Media Literacy in the Classroom Essay

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Media Literacy in the Classroom
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Media literacy is defined as "the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and communicate messages in a variety of forms" (Know TV). In more practical terms, media literacy means questioning the media and interpreting its many messages accordingly. Students are exposed to mass quantities of media on a daily basis. They watch television and movies, read books, newspapers, and magazines, listen to music, and in more recent years explore the Internet. This extreme exposure to media outlets leads to the need for education about the media. Media literacy is one way to help educate students about issues in which they are already actively engaged. Media literacy should be implemented into
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Too often, people do not question or challenge the views media presents to us and simply accept the views at face value. Politicians rely on this during campaign elections. The popularity of negative advertisements depreciating opposition parties has grown tremendously over the years because they are often successful. The public embraces the negative media messages, then votes accordingly. Oftentimes, people do not even know they have been acted-upon by the media.

Media literate people do not have quite as much trouble interpreting similar messages, for they are aware of the pervasive nature of the media. Media literacy courses allow people to hone their critical thinking skills and make informed decisions. These people are able to distinguish between fact and fiction, or at least recognize the differentiation between the two. They are able to examine the messages supplied to them by the media and in turn come to more knowledgeable decisions concerning politics and culture in society. They are able to see that the media simply represent the political arena from one viewpoint and that there may be more to the story then first it seems.

The information learned through media literacy can also be applied to the second argument that focuses upon the influence media exercises on our values and behaviors. Media is probably the most powerful influence on teen attitudes and beliefs in American society. The abundance of media exposure contributes
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