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Critical Thinking Activity #2: Analysis of Reality Show and News Show - Dancer 17

Open Posted By: surajrudrajnv33 Date: 23/02/2021 High School Research Paper Writing

Due date: Sunday FEb 28 at 11:59PM

At FIU, in a Gordon Rule course, writing will be evaluated based on the following characteristics:

  • Driven by a clear thesis or controlling idea.
  • Supports thesis with adequate reasons and evidence.
  • Displays sustained analysis and critical thought.
  • Is organized clearly and logically.
  • Shows knowledge of conventions of formal written English.
  • Shows awareness of disciplinary conventions in regard to content, style, form, and delivery method.


Resources: 

https://www.ted.com/talks/paul_lewis_how_mobile_phones_helped_solve_two_murders

https://www.ted.com/talks/ben_goldacre_battling_bad_science/transcript?language=en

https://www.ted.com/talks/cynthia_schneider_the_surprising_spread_of_idol_tv

Book: Chapters 8 and 9 (Attached) 

Rubric (Attached) 


This assignment contributes to the Gordon Rule with Writing (GRW) requirement and will count as 15% towards your overall grade.

To help you understand the media message, watch one episode of a reality show and one episode of a news program.  You will need to compare and contrast the episodes you watched. Respond to the following questions in essay format in APA style:

  1. What emotions were triggered when you watched both episodes?
  2. Do you think these emotions were planned by the producers of the show?
  3. If so, what language was used to incite these emotions?
  4. Do you feel like you were led to a particular conclusion rather than left to make up your own mind? How so?
  5. Was information presented in meaningful context when comparing both shows?
  6. Was the information presented in a way that was factual, informative, descriptive, persuasive, coercive? Why?

Directions for Critical Thinking Activity #2:

  • Word count: 400. Going under or over the word count will be counted against your overall grade for the assignment.
  • Use Times New Roman size 12 pt. double-spaced.
  • Essay can be written in first-person.
  • Must be written in APA style.
  • Submit it as a Word document ONLY.
  • Essay should have proper punctuation, grammar, and structure. It should NOT be one huge paragraph. Practice the proper writing skills you learned in ENC 1101 & ENC 1102.
  • Similarity index within TurnItIn should be 25% or lower. Higher similarity indexes will receive an automatic zero.
Category: Business & Management Subjects: Business Communication Deadline: 12 Hours Budget: $100 - $150 Pages: 2-3 Pages (Short Assignment)

Attachment 1

Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Chapter 9

News

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Key Idea: News is not a reflection of actual events; it is a construction by news workers who are subjected to many influences and constraints.

Introduction

News is currently undergoing a dynamic change

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Dynamic Nature of News

Desire for news

Dates back to preliterate culture

Mostly personal and local back then

Spread through interpersonal conversation

Newspapers

Started as pamphlets in 16th century

Evolved into daily newspapers in 17th century first in Germany and then throughout Europe

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People have always had a desire for news.

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Dynamic Nature of News

Newspapers

Early audience in Europe--elite class

Journalists corroborated facts for greater credibility

Audience in America: different colonies different political views different newspapers

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The nature of news and its transmission has changed over time.

Early news was shared through interpersonal communication.

Newspapers did not begin until the 16th century in Italy.

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Dynamic Nature of News

Rise and Fall of “Big News”

American Civil War and compulsory education  rise in sense of nationhood  increase in demand for political news  growth of large circulation newspapers rise of “big news”

Radio mass media from 1920 to 1950 followed big news model

Rise of big news--peak in the 1980s

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Following the Civil War, there was increased literacy in the United States.

This was seen as an opportunity to develop newspapers with large circulations.

The era of big news was lasted from increased newspaper readership through the penetration of the radio in the 1920s to the 1970s when it reached its peak.

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Dynamic Nature of News

Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

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Rise and Fall of “Big News”

Decline of “Big News”--after 1980s

Initially slow and then rapid decrease in numbers of:

Circulation of daily newspapers

Journalists

Local TV newscasts

Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Dynamic Nature of News

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Rise and Fall of “Big News”

Alternatives:

New blogs

Bulletin boards

Online news websites

Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Citizen journalism | Paul Lewis | TEDxThessaloniki

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Dynamic Nature of News

Shift to Online Sources of News

Initially driven by younger people

Illustrates changes in people’s demands:

More efficient access to news

A different kind of news--local, entertaining, and “useful” information for people

Evidence: rise of social networking sites for accessing news

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Some social networking sites used for accessing news: YouTube, Twitter, Facebook

Traditional news markets have been losing their audience.

They are failing to attract younger people.

They face increased competition from alternative news outlets on the Internet.

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Different Perspectives on News

Political Philosophy Perspective

Normative perspective

Built from the first amendment to the U. S. Constitution

Focuses on important events and people in a society

News stories constructed from accurate facts rather than journalists' opinions

Aim--to educate people and help them make informed decisions

Espoused by philosophers and social critics

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Political Philosophy Perspective

The political philosophy perspective specifies what news should be.

This is a normative not descriptive perspective.

News should focus on the most important events and people in a society in order to keep people up-to-date about what is most significant.

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Different Perspectives on News

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Traditional Journalistic Perspective

Journalists believe that their purpose is to inform the public, rather than persuade the public.

This is a normative not descriptive perspective.

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Traditional Journalistic Perspective

Normative perspective

Summarizes the journalists’ view of “purpose and nature of news”

To inform the public rather than editorialize (persuade the public)

Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Different Perspectives on News

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There are seven criteria an event must have in order to be considered newsworthy: timeliness, significance, proximity, prominence, conflict, human interest, and deviance.

