An Introduction to Media Literacy

An Introduction to Media Literacy

Belgin Arslan-Cansever (Ege University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4059-5.ch003
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In today's information society, the media have important functions in the formation of certain perceptions by regulating the social lives of individuals. This occurs through messages that come in different formats (verbally, audibly, visually etc.) from the media. It is through the media literacy that enables reading messages from the media and interpreting them critically. The aim of this chapter is to provide some theoretical perspectives on media literacy. In this context, media literacy has been explained in detail. For this, primarily the differences between reading-writing and literacy are revealed. Besides conceptual media literacy, its necessity and some examples of practices in the world related to its education are mentioned. The chapter also addresses the basic paradigms in media literacy.
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In today's information society, 'literacy' has a more comprehensive and multidimensional meaning than the 'basic reading-writing skills' of the 1950s. This multidimensional structure of literacy can be seen as an extension of its cultural, sociological, psychological and linguistic foundations (Pearson & Stephens, 1994). It is possible to see different types of literacy in the related field. This is thought to be closely related to the United Nations' declaration of 1990 as the 'year of international literacy'. This importance given to literacy by the United Nations has increased the grip and has led to the identification of many areas of literacy (Kurt & Kürüm, 2008, p. 21). One of these types of literacy is media literacy, which is the main theme of this chapter.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Literate: Individual with reading and writing skills and multiple literacy skills.

Critical Approach: It is an approach that the frontier of the critical perspective is the frontline.

Reading-Writing: The ability to read and write a text through the letters in the alphabet.

Literacy: The ability to make sense of what you hear, what you read, and what you see.

Protectionist Approach: It is an approach that advocates that individuals are unprotected against the harmful effects of messages from the media.

Media Literacy: Critical evaluation of media messages is an enhancement that requires the ability to interrogate, analyze, and communicate various features to others.

Media: Traditional (newspapers, radio, magazines, books, television, etc.) and new media tools (computer, mobile phone, internet, etc.).

Vaccination Approach: It is the approach that advocates that messages from the media and the media have a negative effect on the individual.

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