Media in the Image Culture

What does it mean to be media literate? This is the question we will answer this quarter.

Web sources:

Individual Project:
Students will choose from the list that follows and compile their project in a folder or binder. It is to be handed in at the end of the quarter. All work is done outside of class. The project is worth 100 points. Some of the work you do in this project may be helpful to you with your semester project/exam.


  • Web quest

  • Media survey


  • Skills and Strategies for Media Education

  • The Power of Images: Creating the Myths of our Time

  • three

  • four

  • five


Types of media:

  • entertainment media: books, magazines, television programs, movies, popular songs, Internet

  • informational media: news broadcasts (radio and TV) newspapers and magazines, Internet

  • persuasive media: advertising, books, editorials & columns

Becoming media literate: What does this mean?

  • Being media literate means that you control the interpretation of the media instead of it controlling you. Media literacy is not about memorizing facts—rather it is learning a skill, a process, of developing a way of critical thinking that allows you to see clearly.

Knowing the following information is fundamental to your success in this class.

Five principles of media:

  • All media messages are constructed.

  • Media messages are constructed using a creative language with its own rules.

  • Different people experience the same media message differently.

  • Media are primarily businesses driven by a profit motive.

  • Media have embedded values and points of view

Five basic questions:

  • Who created this message and why are they sending it?

  • What techniques are being used to attract my attention?

  • What lifestyles, values and points of view are represented in the message—including any stereotypes that may be present.

  • How might different people understand this message differently from me?

  • What is omitted from this message?

Six Media Myths:

  • The world is a dangerous place and we need guns, police and military to protect us.

  • Leave it to the experts (who are usually white men).

  • The "good life" consists of buying possessions that cost lots of money.

  • Happiness, satisfaction and sex appeal, just to name a few are imminent--and available with the next consumer purchase.

  • Your body is not good enough.

  • Businesses and corporations are concerned for the public welfare.

The Empowerment Spiral: The process of inquiry

  • Awareness, Analysis, Reflection, Action revolving around Experience


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© Dawn Hogue, 2004