Timeliness: most obvious criterion for newsworthiness. An even has to be current in order to be considered news.

Significance: magnitude of the consequences of an event.

Proximity: how close the event is to the news audience.

Prominence: how well-known people and institutions are in the event being considered as newsworthy.

Conflict: the degree to which the parties in an event disagree.

Human interest: how strongly the event would appeal to human emotions.

Deviance: the degree to which an event is out of the ordinary.

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Traditional Journalistic Perspective

Focuses on seven criteria to consider an event “newsworthy”

Timeliness

Significance

Proximity

Prominence

Conflict

Human interest

Deviance

Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Different Perspectives on News

News-Working Perspective

Nonnormative perspective

Developed by scholars who study what news workers do to gather and present news

Story formulas

Inverted pyramid

Narrative

Simplified extended conflict (SEC)

Guidelines and story formulas--non-definitive prescriptions

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News-Working Perspective

Use of sources

Although news workers are aware of normative news perspectives that tell them what they should do, they frequently cannot achieve the prescribed standards because of unavoidable constraints, such as deadlines, limited access to sources, and limited financial resources.

Over time, journalists develop the “news perspective.”

Story formulas: procedures that journalists learn as shortcuts to help them quickly select and write stories.

Inverted pyramid: Journalist put the information, one after the other, ranked according to importance until all the information is in the story. Developed in the early days of the telegraph.

Narrative: Journalists tell a story told in an entertainment format. It begins with a heated conflict, a gruesome description, or an unusual quote--all designed to grab the reader’s attention in an emotional manner, and then each bit of information is presented in the narrative like a story.

Simplified extended conflict (SEC): Journalists look for a simple angle of conflict while covering a story and play it over for several days. For example, political elections.

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Different Perspectives on News

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Commercialism

News organizations are in the business of constructing large audiences so they can rent those audiences to advertisers.

News organizations present the kinds of stories that audiences want most.

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Economic Perspective

Focuses on how news organizations operate as to increase profits and minimize expenses

Salient features

Commercialism

Ultimate goal of news

Journalists driven to construct stories that attract larger audience

Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Different Perspectives on News

Economic Perspective

Salient Feature

Marketing

Journalists directed by marketing managers to present these stories in order to satisfy the existing needs in the market

Reasons of criticism

News confounded with advertising

Change in content of news in a way harmful to the public

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Marketing

News decisions are made by marketers instead of journalists.

It tends to change the content of news in a way that is somehow harmful to the public.

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Different Perspectives on News

Consumer Personal Perspective

Current trend--People seek information about information

That does not conform to the old traditional journalistic perspective on news

Strategically that benefits them

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People are seeking out information strategically that benefits them.

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Different Perspectives on News

Consumer Personal Perspective: Selective Exposure

A psychological concept that says people seek out information that conforms to their existing belief systems and avoids information that challenges those beliefs.

The individual determines for himself or herself what is news rather than relying on an outside authority

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As the audience for news fragments, news vehicles are getting more and more specialized, which is known as hyper-localism.

Selective exposure is a psychological concept that says people seek out information that conforms to their existing belief systems and avoid information that challenges those beliefs.

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Consumer Standards for Evaluating the Quality of News

Objectivity

Separateness from the object being observed so that the object is perceived accurately and that the perception is not distorted by human limitations

Unrealistic standard for journalists

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Objectivity

The idea of objectivity is a very general philosophical concept.

It means a separateness from the object being observed so that the object is perceived accurately and that the perception is not distorted by human limitations.

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Ben Goldacre: Battling Bad Science

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Consumer Standards for Evaluating the Quality of News

Accuracy

Good criterion for judging the quality of news if a story reports one fact and that fact is easy to check

Complicated for stories with more than one fact

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Accuracy as a criterion for news involves truthfulness and neutrality but there is more.

Full set of facts

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Consumer Standards for Evaluating the Quality of News

Accuracy: Completeness

Complicated while judging a partial story, one that is either told from a single point of view or major story of a story isn’t covered though events continue to occur

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Presenting only a partial story is a type of distortion that is not usually regarded as bias.

One form of partial story is when a major story stops getting covered, even though important events continue to occur.

Another type of partial story is when a journalist tells a story from a single point of view.

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Consumer Standards for Evaluating the Quality of News

Accuracy: Context

Helps audiences understand the meaning of the event in the news stories, without which the story has an ambiguous meaning

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Context

Context is what helps audiences understand the meaning of the event in the news stories.

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Consumer Standards for Evaluating the Quality of News

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Consumer Standards for Evaluating the Quality of News

Neutrality

Neutrality means that the story is free from journalistic bias or editorializing.

Observed in terms of lack of bias and balance

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Lack of Bias

Bias is a willful distortion on the part of a journalist, but it is difficult for audiences to recognize when this is occurring

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Consumer Standards for Evaluating the Quality of News

Neutrality: Lack of Bias

Lack of bias means truthfulness

Actual bias means when a journalist willfully distorts a news story and perceived bias means when audiences think that the story is slanted

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Truthfulness

Truthfulness means that the story contains no lies, either by the sources used or by the journalist.

Truthfulness also requires that journalists not make up facts to fill in the gaps of their stories or to “sweeten” their stories.

