to the New Mexico Media Literacy Project, “some define reality TV as unscripted dramatic or humorous situations using “ordinary” people rather than paid actors or actresses”. The objective of the house party was to teach guests to understand the difference between fantasy and reality, and to examine gender, class and female body image in order to understand their role in reality television. The party included a diverse gathering of people ranging from high school to college educated and from various ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. This diversity enabled the house party to have rich dialogue with multiple viewpoints. Ultimately, each guest that attended the party walked away with a better understanding of media literacy and more specifically the impact reality television has on people’s day-to-day lives. Alissa Kensok On November 20, 2010 I conducted a training presentation on media literacy regarding television and radio, newspapers and social network media. Participants included Grasstops volunteers for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network in Oregon State. This was a three-hour presentation that consisted of an interactive PowerPoint, group discussions and small group and individual exercises pertaining to media literacy and representation as ACS CAN Grasstops Volunteers. Emphasis was made on the importance of being media literate in order to represent the views and policies of ACS CAN to our audiences as well as the audiences of specific media outlets in small and large communities around the state. Kashmere Fitch Aimed at high school and college students and young adults (approximately ages 18-25), this project focused on informing the target group about media literacy and providing them with some simple tools that empower them to take control of their media literacy education. Presented in a colorful, tri-fold pamphlet form, the information focused on describing media literacy as well as awareness of media, critical viewing of media, and looking at the deeper meaning behind media messages. Angela McNutt To use Dr. Caputo’s description, I “flirted” with the idea of editorializing media literacy for a local independent paper here in Spokane. I wrote my article, edited it, re-edited it, and finally decided I’d gone too far out of my comfort zone. The article was…meh. Not something I was truly passionate about. So, in the eleventh-hour, I chose to go with a subject area related to my interest in international education. The first key concept of media literacy is that media construct reality. Our world is shaped into stereotypes, and often times, stereotypes media construct. In oversimplifying generalizations of social groups, assumptions become realities. By staying ignorant of fabricated constructs, we are helping out the media. To counter media stereotypes, this media literacy outreach project is a proposal to host a screening, at Gonzaga University, of the feature documentary film Crossing Borders by director Arnd Wächter. Four American students studying in Spain meet up with four Moroccan students in Morocco. They share dialogue together, travel to varying social landscapes, sharing conversation and experience. What they know of each other, as Americans and Moroccans, they’ve learned through what they’ve read or viewed in media. Timothy Kreis Title: Media Mergers; Audience: Co-workers at job; Location: Workplace I work for an electricity provider in rural Virginia, and as I watched and thought about the Rich Media Poor Democracy video from Module Two, I realized that the theories and information on media mergers presented by Robert McChesney could have an impact on the people I work with and the organization, itself. As my own eyes were opened, I began to wonder if the people that I work with were aware of or alert to what I call the “back story” – the facts behind the scenes of media presentations – and if so, how much? I decided to plan my project as a 45-minute media merger awareness workshop to be held during working hours at my organization. Wendy Tollefsen Title: Deconstructing Media Generates Female Bias & Fitness Industry; Audience: Ten women; Location: Prescott Family Racquet Club A media literacy workshop that consisted of two 40-minute sessions took place at the Prescott Family Racquet Club on February 13 & 20, 2010. Approximately ten women (25-70) enrolled in a new health/lifestyle/fitness program (Prescott Women 2010) participated in the workshop. Information (media packets/handouts) at the workshop included: the definition of media literacy, media effects, (constructed media reality/perceived media reality, cone effect discussion), media bias (techniques/persuasion), the introduction of four, media core concepts (construction of media messages), and an explanation of five key, media deconstruction questions. A pre-test of five questions determined the extent of prior media literacy knowledge. The participants utilized the core concepts (first session) to answer and deconstruct two examples of media text, one print advertisement (Silpada Jewlery), and one magazine cover (SHAPE). Upon finishing the second session, the participants discussed their answers, demonstrated knowledge (post-test) and engaged in a lively discussion that incorporated a new understanding of media-produced messages, sources, techniques, values and displayed interest in the further advancement of media literacy within their immediate environment (self/family/social relationships) and community. Charity Mason Title: Intro to Media Literacy Video; Audience: Family and friends; Location: Oldtown, Idaho The Introduction to Media Literacy video is a brief primer to media literacy, covering what media is, and definitions for media literacy, propaganda, censorship, and bias. The video also details media ownership, media funding, and the five filters to media content as discussed by Chomsky and Herman in Manufacturing Consent. Lastly, the video gives brief examples of how Chomsky and Herman’s five filters, propaganda, censorship, bias, media ownership, and media funding factor into real life examples of how media and its presentation of ideas, things, and people attempts to influence our opinions, and how media literacy can lessen this impact. Lauren Penning Title: DTV Transition Community Outreach Project; Audience: TV watchers switching to digital; Location: Seattle, WA This project helped spread the word about the digital TV transition by working with Reclaim the Media, a local non-profit organization. By volunteering with Reclaim the Media, Lauren helped people who came in with questions. She explained to them the details of switching to digital, and did so by setting up a TV with a digital converter box to demonstrate. Ja’Rahn Leveston For my Media Literacy Outreach project I invited six friends over to view an episode recording of the MTV reality television phenomenon, “Jersey Shore.” My objective was to develop an understanding of Stuart Hall’s decoding categories among the group. I wanted to draw particular attention to the way they interpret and process messages in mainstream media. Stuart Hall asserts that this can be done in one of three ways. The dominant reading is the audience’s direct interpretation of the preferred meaning in messages from mass media. Responding with a negotiated reading is when audiences accept what’s being shown though not in a way mass media intended. Audiences can also reject the message entirely, an oppositional reading. Ronald Irwin The purpose of this project is to introduce a group of first or second year college students the idea of agenda-setting theory and media manipulation and to engage in a dialogue that may assist in helping these young adults become more critical in processing the bombardment of messages they absorb on a daily basis. One of the major components Potter discusses as being critical to the concept of media literacy is personal responsibility. Not just understanding the concepts of why media act in the way it does, but how do we make the choices in regard to our actions, or reactions to these events. Using the theoretical lenses of McCombs and Shaw’s “Agenda-Setting theory” as well as discussions of Social Constructionist theory, we can lay the foundation for discussion of how media impacts our lives, especially in this early adulthood stage. Finally, I explore Baskhar’s “Critical Realists” theory as a lens by