Gus writes, "November 2-6 was Media Literacy Week, that great traditional festival of questioning everything we read and talking back to the TV. OK, so it's only ten years old... and this is the first year it's been formally observed in the United States, which has long lagged behind other English-speaking countries in media literacy initiatives (even South Africa before the fall of apartheid!) [pdf]. But why shouldn't it become a tradition? It makes a great lead-in to Buy Nothing Day at the end of November."
To celebrate, our hacker-friendly puppets at The Media Show posted a new episode, answering the questions Is news real? and Why is the news so depressing? -- questions that Google search autocomplete suggests a number of people are asking. The episode explores how local news sticks to sensationalist content to keep people's eyes glued to the screen, ensuring that news shows are competitively able to attract advertising.
Of course, media literacy shouldn't be limited to one week of the year -- best practices say analyzing media should be worked into the curriculum year-round!
Looking for more materials to encourage media literacy?
The Media Literacy Week site has extensive resources. Canadian organization Media Smarts has been a key organizer of the effort.
NAMLE, the National Association for Media Literacy Education, is a central rallying point for media literacy in the United States, and was central to getting Media Literacy Week launched in the US.
University of Rhode Island professor Renee Hobbs has been a force for improving and spreading media literacy for years, developing resources that include a guide to copyright for teachers.
The LAMP in New York City has resources which align with Common Core standards, making them quick for teachers to pick up.
And The Media Show's back catalog includes episodes on product placement, advertising strategies, science claims in marketing campaigns, and internet-related topics like how Facebook knows who your friends are and where spam comes from.
Media Literacy Week
Charlie Chaplin’s 1940 movie The Great Dictator features one of the greatest anti-authoritarian speeches of all time, so it’s no surprise that Thailand’s censorship-crazed king is abusing his country’s grotesque lese majeste laws to order Youtube to remove clips of Chaplin’s masterpiece.
Becky Stern writes, “My elderly cat passed away earlier this month, so I spent some mourning time stitching up these embroidered cat patches based on photos of my kitty Beatrice. I made a tutorial walking through the process from Photoshop to embroidery hoop.”
The Flux chair is a $130, 12lb “origami-style” polypropylene lounge chair designed by Douwe Jacobs; it sets up in minutes and is stable and lovely (there’s also a $65 kids’ version and a whole range of furnishings including a bar, coffee table, countertop, end-table, etc). (via Yanko Design)
Despite the upfront cost, electric toothbrushes are much better at removing plaque than those freebies from the dentist’s office. For those who struggle to fill the American Dental Association’s recommended two minutes of brushing time, or anyone with limited dexterity, a sonic toothbrush can give your oral care routine a boost.To keep your chops healthy […]
Learning a new language will give your resume an upgrade, sure, but it will also provide a huge cognitive boost for mental tasks outside of translation and conversation. Bilingual brains have been shown to be better at handling multiple concurrent tasks, and gaining fluency in a new tongue is an amazing way to improve memory, […]
If you struggle to get a good night’s rest, consider replacing your pillows before dropping hundreds on a new mattress. You can give your tired neck a break with a 2-pack of memory foam pillows, available now in the Boing Boing Store.Each of these pillows is stuffed with cooling polyurethane foam that molds to your […]