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Consumer Standards for Evaluating the Quality of News

Neutrality: Balance

Criterion: Journalists present all sides of an issue in an equal manner

Problems

Determining which issues are equally balanced controversies and which are not and who should be trusted to determine the type of issue

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Balance

Fairness requires that journalists present both sides and try to do so with equal weight.

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

The future of news media is in our hands | Rickey Bevington | TEDxPeachtre

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

How Can We Become More Media Literate With News?

Exposure patterns to news are an unavoidable process of constructing knowledge structures, beliefs, and attitudes

Thoughts on exposure patterns and the implications of those patterns  Gain control over the process and make it work in our favor

Becoming more media literate involves the periodic assessment of:

exposure

quality

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

How Can We Become More Media Literate With News?

Exposure matters

Shaped by what we consider news from personal to global dimension.

Agenda setting theory

Explains that media are selective in what they present as news and what they emphasize as being the most important news

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Exposure Matters

Our exposure decisions are likely to be shaped by what we consider to be news.

Media literacy warns against a narrow focus.

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

How Can We Become More Media Literate With News?

Quality matters

Periodic evaluation of quality of news sources to eliminate the risk of believing we are well informed when in reality we are not

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Quality Matters

If we don’t periodically evaluate the quality of our news sources, we run the risk of believing we are well informed when in reality we are not.

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

How Can We Become More Media Literate With News?

Quality Matters

Makes interactive features available that draw people into news and make it more useful to them

The complexity of interactive features increases the likelihood of confusion and frustration.

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Interactive features of news : searchable archives, hyperlinks, discussion forums, and easy downloading of information.

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This Weeks Assignment

Critical Thinking Activity #2: Analysis of Reality Show and News Show

What emotions were triggered when you watched both episodes?

Do you think these emotions were planned by the producers of the show?

If so, what language was used to incite these emotions?

Do you feel like you were led to a particular conclusion rather than left to make up your own mind? How so?

Was information presented in meaningful context when comparing both shows?

Was the information presented in a way that was factual, informative, descriptive, persuasive, coercive? Why?

Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

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Summary

The idea of what is news has undergone many changes over time and has influenced different perspectives, particularly the perspectives of political philosophy, traditional journalism, news-working, economic, and personal. These changes also lead us to question what is a journalist and how should we judge the quality of news? These questions are especially important now that we are in the new media environment where nontraditional news outlets are so prevalent, so niche oriented, and open to so much interactive participation among audiences, journalists, and newsmakers.

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Attachment 2

Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Chapter 8

Media Content and Reality

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Key Idea: The media spin reality to make it appear more exciting and thus attract people away from their real lives

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Role of Reality in Media Content Formulas

Reality

One of the most difficult concepts to define in any context

Requires a complex judgment

Differs across individuals

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Reality TV Part 1: Introduction to Reality TV

Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Role of Reality in Media Content Formulas

Complex Judgment

Distinction between real and media world essential to gain control over media effects

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Complex judgment: Magic window

Television

Showed literal reality

Children initially vulnerable to many negative effects till they learned to tell the difference between reality and fantasy

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Role of Reality in Media Content Formulas

Magic Window

For a long time, people believed that television held a window up to the actual world when it covered real events and real people.

Until children were able to distinguish between fantasy and reality, they were vulnerable to negative effects.

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Role of Reality in Media Content Formulas

Complex judgment: Magic window

Adult discount

Skepticism developed in children about the literal reality of media messages, and they were better able to distinguish reality from fantasy

Age of application varies from 12 and above

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As children accumulate more experience with the media, they increase their skepticism and fully embrace the adult discount by about age 12.

Other research suggested that children base their perceptions of reality not on the accuracy of portrayals or information but on the probability that something could occur in their lives.

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The Moment Bill Hader Realized Reality TV was Fake

Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Role of Reality in Media Content Formulas

Complex judgment: Multiple dimensions of reality

Judgment criteria

Factuality

Perceptual persuasiveness

Social utility

Identity

Emotional involvement

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Multiple Dimensions of Reality

While the beginning point of judging reality is usually with an assessment of whether a portrayal actually happened, people frequently use more criteria to judge reality.

People may judge one criterion as realistic while judging the others as unrealistic.

The criteria include:

Factuality: Does the message show what actually happened? This is the idea of magic window which asks: Is the media message an accurate, unadorned view through a window on actual events and people?

Perceptual persuasiveness: Does the media message present characters and settings that look real?

Social utility: Does the media message portray social lessons that can be used by people in their everyday lives?

Identity: Does the way characters are portrayed in media messages lead people to believe that those characters are very much like people in their everyday lives?

Emotional involvement: Does the media message engage people’s feelings so they are pulled into the action and feel it is really happening?

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Role of Reality in Media Content Formulas

Complex judgment: Multiple dimensions of reality

Judgment criteria

Plausibility

Typicality

Narrative consistency in an independent manner

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Plausibility: Does the media message portray something that could happen?

Typicality: Does the media message portray something that usually happens?

Narrative consistency: Does the plot of the story make people believe that the sequence of actions is believable?

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Role of Reality in Media Content Formulas

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

The surprising spread of Idol TV

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Role of Reality in Media Content Formulas

Complex judgment: Differences across individuals

Can vary widely even among people of the same age and experience.

Children less capable than adults in making certain kinds of judgments about reality; become more sophisticated with age.

Wide range of sophistication in making reality judgments across adults.

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Differences Across Individuals

Judgments of reality can vary widely even among people of the same age and experience.

Voort (1986) reports that perceptions of reality and the degree of identification with characters vary substantially at any given age.