which students may be able to temper media messaging, by trying to identify the “real” intent of the message. Ultimately, I will produce a presentation that would introduce these complex theories in a manner that is not only digestible to this age group, but that will also stimulate conversation and dialogue. I will also videotape the event for further review and analysis. Chris Roark A select group of professional business facilitators and instructional designers participated in a multi-faceted approach to raise media literacy awareness and understanding. First, a confidential survey was taken and served as a foundation for personal reflection on media usage. Second, the group listened to a presentation on media literacy. The presentation concluding with an introduction to a media literacy-related theory: Agenda-Setting Theory. Finally, a short blog revealing examples of Agenda- Setting Theory was offered as a way to provide thought-provoking examples of this theory in action. The ultimate goal of this project was to raise personal consciousness of how, as media-disseminators, we may often transfer our own agenda to our students – the information consumers. Gina Tanner The purpose of this project is to enable Filipino healthcare workers living in Israel to be more media literate regarding social media and Internet news sources by using Media Literacy Strategy, Dependency Theory, and Potter’s Seven Skills of Media Literacy. These Filipino workers are separated from their families for three years at a time, and so rely heavily on Internet news sources and electronic communication to stay connected. Media reliance for the Filipino healthcare workers is a double-edged sword – it keeps them connected to their pasts but prevents them from embracing the now. Like a drug, media dependency addicts its users by satisfying a need or fulfilling an expectation. By developing media literacy, the women of this study will develop tools to better understand and interpret the messages they receive while using the internet for social and information purposes. Jeremy Crisp Our current high school generation (part of the millennial generation) lives media-saturated lives, like the rest of the world. The saturation produces staggering media-usage statistics. The numbers tell us that the average young adult watches more television than ever before in the history of the medium (Rideout, Foehr & Roberts, 2010). Students today are flooded by media on a near-nonstop basis during their waking hours and the “sheer bulk of all the information makes it more difficult to sort the important from the trivial … (Potter, 2008). I decided to conduct a media literacy outreach project designed to help students understand the media environment in which they live. This paper consists of five parts: Procedures, theoretical foundation, data collection, feedback and interpretation, and the conclusion. First, I will introduce the reader to the reason behind my decision to choose this particular group for my project, and I will follow by outlining my method for doing so. The method included a PowerPoint presentation highlighting media facts; how the media distort fact from fiction; and how the news has changed over time. Additionally, my method showed students how they can become more media literate. In conclusion to my project, I will show the reader how I garnered feedback from the students through a practical exercise, which helped them see firsthand how the media attempt to use sensationalism to procure audiences. Lastly, I was able to interpret the positives and negatives of my presentation through a questionnaire, which the students filled out. Ultimately, the findings show that media literacy is something the students lack greatly. Janel Koval Media literacy is often affected by outside influencers. It is not just about the message, but how the message can be connected to the audience members’ personal lives. As Dr. John S. Caputo states, “All media contain ideology and value messages,” as a key concept of media literacy. A message can be filtered into different meanings as different minds, filled with various amounts of information, connect to it. This paper has set out to establish how media can impact the messages people take away from the same content. This paper is centered on the Washington State Public Charter Schools Initiative and the feelings and reactions of senior high school students, when exposed to a specific level of information surrounding the initiative. It will analyze how students’ reactions and feelings change as media exposure is introduced. Cindi Kurczewski Title: Be aware of media’s power; once you are, use it for good; Audience: The Atlanta Journal- Constitution Cindi wrote an article about the subject matter and mission of media literacy, which will be published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The article discussed media literacy and why it is important. She wrote, “What can you and I do today to increase our media literacy?” Be aware – be very aware… It can be done; there ARE hopeful signs for how we might use media in a positive way.” After submitting her article to the education-opinion section of the AJC, Cindi was informed that her article would be published. The AJC reaches readers in 27 countries in the Atlanta metropolitan area, with many more online. Cindi’s article can be found at: http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/opinion/stories/2008/12/20/kurczed_1220.html%3Fcxntlid%3Dinform_artr. Sandy Robinson Title: Media Literacy – Why should I Care?; Audience: Speakeasy Toastmasters Club #291 Sandy presented a speech to her local Speakeasy Toastmasters Club #291 whose mission is to “provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every member has the opportunity to develop communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster confidence and self growth.” She wrote, “I presented a 10 minute speech and Power Point presentation to my club about media literacy and its importance for leadership on December 2, 2008. My focus was to take our course material and condense it down to a workable speech discussing what media literacy IS, what it IS NOT, some statistics from some of our class discussions, some ideas for them as to get further involved with media literacy if they are interested, and why media literacy is important to Toastmasters as leaders in their families, their places of work, and their communities.” After receiving good feedback from her audience, Sandy concluded that her audience’s media consciousness was raised by the presentation and information she provided. Kim Noel-Gill Title: Media Literacy Awareness Day; Audience: Wilkes Community College Kim worked with 10 members of her American Women Studies class to produce Media Literacy Awareness Day on the Ashe campus of Wilkes Community College. She wrote, “Our goal was to define, understand and promote Media Literacy Awareness….the event was well-attended and hugely successful.” At the event, she gave a presentation and was amazed to find that even in a rural community, her students were greatly influenced and affected by the media. Michael Evey Title: Media Literacy Party; Audience: Friends and acquaintances in Spokane Michael organized a Media Literacy party as outreach to people in his community. He said, “I invited a diverse group of people to come to my house, watch a short film produced by the Media Education foundation, and participate in a discussion about the film, it’s message, and other issues related to media literacy.” At the party he showed a film and succeeded in provoking fruitful discussion and feedback about media literacy. Erica Byfield Title: Media Reform House Party; Audience: A group of women in St. Louis Erica hosted a Media Reform House Party for her project, in which she invited a group of friends to her house to learn about and discuss media literacy. She presented a presentation on media literacy and its importance, and the information provoked a good discussion with the women. The group agreed upon the importance of the information, and hoped to spread it to their friends and family. Heidi Peterson Title: Media Literacy Presentation; Audience: Friends and acquaintance Heidi created a media literacy presentation for a group of women in her kickboxing. She addressed many issues in media literacy, and she received a good response and discussion from the women.
