Before NAMLE 2017, we’re rereading JMLE articles related to the conference theme “Engaging Citizens, Building Community”. See the compiled list of JMLE articles throughout the years below.
Political Engagement During a Presidential Election Year: A Case Study of Media Literacy Students
Elia M. Powers, Susan D. Moeller, and Yacong Yuan
Abstract: This exploratory, mixed-methods study uses data gathered during the previous U.S. presidential election in 2012 to evaluate student political engagement and digital culture. Survey results and media diary entries revealed that college students enrolled in a media literacy course during Super Tuesday or Election Day gravitated toward low-barrier political actions and expressive modes of citizenship, and they were most engaged when there was a social component to following election news. These results, coupled with recent data on political engagement and media consumption, present an opportunity to consider the role of digital platforms and online communities in the 2016 election.
Media Literacy, Education & (Civic) Capability: A Transferable Methodology
Julian McDougall, Richard Berger, Pete Fraser, and Marketa Zezulkova
Abstract: This article explores the relationship between a formal media educational encounter in the UK and the broad objectives for media and information literacy education circulating in mainland Europe and the US. A pilot study, developed with a special interest group of the United Kingdom Literacy Association, applied a three-part methodology for comparing the media literacy levels of young people who have studied media in school against peers who at the same educational level, who have not engaged with media education of any kind. The approach hones in on Mihailidis’ (2014) framework for media literacy and civic engagement.
Teaching about Propaganda: An Examination of the Historical Roots of Media Literacy
Renee Hobbs and Sandra McGee
Abstract: Contemporary propaganda is ubiquitous in our culture today as public relations and marketing efforts have become core dimensions of the contemporary communication system, affecting all forms of personal, social and public expression. To examine the origins of teaching and learning about propaganda, we examine some instructional materials produced in the 1930s by the Institute for Propaganda Analysis (IPA), which popularized an early form of media literacy that promoted critical analysis in responding to propaganda in mass communication, including in radio, film and newspapers. They developed study guides and distributed them widely, popularizing concepts from classical rhetoric and expressing them in an easy-to-remember way. In this paper, we compare the popular list of seven propaganda techniques (with terms like “glittering generalities” and “bandwagon”) to a less well-known list, the ABC’s of Propaganda Analysis. While the seven propaganda techniques, rooted in ancient rhetoric, have endured as the dominant approach to explore persuasion and propaganda in secondary English education, the ABC’s of Propaganda Analysis, with its focus on the practice of personal reflection and life history analysis, anticipates some of the core concepts and instructional practices of media literacy in the 21st century. Following from this insight, we see evidence of the value of social reflection practices for exploring propaganda in the context of formal and informal learning. Crowdsourcing may help create increased informational clarity for consumers because ambiguous, incomplete, blurry and biased information actually inspires us to have conversations, share ideas, and listen to each other as a means to find truth.
Measuring News Media Literacy
Adam Maksl, Seth Ashley, and Stephanie Craft
Abstract: News media literacy refers to the knowledge and motivations needed to identify and engage with journalism. This study measured levels of news media literacy among 500 teenagers using a new scale measure based on Potter’s model of media literacy and adapted to news media specifically. The adapted model posits that news media literate individuals think deeply about media experiences, believe they are in control of media’s influence, and have high levels of basic knowledge about media content, industries and effects. Based on measures developed to assess news media literacy, highly news literate teens were found to be more intrinsically motivated to consume news, more skeptical and more knowledgeable about current events than their less news literate counterparts.
Abstract: For three years, the Powerful Voices for Kids program, a university-school partnership program of the Media Education Lab at the University of Rhode Island, developed a multifaceted approach to integrate news and current events into in-school and after-school instruction in K-6 schools. Three case studies detailing the program’s impact on an undergraduate novice instructor, an in-school technology mentor, and an experienced classroom teacher illustrate the ways in which different stakeholders at the school approached news integration. Though approaches, interests, and values of each teacher vary considerably, all teachers share a commitment to the following classroom principles: (1) the use of inquiry to guide lesson development, (2) the role of ambiguity and uncertainty in otherwise structured learning environments, (3) the use of scaffolding and planning to limit and shape students’ experiences with a variety of unpredictable media texts in the classroom, and (4) written reflection on how individual teacher values and motivations contribute to the unique classroom culture. Implications for future professional development in K-6 news literacy are explored.
The Re-Politicization of Media Literacy Education
Benjamin Thevenin and Paul Mihailidis
Abstract: Despite the efforts made by the media literacy movement in the U.S. to institute media education as a means of addressing social issues, there still exists the potential for a more politically empowering media literacy education. While media literacy scholars and practitioners’ avoidance of adopting particular political or social agendas is understandable, others have noted that while an apolitical media literacy curriculum might be easier to pitch to schools and parents, this approach is ultimately inadequate at addressing problems that plague modern society (Lewis and Jhally 1998; Kell- ner and Share 2005, 2007). This paper argues that by reexamining the foundational philosophies of Plato and John Dewey, tracing the development of their ideas in contemporary social theory and media scholarship, and identifying their application in media literacy scholar – ship, we may be able to create a media literacy edu- cation that more effectively confronts injustice and promotes social change. I call this process the ‘re-po- liticization of media literacy education’ because I argue that at the heart of the philosophies of Plato and Dew- ey, from which current approaches to media education commonly draw, is a commitment to the creation of a just society through critical civic engagement.
Explore Locally, Excel Digitally: A Participatory Learning After-school Program for Enriching Citizenship On- and Offline
Laurel J. Felt, Vanessa Vartabedian, Ioana Literat, and Ritesh Mehta
Abstract: This paper discusses the design and implementation of a participatory culture pedagogy in the context of a pilot after-school program at Los Angeles Unified School District’s Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools. Ethnographic fieldnotes, instructor and student reflections, photographs, video recordings, and student work illustrate the program’s culture of participatory learning, characterized by motivation and engagement, creativity, relevance, co-learning, and ecological learning. ELED also supported participants’ acquisition of digital literacy skills, new media literacies, and social and emotional learning competencies. This experience suggests that relationship building is integral and foundational to establishing citizenship, both online and offline.
New Civic Voices & the Emerging Media Literacy Landscape
Media Literacy and News Credibility: Does knowledge of media ownership increase skepticism in news consumers?
Seth Ashley, Mark Poepsel, and Erin Willis
Abstract: This study explores how increased knowledge of media ownership may affect judgments of credibility in responding to print news. An experiment was conducted with 80 undergraduate journalism students. Subjects were randomly exposed to either an informational article about the pros and cons of consolidation in media ownership or poetry. Then subjects read and analyzed four news stories, analyzing each using a credibility scale that includes judgments of truth, superficiality, general accuracy and completeness. Results show statistically significant differences in judgments of general accuracy and superficiality, suggesting that exposure to informational print about media ownership may promote modest increases in critical responses to news media.
Summary: In this article, I use my experience as both a teacher-educator and a filmmaker to discuss how collective storytelling can serve as a pedagogical tool for creating dialogue in an ideologically polarized media environment. By focusing on experience and resonance, collective storytelling may help to circumvent our inner censors and ideological biases, in order to build common ground for more reasoned discussion. Collective storytelling also helps to distill texts that may engage wider audiences, providing opportunities for teachers and students to shape public images and narratives of our reality.