Adults wrote to the coast guard telling them to rescue the cast of Gilligan’s Island.

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Reality TV Part 2: Hosts and Judges

Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Role of Reality in Media Content Formulas

Organizing Principle: Next-Step Reality

Next-step reality

Message is presented as reality to resonate with the audience’s experience and make it have the potential to be useful in everyday situations, but has an extra added ingredient that takes it one step outside of the audience’s everyday existence

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Role of Reality in Media Content Formulas

Organizing Principle: Next-Step Reality: Audiences’ Perspective

Audience search for media messages with two characteristics

(a) plausible and probable in real life

(b) present something more than what the person experiences in his or her daily life.

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Audience’s Perspective

People expose themselves to the media to find messages that they cannot get in real life for two main reasons.

It is impossible for them to get those messages in real life.

The costs of getting those messages in the media are far lower than the costs required in real life.

Audiences search for messages that have two general characteristics.

Messages must appear real.

Messages must present a little more than everyday reality.

This is what is meant by next-step reality.

People want media messages that are not the same as their everyday lives, but they also must not be so far removed that they are not relevant.

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Reality TV Part 3: Reality vs. Scripted TV

Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Role of Reality in Media Content Formulas

Organizing Principle: Next-Step Reality: Programmers’ Perspective

Producers of media messages retain the appearance of a high degree of reality, but are one step removed from reality to keep them interesting

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Programmers’ Perspective

Producers of media messages anchor elements of their messages in reality and tweak them a bit to make them interesting.

With fiction, producers take ordinary settings and typical plots and slowly deviate from normal situations one step at a time, so the audience does not get lost.

Next-step reality also works for persuasive messages because programs use typical problems and take a step of faith into the solution.

With information-type messages, the next-step reality comes from journalists carefully selecting what gets reported and what gets ignored.

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Reality TV Part 4: The Audience's Role

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Reality Programming as a Genre

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Reality shows are popular because

Appeal to public’s interest in following real people as they struggle and succeed in competitions

Ordinary people and not actors attain a specific level/position in life

Reality shows are

realistic to some extent

successfully growing over years through knock-offs and spin-offs

Preferred by TV programmers as they are less expensive than other TV shows

Reality Programming as a Genre

Reality programming became a recognizable genre in 2000.

Characteristics of reality programming include real, non-scripted people in unordinary situations.

Survivor is one of the most popular reality television shows.

Although the characters are real, non-scripted people, they are more attractive and more prone to conflict than ordinary people.

The audience sees only 2% of what is actually filmed.

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Why Is Reality TV So Popular?

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Reality Programming as a Genre

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Spin-off Series and Knock-off Series

Similarities

Television shows in a series

Progression of episodes using the same settings and characters (or real people)

Copy formulas used by a previously successful television series

Knock-offs and spin-offs are responsible for the growing number of reality programs.

The spin-off series is produced by the same people who produced the previously successful television series on which the spin-off is based.

The knock-off series is produced by different people who are copying the formula used by other people who produced the successful television series on which the knock-off is based.

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Reality Programming as a Genre

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Spin-off Series and Knock-off Series

Differences

Spin-off series Knock-off series
Produced by the same people who produced the television series on which the spin-off is based Produced by different people copying the formula used by the producers of the television series on which the knock-off is based
Real Housewives franchise (spin-off of “The Real Housewives of Orange County”) Hardcore Pawn (knock-off of “Pawn Stars”)

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Reality TV Part 5: Confessionals and Producers

Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

Reality Programming as a Genre

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There are many subgenres of reality programming.

Documentary style: Cameras record what happens in everyday life. (Big Brother, Jersey Shore)

Reality-legal: People’s behavior is recorded as they deal with legal problems. (The People’s Court, Cops)

Reality competition/game show: People compete for some prize as one or more contestants are eliminated each episode. (The Bachelor, Top Chef)

Self-improvement/makeover: Viewers are amazed as a real-world person or object is drastically improved. (Extreme Makeover, Pimp My Ride)

Social experiment: People are put in unusual situations and a camera records their reactions. (Wife Swap, Secret Millionaire)

Hidden camera: People’s actions are recorded without their awareness. (What Would You Do?, Cheaters)

Supernatural/paranormal: People are put in frightening situations that purportedly involve paranormal forces. (Scariest Places on Earth, Ghost Hunters)

Hoax subgenre: People are fooled to believe something false and their reactions are recorded. (Hell Date, Punk’d)

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Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

The Importance of Media Literacy

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Two worlds: Real and media world

Media world

Advantage--Enables us to experience and get information about the real world

Disadvantage--Blurs the borderline between real and media world

Higher level of media literacy

Helps us to be flexible and aware

Enables us to tell the two merged worlds apart

The Importance of Media Literacy

Next-step reality is fundamental to media literacy.

Do not ask, “How real are media messages?”

Ask, “Which elements in this message reflect reality and which elements are removed from reality in some way?”

The key to media literacy is to be flexible and aware.

Being flexible means being willing to traverse the entire spectrum of messages and being willing to enjoy the full range of messages.