2.6: Media Literacy and Parents
Debra L. Hunter My Media Literacy paper advocates parent participatory TV viewing as a tool to deconstruct advertisements and violent programming in a way that helps children neutralize the effect of harmful media messages. Ideally, media literacy skills prepare children to deconstruct harmful messages about violence in families. Media literacy is a lasting gift from parents to children and more valuable in the aftermath of domestic violence. When children set sail into uncharted environments, whether it is visitation with a parent identified as abusive or the world at large, they may encounter extended family members who are polarized and/or aligned with or against a particular parent. What they need is a literacy compass to guide them through an often confusing and conflicting family environment fraught with messages about violence in relationships that are no less deceptive than messages in the media. Protective parents want to teach children how to sort through confusing and contradictory messages about violence in families-but often are at a loss where to begin, as are parents worried about television violence. Aimee Finney The rational part of the brain is not fully formed until the age of 21 for most students. This is the one reason children and teenagers are unable to recognize the differences between reality and reality television. I presented to children and their parents in the school I work to educate on sensational television. The key here is active engagement and critical reflection and talk to your kids about what they are watching on television. And to most importantly watch television with your kids. Krista Currer Giving parents the tools and motivation to educate their children on how the media works, specifically regarding food advertising and health issues is the first step toward slowing the growing epidemic of childhood obesity. It is important for parents to understand that their children lack certain cognitive abilities and that it is the parents’ responsibility to guide their children in making healthy decisions rather than letting the media do it for them. Erin Nolan For my community outreach project, I wrote three editorial/opinion pieces for the Marshall Democrat News in Marshall Mo. This paper is a countywide paper that publishes 5 days a week. With a circulation of over 5000, and approximately 5200 registered users on the website, this gave my editorials a chance of approximately 10,000 people viewing the articles. My target audience was parents with children, who could be influenced by television and other media. Ramona L. Gabriel Title: Media Reform: The Effects on Children; Audience: Probation Officers w/Children; Location: San Mateo County Probation Department Conference Room (Redwood City Office) Since I was dealing with the negative effects that the media has on children, I only invited my co-workers who had children. Originally, I invited ten people to participate; however, due to scheduling conflicts, only eight were able attend. And it did not hurt that I offered food to help cajole the remaining eight’s decision. I conducted a “Presentation on Media Reform” as it pertained to children, at my office. I chose this topic to present, because I wanted to gain insight into how others viewed the media; and what, if they felt there might be any negative ramifications that affected their children from watching TV. At the last minute, I decided to add a questionnaire, in addition to the power point presentation, to see just how aware my colleagues were with the amount of television that their children watched, and how aware they were to the content of their children’s television viewing habits. Kimberly Coudreaut This film encourages stereotypes to be cast aside, to go and seek the truth from the ordinary person, not the faux-reality media constructs. We live in a media saturated society in which we are surrounded by and bombarded with messages. As adults, we can learn to filter out the unimportant information from the important. Our children are not so fortunate. Because they are young and trusting, they lack the experience and maturity to know what is real and what is fantasy. They are vulnerable to the messages created by the media to persuade them to live in a manner the media wants them to live. They do not yet understand that the goal of commercials is to create a need, real or imagined, and encourage them to spend money, or pester their parents to spend money, for the profit of the advertiser. With this in mind, I have chosen to make a presentation to a group of parents of pre-school aged children. My goal is to help them become more aware of the media their children use, and to help educate them to teach their children to be better able to understand what the media is trying to get them to do and to resist it. Rachel Harris My project, titled “Facebook Smart”, highlights outcomes of using Facebook, some tips for objective use and a pre-teen-level explanation of media literacy. A principal at a junior high school and I came up with the idea of creating a Power Point presentation regarding Facebook safety to add to the Internet Safety section of the school’s Personal Safety Education or the PSE curriculum. I presented the Power Point to the students of the 6th, 7th and 8th grade classes. I followed the natural direction of the presentation, along with my notes (also included on the attached Power Point) and some ad-libbing. The students seemed unimpressed by the statistics slide, as well as the two slides with generalized lists of positive and negative aspects of Facebook. However, when I brought up the actual cases of teens being kidnapped, assaulted or murdered through misuse of Facebook, their demeanor seemed to change. It got very quiet. Jaws dropped, eyes widened, gasps erupted and most of the laughing and general pre-teen fidgeting ceased. It felt like these students were actually paying close attention to these stories and the subsequent Facebook safety tips slides. I also provided the classes with a handout containing the safety tips highlighted in the presentation. I also allotted time for a question and answer session directly after the final slide. Edie Hill Title: MOPS Presentation; Audience: Mothers of Preschoolers; Location: Lynden, WA Media literacy begins with education and awareness. Because our children are at a higher risk for the negative effects of media influences, it is important that not only their media consumption be monitored, but that they are involved in discussions about content and influence. The following presentation was given to a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group in hopes of raising awareness of media influence in the Lynden, WA community. In addition to the newsletter, the mothers engaged in a discussion about household media consumption and the effects on their children. Katie Leon Title: Positive News; Audience: Universities, libraries, community colleges, parents; Location: San Francisco, CA The project is two-part: the outreach part is to help Positive News improve circulation. Positive News is a non-profit newspaper that emphasizes areas of sustainability, social equality and education. I distributed the paper and promoted subscriptions to local Universities and public libraries. So far, I’ve been to two local community colleges and the University as well as two branches of the library. The second part is an article I submitted to Positive News titled: How to talk with your child about TV. The article is about teaching your child to become more media literate by actively talking with them about what they see on TV. David Meland This paper will present an overview of the theoretical frameworks utilized in my literacy outreach project in which I conducted a media awareness house party with the families within my neighborhood. The paper will include the methods of advertising, the media literacy principles utilized, presentation materials shown, and resources used. My intent was to raise the media literacy awareness of the cul-de-sac within my neighborhood by hosting a Media Awareness House Party. As most of the neighbors within my cul-de-sac have young children, discussing digital and media literacy topics and fundamentals can help both parents and children better understand media and its effects. This house party was used to discuss important topics such as cyber-bullying, violence, and more. At a minimum, the house party provided the tools and resources needed to improve media literacy and awareness. Content used for media awareness house party were as follows: fliers for advertising house party, a PowerPoint presentation to communicate media literacy fundamentals, and a tutorial to go in depth into crucial topics that parents should be aware of when it comes to their children’s digital lives. Other existing online resources were provided that contain lessons, games, and information that could be helpful after the conclusion of house party. Christopher Walsh The purpose of the article, “A Healthy Media Diet” is to communicate a basic understanding of media literacy framed within Christian values. The article was submitted to the Interpreter, a bimonthly magazine published by the United Methodist Communications, Inc. The concept of the article is to provide Christians with a series of easy to understand tools they can utilize to make informed decisions when selecting media options for their families. These tools take the form of “media recipes” families can follow when selecting media choices, as well as establishing long-term media goals for their families. This simplified approach helps the reader understand basic media literacy concepts and helps to facilitate easy applications in life. The article identifies five Healthy Media Diet recipes including: Apply Our Christian Values, Set Dietary Goals, Go on a Media Fast, Modify Our Behaviors, and Helping Others with their Media Diet. Robert McKeever Title: Media-Savvy children in the 21st century; Audience: The Triangle Area of North Carolina’s Mom-to-Mom Connection Robert wrote an article that is awaiting publication on http://www.trianglemommies.com. This is a free community with a goal of providing a “safe, secure, free place for mothers to find support and encouragement from other mothers and to empower them to be between women, parents, and community leaders.” Robert submitted an article about the responsibility of both parents and children to avoid negative media content and promote media literacy. He wrote, “It is important to appreciate how teaching your children about the media itself will benefit them in multiple facets of life.” His article has been submitted to Triangle Mommies’ national database and could be published in a newsletter in many cities across the country. Rhonda Curry Title: Book Club Donations; Audience: Pediatric Clinic Rhonda and her book club donated books to a pediatric clinic. The books contained book plates printed with media literacy tips. She wrote, “This way, mothers and fathers who may not understand media literacy will have easy access to some basic media literacy facts.” Rhonda estimated that if fifty parents a day see two messages about media literacy, she will have informed 12,000 parents in one year Jason Catlett Title: Community Outreach to the YMCA; Audience: Parents at the YMCA Jason organized a discussion and presentation to parents through his local YMCA, and in his process of organization, he also gave a presentation to his colleagues on an “Effective Use of Technology in the Classroom.” In the training session with his colleagues, he integrated lessons about technology and media. He planned to hold a similar presentation and discussion at the YMCA. Bobby Beeman Title: Understating the influence of Media; Audience: Families at First Step Family Center Bobby created a Media Influence Brochure for families at the First Step Family Center in Port Angeles, WA, and he is looking into other organizations that may be interested. He wrote, “The purpose of the brochure is not to provide all-inclusive informative as much as it is to serve as a wake-up call to parents as to the influence media has on their children.” He distributed his brochure not only to First Step, but also other organizations and library branches. Cheryl Patrick Title: Media Literacy Presentation; Audience: Group of Christian single women Cheryl designed a presentation on media literacy for a group of Christian single women with children and some grandchildren. Her presentation included an interactive survey discussion, as well as information especially pertinent to women and children in media. She wrote, “My main goal, however, was not make major changes in their lifestyles but rather to create an awareness of how it can and does affect their lives.” The women were very receptive and interested.
