The media world bombards us with messages, often subliminally, that invade our real-world space to the extent that we sometimes feel we have lost control of reality. Media messages are multilayered and not always what they seem. Author W. James Potter highlights the importance of learning to unwrap these layers and choose what we want to believe, reclaiming our ability to perceive the real world. Media Literacy helps students develop a strong knowledge base about the media. Potter presents a guidebook to the often difficult terrain of the media world, providing a plan of action for students to develop their media literacy and analytical skills. He shows how becoming media literate gives students a clearer perspective on the borders between their own world and the simulated media world. Throughout the book, he encourages students to apply the exercises to their own experiences, thus developing useful skills beyond mere rote learning.
Table of Contents
I. Introduction 1. Living in the Message-Saturated World 2. Media Literacy Approach II. Audiences 3. Individual's Perspective 4. Industry Perspective on Audience 5. Children as a Special Audience III. Effects 6. Proactive Perspective on Media Effects 7. Broadening Our Perspective on Media Effects IV. Industry 8. Development of the Mass Media Industries 9. The Economic Game 10. The Current Picture V. Content 11. Mass Media Content and Reality 12. News 13. Entertainment 14. Advertising 15. Mass Media Interactive Games VI. Confronting the Issues 16. Who Owns and Controls the Mass Media? 17. Privacy 18. Piracy 19. Violence 20. Sports VII. The Springboard 21. Personal Strategy for Increasing Media Literacy 22. Helping Others Increase Media Literacy Appendix A: Immediate and Long-Term Effects of Media on Individuals and Institutions Appendix B: Profiles of the Mass Media Industries Appendix C: Contacts
W. James Potter is a professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California at Santa Barbara where he teaches courses in media literacy, media content, and media effects. A holder of a Ph.D. in Communication and another in Instructional Systems, he has also taught at Western Michigan University, Florida State University, Indiana University, UCLA, and Stanford University. He is a former editor of the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles, book chapters, and a dozen books, including the Sage published titles: Media Literacy 4/ed., On Media Violence, Theory of Media Literacy: A Cognitive Approach, How to Publish Your Communication Research (edited with Alison Alexander), The 11 Myths of Media Violence and the forthcoming Effects of the Mass Media.