Being aware means thinking about where you are in the spectrum and knowing the different standards of appreciation to apply to different places on the spectrum of reality

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How Reality TV Changed the World | #ChangedTheWorld

Potter, Media Literacy, 9e. © SAGE Publishing, 2019

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Summary

Clearly, the issue of reality entails more than making a simple decision about whether something actually happened. People are able to think in terms of degrees of reality, and when they are assessing the degree of reality, they consider more than one dimension. It is also important to understand that there is not a huge gap between children’s ability to perceive reality accurately and adults’ ability. This is a trap into which adults frequently fall. Being in this trap gives those adults a false sense of security that they do not need to think carefully about the reality of media messages because they are no longer children and therefore are protected by the adult discount. Because the degree of belief in reality is associated with higher negative effects, adults are vulnerable, as are children (Potter, 1986; Rubin, Perse, & Taylor, 1988).

The most useful way to think about reality is with the “next-step reality” organizing principle. This focuses your attention on the degree to which media messages are both real and fantasy. This then sets up more important questions: Which elements in the message do I regard as real, and how did I arrive at that perception? Which elements in the message do I regard as fantasy? To what extent am I attracted to the fantasy and willing to try to make it my reality? Keep these questions in mind as you read through the next four chapters on different types of media content.

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Attachment 3

Media Literacy

Ninth Edition

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Media Literacy Ninth Edition

W. James Potter University of California, Santa Barbara

Los Angeles London

New Delhi Singapore

Washington DC Melbourne

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FOR INFORMATION:

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Copyright © 2019 by W. James Potter

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Printed in the United States of America

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Potter, W. James, author.

Title: Media literacy / W. James Potter.

Description: Ninth edition. | Los Angeles : SAGE, [2020] | Includes bibliographical references and index.

Identifiers: LCCN 2018040336 | ISBN 9781506366289 (paperback : alk. paper)

Subjects: LCSH: Media literacy.

Classification: LCC P96.M4 P68 2020 | DDC 302.23072/1—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2018040336

This book is printed on acid-free paper.

Acquisitions Editor: Lily Norton

Editorial Assistant: Sarah Wilson

Production Editor: Bennie Clark Allen

Copy Editor: Christina West

Typesetter: C&M Digitals (P) Ltd.

Proofreader: Sally Jaskold

Indexer: Jean Casalegno

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Cover Designer: Candice Harman

Marketing Manager: Staci Wittek

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Brief Contents

1. Preface 2. Acknowledgments 3. About the Author 4. Part I • INTRODUCTION

1. Chapter 1 • Why Increase Media Literacy? 2. Chapter 2 • Media Literacy Approach

5. Part II • AUDIENCES 1. Chapter 3 • Audience: Individual Perspective 2. Chapter 4 • Audience: Industry Perspective 3. Chapter 5 • Children as a Special Audience

6. Part III • INDUSTRY 1. Chapter 6 • Development of the Mass Media Industries 2. Chapter 7 • Economic Perspective

7. Part IV • CONTENT 1. Chapter 8 • Media Content and Reality 2. Chapter 9 • News 3. Chapter 10 • Entertainment 4. Chapter 11 • Advertising 5. Chapter 12 • Interactive Media

8. Part V • EFFECTS 1. Chapter 13 • Broadening Our Perspective on Media Effects 2. Chapter 14 • How Does the Media Effects Process Work?

9. Part VI • THE SPRINGBOARD 1. Chapter 15 • Helping Yourself and Others to Increase Media Literacy

10. Part VII • CONFRONTING THE ISSUES 1. Issue 1 • Ownership of Mass Media Businesses 2. Issue 2 • Sports 3. Issue 3 • Fake News 4. Issue 4 • Advertising 5. Issue 5 • Media Violence 6. Issue 6 • Privacy

11. Glossary 12. References 13. Index

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Detailed Contents

Preface Acknowledgments About the Author Part I • INTRODUCTION

Chapter 1 • Why Increase Media Literacy? The Information Problem

Growth Is Accelerating High Degree of Exposure Keeping Up

Dealing With the Information Problem Our Mental Hardware Our Mental Software

Automatic Routines Advantages and Disadvantages

The Big Question Summary Further Reading Keeping Up to Date

Chapter 2 • Media Literacy Approach What Is Media Literacy? The Three Building Blocks of Media Literacy

Skills Knowledge Structures Personal Locus

The Definition of Media Literacy The Development of Media Literacy Advantages of Developing a Higher Degree of Media Literacy

Appetite for Wider Variety of Media Messages More Self-Programming of Mental Codes More Control Over Media

Summary Further Reading Exercise

Part II • AUDIENCES Chapter 3 • Audience: Individual Perspective

Information-Processing Tasks Filtering

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Meaning Matching Meaning Construction

Analyzing the Idea of Exposure to Media Messages Exposure and Attention

Physical Exposure Perceptual Exposure Psychological Exposure Attention

Exposure States Automatic State Attentional State Transported State Self-Reflexive State

The Media Literacy Approach Summary Further Reading Exercise

Chapter 4 • Audience: Industry Perspective Shift From Mass to Niche Perspective on Audience

What Is a Mass Audience? Rejection of the Idea of Mass Audience The Idea of Niche Audience

Identifying Niches Geographic Segmentation Demographic Segmentation Social Class Segmentation Geodemographic Segmentation Psychographic Segmentation

Twelve American Lifestyles VALS Typology

Attracting Audiences Appeal to Existing Needs and Interests Cross-Media and Cross-Vehicle Promotion

Conditioning Audiences Summary Further Reading Exercises

Chapter 5 • Children as a Special Audience Why Treat Children as a Special Audience?