3.1: Social Issues and Media – Addiction
Paul Toth A podcast explaining media literacy to an addiction recovery organization is grounded in the group’s primary means of addressing addiction, known as Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy [REBT]. Familiarity with this cognitive approach allows SMART Recovery’s audience to use REBT in reducing negative media effects on their recovery. Because REBT provides a simple means of rationally challenging the irrationality promoted by media, it is further proposed that REBT be incorporated into media literacy education.
3.2: Social Issues and Media – Body Image
Amy Shawver The objective of my Media Outreach Project is for the students to understand the ways the media distort body image and send false negative messages to its’ viewers according to the organization, Something Fishy. I presented the information to a group of approximately 40 individuals on March 9, 2012 at the weekly, Safety Tailgate meeting. The students will learn that unrealistic media images that surround them and become aware of the dangers that can take over if they are not aware that these images are false. We will then close with discussing and viewing healthy media so that the students can recognize the difference between realistic and unrealistic. Jennifer Krzan The purpose of this media literacy outreach project is to educate the employees at the Department of Energy’s HAMMER/Hanford Training Education Center in Richland, Washington on the importance of media literacy as it relates to self-esteem and body image. Images of men and women’s bodies are everywhere. Their body parts are symbolic and can sell everything from food to cars. Popular film and television actresses are becoming younger, taller, and thinner. Some women’s magazines are full of articles urging that if they can just lose those last twenty pounds they’ll have it all – the perfect marriage, loving children, great sex, and a rewarding career; The American dream that many strive for. My goal is to inform both men and women at the HAMMER Training and Education Center that the media and the images it portrays are not realistic. I want to help them understand that in order to live a healthy lifestyle, the media can’t stray them in a direction where their well-being could be at risk Molly Ormsby Title: Media Literacy and Body Image; Audience: College students, and campus community at the University of Washington Bothell; Location: University of Washington Bothell For the media literacy outreach project I decided early on that I wanted my target audience to be college students. After unsuccessfully trying to start a club on campus dedicated to media literacy, I approached an existing club about talking to their members. I will be presenting at their next meeting on March 3rd. We have also decided to open it up to the campus community and have advertised for non-club members to join us. I will begin the workshop by passing around popular magazines like People, US Weekly, Rolling Stone, and GQ. They will have a few minutes to look them over then we will engage in a discussion answering some questions about the advertisements in the magazine. The rest of the presentation will explain media literacy, the principals of media literacy and how the club can learn more and promote media literacy. Roberta Walker Young Inner City girls from Tacoma invited to a pajama party using Dove Campaign Beauty Series of Fact and Fiction Questionnaire on PowerPoint to help educate and encourage them to start talking about the importance of girls self-esteem and media literacy and also to challenge beauty stereotypes and discussion about beauty. The party helps to provide girls with a reality check on what is real verses Hollywood magic. Christine Anthony Title: Girl scouts, beauty product ads, and media literacy; Audience: Girl scouts; Location: Steilacoom, WA I worked with my Girl Scout troop and gave some presentations and workshops about media literacy, especially from the advertising women’s beauty project angle. I showed them some of the Dove commercials, went through women’s magazines and talked about messages and their impression of the advertisements for beauty products. After the discussion, I asked them to develop ads for beauty products with positive messages for girls their age. The girls will earn a “Media Savvy” badge. The girls are so excited about this badge, and even see possibilities in adapting the badge to the younger troops. It might be a bigger project next year. Stacy Cochran Title: How the Media Affects You; Audience: Class of 8th-grade girls; Location: Colorado Springs, CO I designed a questionnaire for teenaged girls, with questions regarding media, their participation/viewing time, and feelings they had about images portrayed and their self-image. I collected the data and presented it to them in PowerPoint form, and conducted a dialogue to discuss the issues further. We discussed advertising images that I passed around, meanings those images portrayed and their effects. We finished with a viewing of Dove’s “Evolution”, discussed ways to act and change the messages the media uses. I am going to continue to speak to teenage girls, and hope to expand the project to include boys, as well. Lisa Johnson Title: Newspaper article on girls’ self esteem; Audience: Readers in North Idaho; Location: Coeur d’Alene, ID Lisa wrote an article on the self-esteem of teenage girls, and particularly, how the media affects self-esteem. Her article was published, including a picture of Lisa and her daughters, by the Coeur d’Alene Press on Sunday, March 8. Kelsey Off Title: Media Watchdog Kelsey signed up to volunteer as a Media Watchdog for the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), a non-profit organization that acts as a “catalyst for prevention, cures, and access to quality care” for those affected by eating disorders. NEDA’s Media Watchdog program was created to improve media messages about size, weight and beauty. Media Watchdogs for NEDA closely monitor various forms of media, commending or critiquing ads that positively or negatively impact body image and self-concept. The Watchdogs assist NEDA in writing letters of protest or praise to advertisers, and continue to correspond until they respond to the request to chance their advertising strategies and messages. Kelsey has already sent three letters in response to negative ads, and continues to volunteer for NEDA.
