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
More than 8,000,000 people have watched this video of a flashmob choir performing “I Can’t Keep Quiet,” a song by LA musician MILCK, who performed it at Saturday’s Women’s March.
Agent X and Agent Full Stop are a pair of graffiti activists who call themselves Acción Ortográfica Quito: they sneak around the streets of Quito, Ecuador with cans of red spray-paint, correcting the punctuation, grammar and spelling of the city’s prolific graffiti writers, bringing legibility to boasts, professions of love, and political messages.
Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin (aka @ThePieous) writes, “It is National Pie Day in America tomorrow (not to be confused with “International Pi Day” – the cooler big cousin of pie holidays on March 14th…) In honour of this occasion I’ve posted a new tutorial video that is very attainable for any novice pie-geeks out there thinking […]
Whether I’m trying to relieve some stress at work or entertain myself on the metro, Space Putty is there. You can bring this magical goo home and try it for yourself for just $9.99Like Silly Putty of yesteryear, this viscoelastic substance can be molded into different shapes and stretched around in your hands. Use it […]
You know as well as I that writing complex, long-long form text requires significant organization. You’re probably also well aware that Word just isn’t up to the task. That’s why I’m a huge fan of Scrivener, the software suite used by best-selling authors and technical writers alike.Scrivener is much more than another digital typewriter. With a […]
Looking to upgrade your weekend? Here are three randomly awesome products on my mind this week.#3 FRESHeBUDS Pro Magnetic Bluetooth EarbudsAs more and more phones and gadgets switch to Bluetooth-only compatibility, you’ll need to get Bluetooth headphones like the rest of us. I’ve been super impressed with these affordable magnetic headphones. Pull the magnetic earbuds apart to auto-connect […]