Lack of Experience

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Lack of Maturation Cognitive Development Emotional Development Moral Development

Special Treatment From Regulators Special Treatment From Parents Re-examining the Case for Special Treatment of Children

Maturation Experience

Young Adults as a Special Audience Cognitive Abilities

Field Independency Crystalline Intelligence Fluid Intelligence Conceptual Differentiation

Emotional Abilities Emotional Intelligence Tolerance for Ambiguity Nonimpulsiveness

Summary Further Reading Keeping Up to Date Exercise

Part III • INDUSTRY Chapter 6 • Development of the Mass Media Industries

Patterns of Development Innovation Stage Penetration Stage Peak Stage Decline Stage Adaptation Stage

Comparisons Across Mass Media Life Cycle Pattern Indicators of Peak Decline and Adaptation

Current Picture Convergence Special Case of the Computer Industry Profile of Mass Media Workforce

Summary

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Further Reading Keeping Up to Date Exercises

Chapter 7 • Economic Perspective The Media Game of Economics

The Players The Goal The Rules

Characteristics of the Game Importance of Valuing Resources Well Complex Interdependency Among Players Digital Convergence Nature of Competition

Media Industry Perspective Overview of Success

Film Segment Music Segment Book Segment Video Game Segment

Advertising Media Strategies

Maximizing Profits Constructing Audiences Reducing Risk

Consumers’ Strategies Default Strategy Media Literacy Strategy

Summary Further Reading Keeping Up to Date Exercises

Part IV • CONTENT Chapter 8 • Media Content and Reality

Role of Reality in Media Content Formulas Complex Judgment

Magic Window Multiple Dimensions of Reality Differences Across Individuals

Organizing Principle: Next-Step Reality Audience’s Perspective

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Programmers’ Perspective Reality Programming as a Genre The Importance of Media Literacy Summary Further Reading Keeping Up to Date Exercise

Chapter 9 • News Dynamic Nature of News

Rise and Fall of “Big News” Shift to Online Sources of News

Different Perspectives on News Political Philosophy Perspective Traditional Journalistic Perspective News-Working Perspective Economic Perspective Consumer Personal Perspective

Hyper-localism Selective Exposure

Consumer Standards for Evaluating the Quality of News Objectivity Accuracy

Completeness Context

Neutrality Lack of Bias Balance

How Can We Become More Media Literate With News? Exposure Matters Quality Matters

Summary Further Reading Keeping Up to Date Exercises

Chapter 10 • Entertainment Story Formulas

General Story Formula Genres

Challenges Different Media

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Changing Public Taste Dealing With Risk

Patterns Character Patterns Controversial Content Elements

Sex Homosexuality Violence Language

Health Deceptive Health Patterns Responsible Health Patterns

Values Becoming Media Literate With Entertainment Messages Summary Further Reading Keeping Up to Date Exercises

Chapter 11 • Advertising Advertising Is Pervasive Process of Constructing Advertising Messages

Campaign Strategy Outbound Advertising Perspective Inbound Advertising Perspective

Becoming More Media Literate with Advertising Analyze Your Personal Needs Analyze Ads Evaluate Ads

Summary Further Reading Keeping Up to Date Exercises

Chapter 12 • Interactive Media Competitive Experiences

Attraction to Electronic Games Psychology of Playing Electronic Games Designing Electronic Game Platforms Marketing Electronic Games MMORPGs

Cooperative Experiences

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Friendship Dating Living Opinion Sharing

Acquisition Experiences Information Music Video Shopping

Media Literacy With Interactive Messages Personal Implications Broader Concerns

Summary Further Reading Keeping Up to Date Exercises

Part V • EFFECTS Chapter 13 • Broadening Our Perspective on Media Effects

Timing of Effects Valence of Effects Intentionality of Effects Type of Effects

Cognitive-Type Effect Belief-Type Effect Attitudinal-Type Effect Emotional-Type Effect Physiological-Type Effect Behavioral-Type Effect Macro-Type Effect

Four-Dimensional Analysis Becoming More Media Literate Summary Further Reading Exercises

Chapter 14 • How Does the Media Effects Process Work? Media Effects Are Constantly Occurring

Manifested Effects and Process Effects Baseline Effects and Fluctuation Effects

Factors Influencing Media Effects Baseline Factors

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Developmental Maturities Cognitive Abilities Knowledge Structures Sociological Factors Lifestyle Personal Locus Media Exposure Habits

Fluctuation Factors Content of the Messages Context of Portrayals Cognitive Complexity of Content Motivations States Degree of Identification

Process of Influence Thinking About Blame Becoming More Media Literate Summary Further Reading Keeping Up to Date Exercises

Part VI • THE SPRINGBOARD Chapter 15 • Helping Yourself and Others to Increase Media Literacy

Helping Yourself Ten Guidelines

1. Strengthen Your Personal Locus 2. Develop an Accurate Awareness of Your Exposure Patterns 3. Acquire a Broad Base of Useful Knowledge 4. Examine Your Mental Codes 5. Examine Your Opinions 6. Change Behaviors 7. Think About the Reality-Fantasy Continuum 8. Become More Skilled at Designing Messages 9. Do Not Take Privacy for Granted 10. Take Personal Responsibility

Illustrations of Milestones Cognitive Ladder Emotional Ladder Moral Ladder Aesthetic Appreciation Ladder

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Examples of Levels of Literacy Helping Others

Interpersonal Techniques Interventions Public Education

Current Situation Barriers What Can You Do?