3.3: Social Issues and Media – Crime
Penelope Casarico My project involved designing and developing a brochure that educates and informs senior citizens about media crime, and distributing this brochure among the senior citizens at the local senior center and developing a video dealing with media crime that was shown to the seniors to spark a discussion about being more aware of media. Senior citizens are often the victims of media crimes. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) estimates that “as many as one in five older Americans have been taken advantage of financially…” (AARP, June 2010). Seniors, often unaware of the dangers of cybercrime and fraudulent requests for personal information and the implications of complying with such requests, are easily victimized. According to the National Crime Prevention Council, 56 to 80 percent of fraudulent telemarketing calls are directed to senior citizens. “ Each year, nearly 25 million Americans, mostly seniors, are victims of consumer fraud. In many cases, people have been victimized in their own homes and even lost their life savings”(SeniorJournal.com, 2011). Yvette Murillo This Media Literacy project was to establish a strategy based on the theoretical work of W. James Potter and to successfully present [trafficking of children for sex] to an appropriate audience. As a member of the Jesuit academic community I aimed to use this as an opportunity to raise awareness about this horrifying crime. Additionally, informing families about the role the Internet plays in facilitating the illegal trafficking of children for sex is key to helping them understand the potential danger for their own children. Ultimately, educating parents and children about this trade and raising awareness about the methods used by traffickers to lure children over the Internet provides an opportunity for children to be safer online Stephanie Watson Baby boomers, in particular, have a heightened disadvantage and are often targeted by internet crime perpetrators (Seniors, 2008). Why? Because boomers are digital immigrants, a term coined by Dr. Gary Small to explain those who did not grow up in the digital era, Dr. Small (2008) explains that boomers “grew up during a less techno-frenetic era, and the current digital revolution occurred after their formative years… Some boomers find it easy to adapt to new technology – they may shop online, communicate via email, and use cell phones – but these are all conveniences the picked up as adults, after most of their brain’s hard-wiring was already set into place” (p. 40). Dr. Small claims, however, it is possible that “older brains” can learn the skills needed to be successful – and safe – while using the internet.
3.4: Social Issues and Media – Health
Kevin Ashford Title: Health Literacy My project is one of promoting health literacy through media education. Each year billions of advertising dollars are spent marketing unhealthy products to children. Media literacy provides the tools to empower youth to take control of the messages directed towards them every day. Lisa Emig In the past ten years, the rate of obesity for children aged 2-5 increased from 5% to nearly 10% and from 4% to nearly 20% for children 6-11 years old. The CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report states children who are obese in preschool are more likely to become obese in adolescence and adulthood. Advertising and media, along with income and cultural reasons are the prime issues which influence the obesity cycle. The total media exposure for a child is approximately eight hours per day with 36% of preschoolers exceed the AAP recommendation Non-Hispanic blacks and “Other” race preschoolers had the highest percentage that exceeded AAP recommendations for media use. A multi-focal attack on obesity by allied medical professionals is necessary to reverse the overall obesity trend in the United States. We need to enhance social support via media, educate and motivate individuals to take part in healthy behaviors which will reduce the number of obese children and encourage healthy lifestyles for all families, independent of financial considerations.
3.5: Social Issues and Media – Public Policy
Carmen Paregien In California, a disturbing gap exists between public perception of how funds are used in education and the actual facts. In reality, schools are required to also provide mandated health services. The objective of this media literacy project is to increase awareness by improving communication media practices between schools, local news media, policy makers and the public. The theoretical framework for this campaign includes: cone effect model, agenda-setting theory, and media ecology theory. David Farewell Title: Media Awareness: Developing a Personal Strategy for Increasing Media Literacy; Audience: Community Leaders This outreach project will immediately increase media literacy awareness among a group of people that have city, county, state, national and worldwide trust and influence. As a part of the plan, media literacy tools were left in the hands of these opinion leaders that they can put to work right away in the groups that they lead in order to affect positive outcomes. Special emphasis was placed on the “Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media” as a key resource going forward. Carolyn Hudman Title: Advocating for Media Education in Kentucky’s Public Schools; Audience: Public schools in Kentucky; Location: Kentucky Pulling the plug—it seems like an easy solution to the increasingly complex nature of media saturation and youth. This service project addresses the need for media literacy and education in the public school systems across Kentucky through advocacy efforts at the state congressional level. Research of current and proposed legislation led to key opinion leaders in the Kentucky House of Representatives. A letter was crafted to support their leadership and a call to action for media education in schools. Continued advocacy efforts will include establishment of dialogue with legislators and a grassroots campaign with the help of concerned parents and caring adults. Deborah Johnson Title: Supporting Independent Media; Audience: Politicians, PR professionals, and freelance writers; Location: St. Louis, MO This project supported the St. Louis Beacon, a non-profit online publication focusing on the St. Louis region. The Beacon’s mission is to “provide news that matters to people in our region and a place where we can thoughtfully discuss it.” Since the Beacon is less than a year old, it is important to create awareness among several communities of the publication’s existence. The communities chosen for outreach are politicians who are based in St. Louis and politicians with ties to St. Louis; St. Louis based public relations professionals; and freelance writers. Through letter writing and blogging, Deborah spread outreach to these communities. Adrian Trejo Title: The Need for Media Literacy and Education for our Children and Families; Audience: Legislators; Location: Washington D.C. The Media Literacy Outreach/Service Learning Project I chose was drafting and sending letters to our legislators advocating for media literacy. In addition, I sent out a “generic” media literacy advocacy letter to family and friends so that they can easily download it and sign it. I explained the dire need for media literacy and education for our kids, and backed up my position with relevant information, such as citing recent Kaiser Family Foundation study found that children 8-18 are occupied with some form of entertainment media for close to eight hours a day-and these alarming numbers get even worse and increase to nearly 4.5 more hours more for minority children. Jesse Kreger The media landscape in Alaska is slightly different than the national one. We are a smaller market, and local media are less sophisticated in their messaging than national entities. This has several consequences: 1) national messages are often more persuasive than locally created content; 2) coverage of local issues is often underfunded or of low production quality, and 3) residents, especially rural residents, are predisposed to discount Alaskan media (and Alaskan messages) in favor of more tightly orchestrated messaging. Well-funded corporations and other third parties thus are able to exercise undue influence over the Alaskan public through massive expenditures on media messaging. I intend to call attention to how matters of great importance to Alaskans are being decided against our interests through the media power of outside corporations. I will create a website (AlaskaMediaWatch.org) that will provide additional information and educate the populace about media literacy issues. I will also track traffic to the website via standard analytics to judge the success of the campaign. My goal is to ignite a conversation in Anchorage (and if possible across the state) about the balance of power in our local media, and to educate people about how their own interests are being waylaid through lack of media literacy and susceptibility to media. Sarah Garland “Media literacy is a set of perspectives that we actively use to expose ourselves to the media to interpret the meaning of the messages we encounter,” (Potter, 2008). Potter goes on to state that media literacy is a continuum, and that people are positioned along this continuum “based on the skills and knowledge they bring to bear (cognitively, emotionally, aesthetically, and morally) for the purpose of gaining control over the meaning process,” (Potter, 2008). In today’s world, the media plays a very large role in communicating the issues to voters. “The key to making the public politically active is to make sure it’s well-informed. Major newspapers and magazines, as well as radio and television, all provide a wealth of resources,” (Roberts). Voters can be overwhelmed by the number of messages relayed to them during an election period. Whether it is the Presidential election or a local initiative, a voter may have trouble filtering through the media messages read in a newspaper, heard on the radio, viewed on the internet, or seen on television. This paper will summarize data and statistics outlining voter behavior and will correlate that behavior with media literacy theory. Armed with this research, I will reach out to my local community center to help educate on the usefulness of media literacy in making voter decisions at the polls. My media literacy outreach project focuses on those that frequent a local community center in a diverse area of Seattle, WA, encouraging the education of voters through media literacy. My hope is to provide tools and information that will encourage voter registration, and empower voters through media literacy. Martha Johnson Title: Media Literacy: Increasing Awareness in Northern Kentucky; Audience: Residents of Northern Kentucky and The Raintree Ladies’ Book Club Martha’s outreach project included two components: inviting residents of Northern Kentucky to a forum on media literacy at a public library and holding a media literacy discussion with members of her local book club. She explained, “The Northern Kentucky Forum session is planned for January 29, 2009, at the Boone County Public Library, which has meeting room capacity for 350 people.” She recruited 12 local citizens to serve on a Media Literacy Advisory Committee, which has decided to focus on the topic of the 2008 presidential campaign and its use of old and new media. She wrote, “We will seat a four-person panel of political and media experts and discussion will be led by a moderator. Using the five key questions for deconstruction as a guide, the panel will investigate the ideas that media construct messages, that all media contain ideology and value messages, and that media are business and commercial interests.” The audience will provide immediate feedback through “clicker” technology, as well as participate with questions and comments. The event will be publicized through blogs and email lists, a news release, and follow up. In addition, Martha conducted a media literacy session with the members of her local Raintree Ladies’ Book Club. She found that the session with the book club allowed her to better prepare for the upcoming forum.
