What is media literacy, and why should we care about it?

Steve Goodman tackles these questions, and writes to convince us as the reader that we should see media literacy as a crucial aspect of today’s education process. Goodman wants us all (but especially youths) to learn the “language of media,” a task that asks us to go beyond just being fluent in recognizing common media themes and instead learn how to deconstruct them. I like his idea that creating media can inform this ability to be critical, by showing an individual what goes into the creation of a media piece. It is far too easy, especially as a child, to take what is in the mainstream media as gospel. This becomes even more problematic for minority youths, who are usually cast in the media as thugs or criminals. Repeated exposure to this message makes even the most optimistic individual feel as though they cannot succeed or ever account to anything more in their life. Through media literacy, these individuals can take back their agency and write their own narratives, which is incredibly valuable. Although I wish we lived in a world where the mainstream discourse was going to change on its own, I don’t think this is the case. At the same time, it feels wrong to put the pressure on those already suffering to fix the problem, but having allies come in and take charge feels like a step backwards. I guess the most appropriate thing would be for those with resources to use these resources to support media literacy programs.


One response »

  1. jonesa0913 says:

    I agree that this it seems wrong to put the onus on people of color to challenge the negative effects of global; however, it may be the best solution. Substantial change can only be sustained when POC are transformed into agents of social change, which is in part why we must do the work. I think allies can do their part (alongside POC) by sanctioning schools to incorporate media literacy and practice curriculum.

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