Societal Techniques Summary Keeping Up to Date Exercises

Part VII • CONFRONTING THE ISSUES Issue 1 • Ownership of Mass Media Businesses

Delineating the Issue Arguments Against Concentration of Ownership of Media Companies Arguments for Concentration of Ownership of Media Companies

Evidence of Concentration Trend Toward Concentration Factors Driving the Trend

Efficiencies Regulation and Deregulation

Evidence for Harm Increased Barriers to Entry Reduced Level of Competition Reduced Number of Public Voices Changes in Content

Your Own Informed Opinion Expanding Perspective Re-examining Evidence Thinking About Underlying Values

Localism Efficiency

Informing Your Opinion Further Reading Keeping Up to Date Applying Media Literacy Skills

Issue 2 • Sports Delineating the Issue The Money Cycle

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Players Owners and Leagues Television Networks Advertisers Public

Olympics Video Gaming Your Own Informed Opinion

The Big Picture Extend Your Knowledge Cost-Benefit Analysis Think About Implications

Further Reading Keeping Up to Date Applying Media Literacy Skills

Issue 3 • Fake News What Is Fake News?

Delineation by News Criteria Timeliness Significance Proximity Prominence Unusualness Human Interest

Delineation by Type of Sender By Channel By Professionalism

Delineation by Intention of Sender Delineation by Accuracy

Factual Accuracy Story Accuracy

Delineation by Context An Irony Conclusion

Media-Literate Treatment of Fake News Be Skeptical Be Analytical Evaluate Facts Evaluate the News Story

Your Own Informed Opinion

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Further Reading Keeping Up to Date Applying Media Literacy Skills

Issue 4 • Advertising Delineating the Issue Faulty Criticisms

Advertising Is Deceptive Companies Manipulate Us Through Subliminal Advertising Advertising Perpetuates Stereotypes

Criticisms Based on Personal Values Advertising Is Excessive Advertising Manipulates Us Into Buying Things We Don’t Need Advertising Makes Us Too Materialistic

Criticisms About Responsibility Advertising Potentially Harmful Products Invading Protected Groups Invading Privacy Altering Needs

Your Own Informed Opinion Further Reading Applying Media Literacy Skills

Issue 5 • Media Violence Delineating the Issue The Public’s Faulty Perceptions

Equating Violence With Graphicness Ignoring Context Blind Spot on Harm

Producers’ Faulty Beliefs Violence Is Necessary to Storytelling Blame Others, Not Producers

Your Own Informed Opinion Implications for Individuals Implications for Producers Moving Beyond Faulty Thinking

Further Reading Applying Media Literacy Skills

Issue 6 • Privacy Delineating the Issue Criminal Threats to Your Privacy

Stealing Private Information

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Direct Theft Indirect Theft Economic Purpose Political Purpose

Hijacking Destroying Information

Non-criminal Threats to Your Privacy Collecting and Selling Information Controlling Spamming

Public Opinion and Regulations Public Opinion Regulations

Your Own Informed Opinion Information Assessment

Take an Inventory About What Information Is Publically Available About You Map Your Information by Privacy Levels

Threat Assessment Privacy Strategy

Remove Private Information Correct Inaccuracies Continually Monitor Threats Download Software to Protect Your Computer From Threats to Your Privacy Set Up Your Internet Browsers to Disallow Cookies as the Default

Further Reading Keeping Up to Date Applying Media Literacy Skills

Glossary References Index

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Preface

Most of us think we are fairly media literate. We know how to access all kinds of media to find the music, games, information, and entertainment we want. We recognize the faces of many celebrities and know many facts about their lives. We recognize a range of musical styles and have developed strong preferences for what we like. We can easily create messages through photos, videos, and text then upload them to various sites on the Internet. Clearly, we know how to expose ourselves to the media, we know how to absorb information from them, we know how to be entertained by them, and we know how to use them to create our own messages and share them with others.

Are we media literate? Yes, of course. We have acquired a great deal of information and developed remarkable skills. The abilities to speak a language, read, understand photographs, and follow narratives are significant achievements, although we often take them for granted.

While we should not overlook what we have accomplished, it is also important to acknowledge that we all can be much more media literate. In many ways, your overall level of media literacy now is probably about the same as it was when you first became a teenager. Since that time, your information base has grown enormously about some types of media messages, such as popular songs, Internet sites, and video clips. However, your information base may not have grown much in other areas—about the economics of the mass media industry, who controls that industry, how decisions are made about the production of content, and how that constant flow of content affects you and society in all sorts of hidden ways. Thus, your current level of media literacy allows you to do many things with the media, but you could be exercising much more control and getting more out of your media exposures—if you grew your knowledge in additional areas.

The more you are aware of how the mass media operate and how they affect you, the more you gain control over those effects and the more you will separate yourself from typical media users who have turned over a great deal of their lives to the mass media without realizing it. By “turning over a great deal of their lives to the mass media,” I mean more than time and money, although both of those are considerable. I also mean that most people have allowed the mass media to program them in ways they are unaware of. And because they are unaware of these ways, they cannot shape or control that programming.

The purpose of this book is to show you how the media have been shaping your beliefs and behavioral patterns. Until you become aware of how much your beliefs have been formed by media influence and how the media have accomplished all this shaping, you will continue to float along in a flood of media messages— oblivious to their constant, subtle influence. However, once you begin to see things from a media literacy perspective, you can see how this process of influence works, and this understanding will help you to gain control over this shaping process.

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How to Get the Most Out of This Book

As you read through this book, think frameworks and be strategic. If you keep these two ideas in the front of your mind, you will be able to read faster and at the same time get more out of your reading.