Michael Van Zummeren
Title: Greater NY Public Affairs Officer Consortium; Audience: Members of the Greater NY Public Affairs Officer Consortium Michael delivered a presentation on media literacy to the members of the Greater NY Public Affairs Officer Consortium for his project. His presentation was interactive and informative, and it sparked detailed discussion and debate. Participants in the presentation took away many important lessons in media literacy.
The Columbia Pike neighborhood has for years been considered “Arlington’s neglected stepchild” (Abrams, 2011). Despite the intensive efforts of the local government, the revitalization process for the neighborhood is not reaching the appropriate audience; and growth is slower than desired. In order to assist with the growth of budding neighborhood, I was able to interview the executive director of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) to gain more information. I also conducted a short survey of 20 people in regards to their thoughts on the neighborhood. Through the information I gathered, I was able to see the need for people to “experience” Columbia Pike to really appreciate it and see it’s worth and growing potential. This outreach project incorporates the message interpretation process theory (MIP) by giving an audience a positive experience of the neighborhood through relative events. The purpose of this project is examining the current status of the media used to promote the growing Columbia Pike neighborhood and improve on the status quo. The goal is to change the current negative opinions of the neighborhood into positive opinions. I will be utilizing the information shared by the CPRO, a survey, and examples of other revitalized neighborhoods in the United States. Through this collected information, I will present to CPRO my campaign of Pulling for the Pike. This campaign will help to create a larger audience in favor of the neighborhood.
We as a society need the media to expose the horrors everywhere, including the dark areas of horse racing. As in all things, media coverage should be fact-based and balanced. As Potter says, “the key to media literacy is to be flexible and aware. Being flexible means being willing to traverse the entire spectrum of messages and being willing to enjoy the full range of messages.” Making the effort to counter the messages made by the giants of the media gives the public an opportunity to see multiple sides of an issue, which is one of the first steps toward becoming media literate. For my outreach project, I wanted to question the realities constructed by the media about horse racing, while preaching to the owners and PR people at tracks across the country (with all due apologies to JFK) “Ask not what the sport of horse racing can do for you, ask what you can do for horse racing?” My goal was to get industry people to think proactively about how to stop constant media attacks while providing a positive message. And most of all, how do we make a media literate public from all of this? In this case, The New York Times constructed a reality that horse racing in general is a moral hazard. However, they only allowed the government side of things, and failed to listen to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, an entity too small to act on its own. And the horse racing industry didn’t act on the foundation’s behalf. Potter says that, when it comes to news and articles like this, to be media literate, “a fully-developed knowledge structure requires in-depth exposure to the issue from as many different points of view as possible.” But if there is only one side, if the TRF cannot act and the industry fails, too, then horse racing is not allowing the public to even try to educate themselves on the topic. My argument here and in the OpEd I wrote is to take the message directly to the people. If the industry is unwilling or unable to do through that through traditional means (i.e. the newspaper, the television news, etc.) then the individual tracks, those who truly are making strides to changing the culture of racing, must make the difference.
3.6: Social Issues and Media – Treatment of Seniors
My project involved designing and developing a brochure that educates and informs senior citizens about media crime, and distributing this brochure among the senior citizens at the local senior center and developing a video dealing with media crime that was shown to the seniors to spark a discussion about being more aware of media. Senior citizens are often the victims of media crimes. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) estimates that “as many as one in five older Americans have been taken advantage of financially…” (AARP, June 2010). Seniors, often unaware of the dangers of cybercrime and fraudulent requests for personal information and the implications of complying with such requests, are easily victimized. According to the National Crime Prevention Council, 56 to 80 percent of fraudulent telemarketing calls are directed to senior citizens. “ Each year, nearly 25 million Americans, mostly seniors, are victims of consumer fraud. In many cases, people have been victimized in their own homes and even lost their life savings” (SeniorJournal.com, 2011). Mark Emoto Title: Media Literacy for Seniors; Audience: 50 years and older Location: Redlands, CA The website “Media Literacy for the 50 & Older Crowd” was created to introduce media literacy to seniors and to provide for them an avenue of awareness of the pros and cons of the media. The site also offers access to resources for seniors who wish to file complaints or inquire about media-related matters that can directly impact them. The website uses media from the past such as old TV or radio shows to capture the viewer’s attention in it message delivery. Awareness, control of the media, and responsibility for self and the media are what the audience should learn from viewing the presentation. http://www.in-motion.ws/Media_Literacy/home.html
Baby boomers, in particular, have a heightened disadvantage and are often targeted by internet crime perpetrators (Seniors, 2008). Why? Because boomers are digital immigrants, a term coined by Dr. Gary Small to explain those who did not grow up in the digital era, Dr. Small (2008) explains that boomers “grew up during a less techno-frenetic era, and the current digital revolution occurred after their formative years… Some boomers find it easy to adapt to new technology – they may shop online, communicate via email, and use cell phones – but these are all conveniences the picked up as adults, after most of their brain’s hard-wiring was already set into place” (p. 40). Dr. Small claims, however, it is possible that “older brains” can learn the skills needed to be successful – and safe – while using the internet.
I wrote a media literacy article for my wife’s quarterly publication. PED Quarterly is a publication that serves the Inland Northwest’s aging population, connecting them with resources and information, including the programs of PED (exercise and arts programs, as well as the annual Celebrate Life! Expo, in its 17th year). PED stands for Prevention, Education, and Development. My article is entitled “Aging Stereotypes, the Will to Live, and Media Literacy.” The article will be published in the Winter 2011 issue of PED Quarterly, which has a distribution of about 5,000, though potentially, the audience could be closer to 10,000 given that the publication is distributed in hospitals, community centers, doctor’s offices, and so on, as well as to the regular subscribers. Though the article has not yet been published, many people in the organization have read it, and it has already opened their eyes to the world of media literacy. Readers were eager to discuss the content of the article immediately, and many reported a sense of empowerment, as well as discovery and new awareness.
