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Media Literacy

Media can mean:

The plural of medium as noun.
Anything that can be used to store or deliver information is a medium
The most common use in this sense is mass media.
Not to be confused with Medium as an adjective, which has no plural.
A nutrient system for the artificial cultivation of cells or organisms and especially bacteria

The media is the whole body of communications that reach large numbers of the public via radio, television, movies, magazines, newspapers and the World Wide Web. The term was coined in the 1920s with the advent of nationwide radio networks, mass-circulation newspapers and magazines.

The mass media reaches a mass audience. That audience has been viewed by some commentators as forming a mass society with special characteristics, notably atomization or lack of social connections, which render it especially susceptable to the influence of modern mass media techniques such as advertising and propaganda.

During the 20th century, the advent of mass media was driven by technology that allowed the massive duplication of material at a low cost. Physical duplication technologies such as printing, record pressing and film duplication allowed the duplication of books, newspapers and movies at low prices to huge audiences.

Television and radio allowed the electronic duplication of content for the first time.

Mass media had the economics of linear replication: a single work could make money proportional to the number of copies sold, and as volumes went up, units costs went down, increasing profit margins further. Vast fortunes were to be made in mass media.

Media can also:

"Do you believe in Iraqi "WMD"? Did Saddam Hussein's government have weapons of mass destruction in 2003? ADVERTISEMENT Half of America apparently still thinks so, a new poll finds, and experts see a raft of reasons why: a drumbeat of voices from talk radio to die-hard bloggers to the Oval Office, a surprise headline here or there, a rallying around a partisan flag, and a growing need for people, in their own minds, to justify the war in Iraq. People tend to become "independent of reality" in these circumstances, says opinion analyst Steven Kull. The reality in this case is that after a 16-month, $900-million-plus investigation, the U.S. weapons hunters known as the Iraq Survey Group declared that Iraq had dismantled its chemical, biological and nuclear arms programs in 1991 under U.N. oversight. That finding in 2004 reaffirmed the work of U.N. inspectors who in 2002-03 found no trace of banned arsenals in Iraq. Despite this, a Harris Poll released July 21 found that a full 50 percent of U.S. respondents up from 36 percent last year said they believe Iraq did have the forbidden arms when U.S. troops invaded in March 2003, an attack whose stated purpose was elimination of supposed WMD. Other polls also have found an enduring American faith in the WMD story.

Quoted from Yahoo News

"For more information: Defnitions of Mass Media

Key Concepts and Questions

The key concepts and questions in this section are tools that we can use to analyze and evaluate the media that we consume.

"Fact is, everything's changing. Used to be - in the old days - the media roughly corresponded to reality. But now it's all reversed. The media image is the reality, and by comparison day-to-day life seems to lack excitement. So now day-to-day life is false, and the media image is true. Sometimes I look around my living room and the most real thing in the room is the television. It's bright and vivid, and the rest of my life looks drab. So I turn the durn thing off. That does it every time.

Get my life back.

Amos
quoted in "Airframe" by Michael Crichton


The Beginner's Guide to the Media
The Beginner's Guide presents an introductory look at media reform for people new to the issue. Why is the media system the way it is? Why is it important to the issues I care about? What's being done to fix it?

Media Literacy Clearinghouse
"Without an understanding of media grammars, we cannot hope to achieve a contemporary awareness of the world in which we live." Marshall McLuhan

The State of the Media
The State of the News Media 2004 is an inaugural effort to provide a comprehensive look each year at the state of American journalism.
Our goal is to put in one place as much original and aggregated data as possible about each of the major journalism sectors.

Facts and Figures about TV

The Media Carta We call it Media Carta: the right of meaningful access to the power to communicate. It's a campaign touching on dozens of essential issues: from media concentration to infodiversity, from who owns the airwaves to free speech versus commercial speech.

Defining Media Literacy
And our children, perhaps the only truly media literate among us, will have gotten the full impact of the message: It doesn't matter; no one really cares what you do--as long as you turn a profit.
We've ceded full control over the national television airways to corporations, so don't be shocked that those soulless institutions are prepared to push the envelope just as far as the flow of dollars back justifies. After all, it's just business, as they remind us on the "Sopranos".
That may be how media literacy is best defined: recognizing that at its most fundamental level the message is always business. Propping up opportunistic politicians; peddling Viagra; encouraging beer guzzling and rapping violence-against-women lyrics: all just business.
But don't you dare run any ads that'd call business as usual into question. Now that'd be controversial.

Media Literacy is not only about television, but about our society. Living in the mountains of northern New Mexico is a choice that some of us have made which "deprives" us of much of the cultural world of billboards, buildings painted with advertising, flashing neon signs, and all the other visual signs of our times. We can look out our windows, and drive through the villages and small towns of our community here and not be besieged with "Amerika", but enjoy the vast empty spaces and views of "America the Beautiful". For this, we need to to remain vigilant as well as thankful.

Media Literacy

For better or worse the Media is creating our lives. Continue on to learn how we can change the Media.

Ad Flip
Here's a site that's both fun and useful to students of American pop culture. Billing itself "the world's largest searchable database of classic print ads," AdFlip may be keyword searched or browsed by several methods. The ads are indexed by category (automotive, electronic, fashion, etc.), decade (1940s to current), and several specialty categories (ad as art, famous, advocacy, provocative [a few nudes here], today's top ten). Each collection of ads (presented as thumbnails) can be displayed by date, name, or ID number. Each of the decade collections can be further refined by a number of categories, such as automotive manufacturers, women's fashion, alcohol, and furniture and appliances, among others.