News, Politics & Democracy

Reality TV and Media Literacy

In our research section, we reveal how reality television producers mine the emotions, bodies and identities of cast members for spectacle and profit.  In our second article, we excavate the values and beliefs embedded in reality television with a close examination of American talent and makeover shows.  We also discuss lifestyle television as a laboratory for the development of democratic citizenship skills. The University of Rhode Island held a symposium on the Historical Roots of Media Literacy Education, and the Elizabeth Thoman Media Literacy Archive was unveiled.   

Propaganda and Media Literacy

In our first article, two prominent rhetoricians explain the differences between propaganda and persuasive discourse that stimulates engaged citizenship. Next, we review the premise of Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky's landmark Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media, and, with some assistance from media literacy scholar Renee Hobbs, we discuss responses to forms of propaganda which are more pervasive and indirect.

Citizen Journalism

The widespread availability of new media has generally encouraged the view that anyone can practice citizen journalism with relative ease.  But without learning the digital citizenship skills which media literacy training provides, citizen journalists may be as likely to engage in self-censorship as they are to incur legal liability for the content they publish. Also introduces Center for News Literacy.  

Professional Development

In our research section, we review current research and trends in professional development for K-12 educators, and discuss the opportunities which recently developed models of professional development present for dissemination of media literacy concepts and pedagogy. 

Media Violence and Media Relationships

We discuss the four effects of media violence, and review recent media effects research, as well as research supporting media literacy as an educational intervention.  In our second article, we apply theories of audience response to violent media to the American action film.  And we examine the possibility that media producers may be shaping audience views of what constitutes realistic media violence.  Also Conducting a Close Analysis of a media text teaches fundamental skills for media literacy. 

Media Literacy Policy and Education

We review the Supreme Court case which struck down the 2005 California law banning sale of violent video games to minors, and explain why media literacy education could have fulfilled the intentions of the law.  In our second article, we follow the progress of media literacy initiatives in the European Union, as well as problems that need to be resolved.  An in-depth look at media violence was recently published by SAGE, and the Media Literacy Research Symposium brought together media literacy advocates from around the world.    

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