4: Social Media – Literacy, Professionalism, Safety
My project, titled “Facebook Smart”, highlights outcomes of using Facebook, some tips for objective use and a pre-teen-level explanation of media literacy. A principal at a junior high school and I came up with the idea of creating a Power Point presentation regarding Facebook safety to add to the Internet Safety section of the school’s Personal Safety Education or the PSE curriculum. I presented the Power Point to the students of the 6th, 7th and 8th grade classes. I followed the natural direction of the presentation, along with my notes (also included on the attached Power Point) and some ad-libbing. The students seemed unimpressed by the statistics slide, as well as the two slides with generalized lists of positive and negative aspects of Facebook. However, when I brought up the actual cases of teens being kidnapped, assaulted or murdered through misuse of Facebook, their demeanor seemed to change. It got very quiet. Jaws dropped, eyes widened, gasps erupted and most of the laughing and general pre-teen fidgeting ceased. It felt like these students were actually paying close attention to these stories and the subsequent Facebook safety tips slides. I also provided the classes with a handout containing the safety tips highlighted in the presentation. I also allotted time for a question and answer session directly after the final slide.
For my outreach project, I created a series of blog postings for college students addressing the appropriate role of social media as it relates to their job search and to relationships with potential employers. There are many pertinent topics relating to the role of media in career planning, with one of the most important being the role of social media. It is imperative that students know how to appropriately use social media sites (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Inappropriate use of social media can be detrimental to their career, but many students do not realize this. These blog postings are published on the official website of Ohio State’s Engineering Career Services Blog. It is viewable by over 6000 students. The blog postings are combined with a survey related to social media/job searching. It was first distributed to a sample of students in order to both get their feedback on the value of the blog and to gather information about their knowledge base. Here is the link to one of the live postings (which has since been edited within the project itself): https://career.eng.ohio-state.edu/blog/.
Title: Social Networking Literacy; Audience: USCB baseball The goal of this presentation was to assist student athletes in better understanding social networking websites. Student athletes are representatives of the school and are typically held to a higher standard than the general student body. It is imperative they understand the potential effects of social networking online. The information the student athletes display can be used against them in many ways. This presentation was given in order to give these student athletes knowledge of how to control and get the most out of social networking sites. Many student athletes are at risk with the information they display, and it is their responsibility to control. This presentation can be expanded in the future to include all student athletes in high school and college so these athletes can enjoy this medium without fear of being taken advantage of.
Title: A [Literate] Social Media World; Audience/Location: Kirvin Doak Communications As a public relations professional, I work directly with the media on a daily basis, which means my knowledge of the media’s impact on its audience is extremely important. For this project, I chose to analyze media literacy among two social media portals: Twitter and Facebook. I presented a link to a survey several times throughout a week’s span on both sites and garnered over 200 responses. The questions ranged from media literacy (taken from the PBS survey presented in Module One) to media usage questions. In addition, I asked whether or not participants were aware of the highly successful American Red Cross “Help for Haiti” text message campaign. To date, “Help for Haiti” has raised over $41 million (Choney, MSNBC.com). Sixty-two percent of participants were aware of the campaign and 38% had donated. I shared the survey results and this presentation in a monthly agency meeting to my colleagues at Kirvin Doak Communications, a public relations agency specializing in entertainment, travel and lifestyle in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our agency prides itself on being experts across several fields. Therefore, it is imperative that we are knowledgeable on the rising trend of social media. Kirvin Doak’s Web site currently includes links to its Twitter handle (@KDCLasVegas) and also features our own blog. Though we consider ourselves active in the trend of social media, I felt it was important to develop media literacy when it comes to social media. Therefore, not only understanding social media and the outlets available, but the impact they have on their audiences and what these sites mean to our clients.
Title: Service Club Internet Literacy; Audience: Rotary Club This presentation provided information on media literacy to Rotarians. It focused on the use of Internet social networks, why and how they are used, and the impact they have. The presentation went well in a small setting, and hopefully she will also be able to present to her Lions Club in the near future.
5.1: Stereotypes in Media – Cultural/Ethnic
This project focuses on a media literacy house party, given to raise awareness about media impact and its ability to help the public form negative opinions about groups regularly portrayed negatively in various forms of media. It will help define the idea “media literacy” for an uninitiated reader, discuss the dynamics that fuel a mediated reality, and examine how this applies to Western perceptions of the peoples of the Middle East. It will look at television, film history and literature, and incorporate a follow-up discussion.
I decided to base my outreach project on the representation of black women in the media after a transformative incident. I have identified several black female archetypes that permeate the media: The 21st century Mammy – Mammy is now transformed into the large, loud-talking receptionist who entertains her white bosses with her quick wit; The baby mama – Broke, undereducated and helpless, the baby mama needs the help; The angry sister – Fed up with all those around her, the angry sister takes no prisoners. Her acting lines are usually a plethora of neck and eye rolls. Commentary will trace each archetype back to its origins, and discuss its reality and existence in the mainstream media. My outreach project will be presented to an African American Women’s network that I am a member through my employer. I’ll demonstrate the video during our regularly scheduled meeting, and ask the questions – “What do you think of these archetypes?” and “Can we, having come so far as black women now create our own archetypes successful?”
The Media Literacy project I worked on is an article published in a Hispanic newspaper in order to address a topic that interests the whole community. Stereotypes are part of society and constitute a harmful “double edged sword.” Stereotypes in media are usually used to categorize specific groups of people into a general concept defining them. Hispanics, African Americans, Asians, and many more ethnic groups are commonly taken by a general misconception that the media has helped to spread among society. News, movies and internet show many negative aspects of certain characters from specific ethnicities in order to relate more to the audience due to their recognizable bad behavior.
Mass media has a dynamic effect on people who watch hour upon hour of television shows which can have many misconceptions. Latinos are exposed to more stereotypical content on the television than their white peers, as Latino television programming is more risqué than that of English speaking broadcasting. The gender roles of Latina women are considered more promiscuous than non-Latina women and have more domestic roles. The perceptions brought on by television programming can be damaging to the viewers, but can be controlled once individuals become media literate. “Increasing you media literacy means doing particular things when you are paying attention to messages so that you control the coding of your mental process, so that when those mental process run automatically, they are serving your needs rather than the needs of the mass media or of advertisers” (Potter, 2008, p. 39). This paper will attempt to show how becoming media literate can help educate Latino children as well non-Latino children on the importance of learning the realities of stereotypical conduct, and to not to embrace the perceptions of how Latinos are in society. 5.2: Stereotypes in Media – Gender
Veronica van Monfrans
I held a small seminar during my planning period (90 minutes long) with some female students to discuss the media’s portrayal of women. I wanted to know if the students believed they were shaped by the media and, if so, why do we continue to be shaped by it, when we know it’s not real. I then introduced the Cone Effect to them. It completely opened their eyes! I wanted the girls to know how they were continued to be influenced so they could be proactive in stopping the influence instead of reactive to its power over them.
