Top Ten Things I learned in Media Literacy

10 Things I learned in Media Literacy:

1. Just because they tell you it’s true, doesn’t mean that it is true. This class has definitely reminded me that I have to be a skeptic when looking at any type of media.

2.Lunz scares me. He seemed okay with what he was doing. He didn’t appear to believe that he was misrepresenting information by changing the words politicians use.

3.I was watching the news this morning and saw a clip on U.S. Air. It’s pilots were filing grievances saying that the airline was pressuring them to take on less fuel. The news clip seemed to be very much on the side of the pilots complete with Experts and Plain Clothes interviews. It didn’t quite seem to fit in the local broadcast. I wondered if it was put out by the pilot’s union. Before this class, I wasn’t aware that news broadcasters would do this.

4. How enormous companies like AOL/TimeWarner, Disney, Viacom are. I know they were big, but I wasn’t aware of how diverse their holdings are.

5. Yaks are raised for fiber and meat.

6. The 7 Basic Principles of Media Education and the 29 Persuasive Techniques. Super valuable.

7. The Feed. It’s there and I’m plugged into it to some extent. What does that mean and can I resist the Feed? Should I resist the Feed? These are some new questions that came with this renewed realization that the Feed is all around us.

8. This is big business, man. I can’t find the name of the French consultant that said, “American cheese is dead!” but I was blown away at how much companies will pay to consult with him. I’m very curious to see what his formula is.

9. Political ads are evil. They just prey on emotions. The Bush ads in particular were total fear mongering. How did the dems not beat them?

10. Awareness. It’s important to be aware of the Feed. It’s there. One should always look at whats presented with a critical eye.

Remaining questions?

Is resistance futile? Can you fight the feed? Or, like V’s dad, will we all succumb?

I wonder what critics thought of advertisement back in the 20’s and 30’s. Sure it was factual based, and very different from it is now. All those facts couldn’t be true though. Did Crest really give you the brightest smile? Just a made up example there, but I wonder if people thought critically at those ads.

Where do we go from here? I’m cynical I guess. When Money gets involved with something it immediately becomes corruptible and it’s hard to put right. Clouds TM, school TM, etc. Are these inevitable?

Drew, bring food and project next Friday.

Chapter 4 & "Making Media That Matters….In Minutes"

Really glad we decided to split up the readings. It makes it much more manageable and it makes the wife happier that we can spend time together.

So I’m going to try to read and blog at the same time again. Didn’t really work as well as I had hoped last time, but here goes:

Chapter IV:

  • Right off the bat, that adapted quote from Marx on pg 121 is an important one. The past plays an important role in everything, the media included.
  • There’s a great thesis topic, “The educational value derived from ‘the Flintstones’ and ‘the Jetsons’: Past v. Future”. That’s pretty funny that networks were able to pass those two shows off as educational in order to satisfied the 1990 Children’s Television Act.
  • I wonder if journalists get bored. I wonder if they get stuck in a rut, doing the same thing over and over again. That’s what I didn’t like about journalistic writing. It was like a math formula. I hated the funnel format because I didn’t feel like it gave me enough room to be creative.
  • The Clayman study is intersting. I expected that editors would fight for one of their writer’s stories to hit the front page. That they tend to midly support the stories was suprising.
  • Bennett’s 6 Key Practices (p 133) are very valuable!
  • All of those spin offs of Survivor are lame. Is imitation really more successful than the alternative? Or are they just easier?
  • It’s just occurred to me that they’ve spent a lot of time talking about newspapers here and only a page or two about the Internet. I guess that is because of the age of this text, and we’ve talked about that in class. If newspaper readership is really dwindling, then what structured forms of news media is taking its place?
  • The star is the key. Look at Katie Couric and how the CBS Evening news is doing.

Making Media That Matters…In Minutes

  • A great way to teach kids about media literacy – through hands on experience.
  • I’m sure they love doing these little films.
  • The movie awards nights must be a hit

I interpreted a good portion of yesterday’s class as a discussion about control, and how to teach in a completely different environment than what we consider normal or perhaps traditional is a better word. I thought about this and remembered an experience that I had coaching little league one summer.

One summer my buddy asked me to help him coach a little league team in Burlington’s North End. I figured coaching’s coaching and I’ve coached swimming since I got out of college. What’s the difference? Have them run some drills, play some games, should be fun.

It was a nightmare.

Coaching swimming is a piece of cake compared to little league. In swimming, the kids are separated in lanes in groups of 6 or so and they swim back and forth. Occasionally you get the kid who keeps diving under the water, but you know he’s going to have to come up for air sometime. With little league, it’s like the field is infinite and there are no barriers. Just kids everywhere – running around, throwing the ball at each other, hitting each other with bats (yeah, there aren’t a lot of hard objects to throw at each other in swimming). It was complete chaos because the kids where running around everywhere and it’s difficult to keep them focused and on task.

Add to that my inexperience in coaching little league. I was an awful athlete as a kid and never made it past farm league. I love baseball and play softball now, but I never learned any drills or exercises. I had no idea what a little league practice looked like. These 5th graders had more experience playing on an organized baseball team that I did.

I think of new media and the new classroom as that little league practice. Students now have a huge little league field (www) and they know more about the game (technology) than the coach. It’s way easier for me to do what I know -coach swimming. It’s organized the kids are limited to what they can do (in a lane, back and forth) and I know it. What about those kids in the North End, many are poor and need that positive role model and positive experience? Am I, by not stepping out of my comfort zone, doing them a disservice?

That’s clearly big picture thinking and I know there’s a lot more to it when it comes to dealing with No Child, the administration and parents. You just can’t teach little leaguers how to play baseball in a pool.

Oh, and I learned that Jackie Robinson was once a VP for Chock Full o’ Nuts.