During the Podcast_Inc workshop related to human rights, we discussed the importance of media literacy. But why is this topic so significant? It is crucial because it allows individuals to recognize and comprehend the different forms of media and their underlying messages. The ability to access a vast amount of information can be overwhelming and misleading without accurate self-education.
Through media literacy education, we can develop the ability to apply critical thinking to the messages conveyed by media and leverage media tools to produce our own messages. ©Tag-Cloud Media literacy. Photo CC.
It fosters an understanding of the media's role in society and equips individuals with essential inquiry skills and the ability to express themselves, which are crucial for democratic citizens. With the abundance of information available through various media sources such as the internet, newspapers, radio, and television, it is essential to analyze and understand information critically, transmit it effectively, and use the internet and information found actively, thus transforming into an active information consumer.
In a society, the relationships between different media are characterized by both antagonism and complementarity: between print media, radio, television, and the Internet; between daily and periodical publications; between programs (documentaries, fiction, games, etc.); and between private, public, and associative media.
The different ways that media outlets treat the same subject (information), but through specific modes, are due to the technology unique to each medium. In this way, each piece of information resembles others while also distinguishing itself specifically in the treatment related to technology.
Among the means of expression on social networks, two deserve particular attention:
prejudices and stereotypes, as they are extensively used in both our interpersonal communications and mediated communications.
Prejudice is a judgment (favorable or unfavorable) formed prior to any experience or analysis, about an individual, a group of individuals, a society, an idea, a behavior, etc.
As for stereotypes, they are "a fixed figure that endlessly repeats the same idea. It can be expressed both through text and image, participating in the representations that a society shares to shape its beliefs and reinforce them. » (Legavre and Rieffel, 2017). They are so extensively used because they represent "communication facilitators": they save us words, and thus, mental energy. These shortcuts in expression most of the time lead to shortcuts in thinking.
Let us briefly discuss the current events on stage. The media cannot deliver a total or perfect version of events: they proceed with a selection and a perspective that vary depending on the countries, cultures, and media institutions themselves. In fact, media events are to be understood as "the relation of facts by concentrated sequences, offering dramatization" (P. Bourdieu, 1996). Thus, information is organized and scripted according to advertising principles, it is constructed according to a logic of spectacle. Since the arrival of socio-digital networks, citizen participation (amateur, witnesses) can enrich, but also disrupt the media narrative of events.
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