This media literacy outreach project examined the depiction of women in media messaging. The content was shared with members of a University of Nevada, Reno’s Greek sorority alumnae board to provide as media literacy education. This analysis found that the media relies heavily on the sexual imagery of women to sell a product/service. This further teaches women that it is ok to behave in this manner. The media literacy outreach project will help the alumnae board to look beyond the facade that is media messaging and hopefully share those lessons with the collegiate women.
The deleterious consequences of media upon women are a trend that must be reversed. A threefold approach has been designed and implemented in order to reach as many people in a limited sphere of influence as possible. First, a three-day media literacy seminar helping students to distinguish bias and to recognize stereotypes lays a foundation for permanent change. Secondly, opinion pieces were submitted to local newspapers and added to a local blog page. Finally, in order to reach the most people possible, a YouTube blog was created and will be continuously maintained at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItaW4pjfzUM in order to bring attention to media and its effect on our daily lives.
The topic of my service-learning project is how media portrays feminism and the feminist movement in the United States. Media literacy is closely tied to this subject, as many people gladly accept whatever the media says about feminism, including information that is often biased. I created a brochure with information from my research and presented it to friends at a house party where we discussed my findings.
For my Media Literacy Outreach project, I gave a presentation to the TransKentucky group in Lexington, Kentucky. The presentation served as a starting point for open discussion on how transgender people are portrayed in the media and how the community can take action to see the transgender community more accurately and positively represented.
A multi-tiered, long-term approach to raising awareness to issues of media literacy in Northeast Wisconsin called the “Media Literacy Freedom Project”. With a mission of education and action, this project adapted a workshop about portrayals of women in the media, and adopted a workshop from KQED’s curriculum bank to be marketed to and conducted before local groups, colleges/universities, and parties. Planned a kick-off event for December 17, 2010 where three volunteers will participate in the About-Face Covert Dressing Room project, placing mirror clings in dressing rooms aimed at empowering women to not allow outside influences define what is ideal. Future plans include an annual award to a student who performed an outstanding outreach project related to media literacy. Finally, a basic framework for a business plan was developed to organize the three main legs of the project.
I will utilize two recent lessons as the foundation for my Community Action Project. The first is the issue of self-censorship as highlighted in the book Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. This book stresses the importance of having meaningful community-oriented conversations to avoid the numbing of our consciousness by mass media. The second lesson is the misrepresentation of women in media, both behind and in front of the camera. The film Miss Representation by Siebel Newsom exposes inequality by critically analyzing media content and exposing its effect on young women. The result of the film is synonymous with Stuart Hall’s cultural studies theory, which seeks to unmask the hegemony and democratic pluralism perpetuated by media conglomerates. Newsom’s film combined with the many online tools offered by Miss Representation support Hall’s goal of increasing media literacy. These two sources offer a compelling catalyst for community action; from which my Community Action Project has taken shape. The goal of my Community Outreach Project was to gather influential women in the community for a home screening of Miss Representation followed by a discussion to identify achievable actions to address the issue in San Luis Obispo. After the film, I prompted the group with three questions: (1) What is our experience? (2) What do we want to improve, maintain? and (3) What can we do? We were able to expose the issues of media literacy and inequality within our lives and discuss actions to address them. Since the screening of the film, I have followed up with each attendee separately and found that all of the women have made an effort to accomplish their media literacy goal. Additionally, I wrote a Letter to the San Luis Obispo Tribune outlining the group’s findings. Through community action and development initiatives such as these, I hope we can dissipate gender inequality.
Seven people, ranging in age from 23 to 34, all avid watchers of science fiction and fantasy movies and television, and none of them with backgrounds in communication or media, had an in-depth discussion of representations of female characters across the genre. For the viewing portion, I showed one movie (Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer); two episodes of television (one episode of The X-Files, a science fiction TV show from the 1990s; and one episode of Revolution, a brand new science fiction show airing on NBC); clips of the documentary Miss Representation; and the PowerPoint presentation I created in the spring. After the movie and TV episodes, I led a discussion on both media literacy and the portrayal of women in science fiction and fantasy media. The presentation finished with the portions of Miss Representation, and the PowerPoint presentation. The discussion was fascinating; it was lively and insightful. I had hoped to open people’s eyes to the way women are portrayed in science fiction and fantasy. At first glance, I assumed that many of the female characters were strong and powerful. Closer study revealed something different. This outreach project was a chance for me to help other fans of the genres see that as well, and to discuss the reasons why that is the case–and the ways that it might be fixed.
My Media Literacy Outreach Service Learning Project is based on helping both men and women develop the ability to recognize the physical appearance of gender stereotypes displayed in mass media, such as in magazines and popular television shows. I presented my concerns about media’s unrealistic stereotypical images of men and women, along with the detrimental physical and cognitive effects they can have on viewers by publishing an opinion-editorial article in the Sacramento Press, an online newspaper providing information and news to the Sacramento community. The article aims to help people develop the skills to recognize these stereotypes by using the theoretical framework of media literacy theory and four of its principles: media constructs reality, contains ideological and values messages, audiences negotiate meaning in media and have commercial implications. Those who read the article will start to become aware of media literacy or increase the levels of those who may be already media literate and learn that these stereotypes in the media are constructed. Without this basic knowledge they will have difficulty differentiating between what images are real verses ideal making them more vulnerable to experiencing harmful effects by internalizing these stereotypes influenced from mass media.
This project focuses on the exposure of gender and gender roles. This project has four objectives. The first is to help parents gain an understanding of the social creation of gender, how it is communicated and the expectation associated with it. The second is make parents aware of possible gender bias actions they may project onto their children. The third is to inform parents about the importance of media literacy. The fourth equips parents with media literacy tools to assist during parent-child activities. The target audience is parents with children newborn to three years old. At this age children are early in their developmental stage; they are highly and easily influenced. Parents will be asked to examine their environment and discuss the gender messages they are teaching their children. The medium for this project will be an informative media literacy video, followed by group discussion to help parents with self-reflection.
As part of a project to educate women on media literacy, twenty guests, ranging in age from eighteen to sixty-five were invited to house party to discuss media portrayals of women. Of those invited, eight came, ranging in age from twelve to fifty-plus year. A power point which included the documentary ‘Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising’s Image of Women’ was watched and discussed. The goal of the project and discussion was to encourage women to educate themselves to the false representations of the media. In discussing the film, the women not only focus on their opinions but concerns as well. They agreed that it was not enough to discuss these issues but also become activists in the fight for more wholesome and balanced media, particularly in terms of childhood education. Educating children (especially girls between the ages of twelve and seventeen) on the tools and tactics the media uses to entertain and/or sell a consumer, prepares them to be more creative, confident, independent thinkers, who do not look to the media for guidance.