In my personal case, I have to admit that my level of Media Literacy is not adequate. The range of media sources that I peruse and utilize regularly is quite limited. For example, the amount of time I spend reading newspapers is less than 2 hours each week. At the same time, I spend a greater amount of time watching news on the Television. I am also modestly Media Literate in the sense that I do not yet employ a critical analytic framework for studying media content. In terms of understanding the ownership patterns of different media houses, I have some basic knowledge. For example, the TV news channels are essentially owned by the three networks ABC, NBC and CBS. Similarly, I know that the print media space is dominated by the New York Times and Washington Post and that Rupert Murdoch is trying to enter the competition. When it comes to film production I know that Universal Studios, Warner Bros and Touchstone films are dominant players.
I am yet to develop a faculty for discerning one media house from another, in terms of their values, ethics, methods, target audience, etc. In all honesty, I am at the beginning stage of gaining Media Literacy. As I try to develop greater media awareness, I will also endeavor to keep in mind the following sound advice:
“Media literate people know how to act; they are not acted upon and as a result, they are better citizens. The goal of media education is to produce good citizens, not good consumers. Media literacy is not so much about changing the media, rather it is about changing people’s attitudes, reactions, and feelings in response to it. Mass media and communications will increasingly dominate tomorrow’s world. Today’s generation and generations of the future will need to understand how the mass media influence society, influence their character, and their values. (Herrington & Emmans, 2002, p.22)
Pavlik, J. V. and Shawn McIntosh (2011) Converging Media: A New Introduction to Mass Communication. New York: Oxford University Press.
Herrington, Scott D., and Cindy C. Emmans. “Character Education and Media Literacy-Finding Common Ground: Media Literacy and Character Education Are Two Hot Topics in Education That Have Become Closely Intertwined, Perhaps Unwittingly. Knowledge and Understanding of Media-Media Literacy-Can Be a Successful Strategy for Promoting Critical Thinking and Intelligent Decision Making about Risky Behaviors.” Technos: Quarterly for Education and Technology Summer 2002: 22+.
Semali, Ladislaus M., and Ann Watts Pailliotet, eds. Intermediality: The Teachers’ Handbook of Critical Media Literacy. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1999.
Silverblatt, Art, and Ellen M. Enright Eliceiri. Dictionary of Media Literacy. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1997.
Silverblatt, Art. “Media Literacy: A Survival Skill.” St. Louis Journalism Review June 2007: 4.
Tyner, Kathleen. “Media Literacy and the Tyranny of the Narrative.” Afterimage 37.2 (2009): 3+.
Tallim, Jane. et.al., What is Media Literacy?, Media Awareness Network, retrieved from <http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/teachers/media_literacy/what_is_media_literacy.cfm> on 22nd November, 2011