In a world where the TV is on 24/7, kids constantly being on the computer and browsing the web and technology now at our very own fingertips, it is obvious that the media has now gone tech savvy on us. Every where you look and everything you listen to has a hidden agenda. So do you think you have control over your own interpretations of the meanings in everyday media messages? Or do they simply manipulate us into perceiving what they want us to? The goal of teaching media literacy as articulated by Thoman (2003) is to develop skills that help students become critical and literate in all media forms. These skills are important because it helps students to be able to direct their own understanding rather than letting the medias visual and verbal interpretations do it for them. In order for students to develop their own interpretations, educators have identified 5 core concepts that everyone should know about media messages.

5 core concepts as articulated by Kellnar and Share (2005).

From these concepts Thoman (2003) has developed 5 vital questions that should consciously asked before students develop and interpretation of the media text. These are:

  1. Who created this message and why are they sending it?
  2. What techniques are being used?
  3. What lifestyles, values and points of view are represented in the message?
  4. How might different people understand this message differently from me?
  5. What is omitted from this message?

So next time you are laying on the lounge in front of the tv and an ad comes on, stop and think about what it is you are taking in, and apply these 5 questions. Please, if you have any video clips, ads, newspaper or magazine articles that you think are a good example of the need of deconstruction in the media, post them up!!

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