Monday, August 16, 2010

Media Literacy

Below you will find important links I've gathered to jump-start your understanding of Media Literacy.

Media is like a food you consume through your eyes and ears. It's good to know what that food is made of. Are you aware...

  • News bias and public relations spin  (YouTube link for a film on modern -> "spin")

    Media literacy is the ability to sift through and analyze the messages that inform, entertain and sell to us every day. It's the ability to bring critical thinking skills to bear on all media— from news, music videos, and Web environments to "product placement" in films and virtual displays on sports score boards. It's about asking pertinent questions about what's there, and noticing what's not there. And it's the instinct to question what lies behind media productions— the motives, the money, the values and the ownership— and to be aware of how these factors influence content.

    Media Literacy is also the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and produce communication and information in a variety of forms and means. 

    Questions to ask while watching or listening to media:

    Who is showing this to me?
    What message are they trying to get across to me?
    Why are they showing me this?

    When (context) is this information being brought to my attention?
    Where would they like for my mind to go?
    How did this information get to me?


    1. I figured I would weigh in from the point of view of someone who watches and has actually fought competitively in freestyle tournaments. I agree that violence is and has been entertainment for many thousands of years, and I do not disagree that violence itself should not be a dominant form of entertainment culturally. Let me point out first, that in some of the more simplistic cultures that are often touted as closer to the Earth are full of violence. Anyways, UFC in particular is not the best example. While there is some fanfare, I do not agree that UFC is violent. I believe that it is aggressive, both physically and emotionally. Violence is without restraint. Wikipedia says the following:

      Violence is the expression of physical or verbal force against self or other, compelling action against one's will on pain of being hurt.[2][3][4] Worldwide, violence is used as a tool of manipulation and also is an area of concern for law and culture which take attempts to suppress and stop it. The word violence covers a broad spectrum. It can vary from between a physical altercation between two beings where a slight injury may be the outcome to war and genocide where millions may die as a result. The Global Peace Index, updated in June 2010, ranks 149 countries accourding to the "absence of violence".[5]

      The ultimate end of these "violent" fights with 95%+ of UFC fights is emotional embracing, respect, dignity, and not uncommonly friendship. Like any other community there are a few people who fuck it up. The last good example was Paul Daley, who was kicked out, but this is the organizations response:

    2. What is the purpose of these fights?

    3. Do you think you could explain to a sweet little kid the difference between a bar fight, and this?