Frameworks are maps. When you have a map to guide your reading journey, you know where you are and where you have to go next. To help you perceive the most important frameworks, each chapter begins with a key idea followed by an outline of topics covered. Strategies keep you focused on what is most important. When you read through each chapter, be guided by several important questions, then be strategic in your reading; that is, actively look for the answers to those questions. By actively, I mean don’t just scan the words and sentences; instead, start with an agenda of questions, then as you read through each section, look specifically for answers to your questions. After you have finished a chapter, close the book and see how much you can recall. Can you remember only a random mass of facts, or can you envision an organized set of knowledge structured by your questions?

This book is composed of 15 instructional chapters followed by six issues chapters. The purpose of the 15 instructional chapters is to provide you with the framework of ideas to help you organize your knowledge structures in four areas: knowledge about the media industries, knowledge about media audiences, knowledge about media content, and knowledge about media effects. These chapters also present you with some facts and figures to hang on those frameworks. To help you acquire more information to elaborate these frameworks on your own, the chapters include a list of books, articles, and websites for further reading; I have selected these as particularly interesting extensions of what I have presented in the chapter. Also, because things change so fast these days with the media, I have also provided several sources of information (typically websites) where you can access the most current information available on each topic. The first time you read through these 15 core instructional chapters, stay focused on the most important ideas as you build your own knowledge structures. Then once you have these structures, go back and reread the chapters to add the detail you need to elaborate your understanding.

You will get more out of each of the core instructional chapters if you try to incorporate the information you are learning into your own experience. The exercises at the end of each chapter help you do this. But do not think of the exercises as something that will only help you prepare for an exam. Instead think about the exercises as things you can continually do in your everyday life as you encounter the media. The more you practice the tasks that are laid out in the exercises, the more you will be internalizing the information and thus making it more a natural part of the way you think.

After you have finished with the core instructional chapters and building your initial set of knowledge structures, you will be ready to dig deep into the controversies within media studies. The six issues chapters give you a chance to use your knowledge structures and increase the strength of your skills as you take apart these controversies, appreciate the beauty of their complexity, and put together your own informed opinion on each. The first issue unpacks the controversy about whether or not the ownership of the mass media has become too concentrated; some critics argue that there are now too few owners of too many media businesses.

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The topic of sports is treated in Issue 2 by examining possible answers to the question: Is there too much money being spent on sports? Issue 3 examines “fake news.” Issue 4 analyzes how we criticize advertising and whether those criticisms are valid. Issue 5 tackles the persistent controversy over whether there is too much violence in the media and whether the prevalence of violence in media content is harming individuals and society. This section concludes with Issue 6, which examines the growing concern about privacy and how the new media environment is making it much more difficult for you to protect your privacy.

If you engage these issues on a superficial level, then you will likely be frustrated by what seem like unsolvable problems. But if you dig deeper and apply your developing skills of media literacy, you will begin to see how the complexities of these issues may be causing problems in your own life. And when you recognize these problems, you will be able to use your greater level of media literacy to develop strategies to reduce their influence. Thus you will be taking more control over issues that you previously thought were too big, too complicated, and the fault of other people.

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Digital Resources

The password-protected instructor resources site at http://study.sagepub.com/potter9e includes:

Test banks that provide a diverse range of prewritten options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding. Lecture notes that summarize key concepts on a chapter-by-chapter basis to help with preparation for lectures and class discussions. Chapter-specific PowerPoint¯ slides that offer assistance with lecture and review preparation by highlighting essential content, features, and artwork from the book. Tables and figures in an easily downloadable format for use in papers, handouts, and presentations. Sample course syllabi for semester and quarter courses provide suggested models for structuring your courses. Discussion questions that help launch classroom interaction by prompting students to engage with the material and by reinforcing important content. Chapter activities for individual or group projects provide lively and stimulating ideas for use in and out of class that reinforce active learning. A course cartridge provides easy LMS integration.

The open access student study site at study.sagepub.com/potter9e includes:

Mobile-friendly practice quizzes that allow for independent assessment by students of their mastery of course material. Mobile-friendly eFlashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts. Carefully selected chapter-by-chapter video and multimedia content that enhances classroom-based explorations of key topics. Exclusive access to influential SAGE journal and reference content that ties important research to chapter concepts to strengthen learning. Access to online-only appendices.

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To Conclude

It is my hope that this book will stimulate you to think more deeply about your media habits and become motivated to increase your control over the process of influence from the media. The information presented in these chapters will get you started in this direction. Will the book provide you with all the information you need to complete this task fully? No. That would require too much information to fit into one book. You will need to continue reading. At the end of most chapters, I suggest several books for further reading on the topic of that chapter. Although some of those books are fairly technical, most of them are easy to read and very interesting.

This book is an introduction. It is designed to show you the big picture so you can get started efficiently on increasing your own media literacy. It is important to get started now. The world is rapidly changing because of newer information technologies that allow you to create and share your own messages in addition to accessing all kinds of information on just about any conceivable topic.

I hope you will have fun reading this book. And I hope it will expose you to new perspectives from which you can perceive much more about the media. If it does, you will be gaining new insights about your old habits and interpretations. If this happens, I hope you will share your new insights and “war stories” with me. Much of this book has been written to reflect some of the problems and insights my students have had in the media literacy courses I have taught. I have learned much from them. I’d like to learn even more from you. So let me know what you think and send me a message at [email protected]

See you on the journey!

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Acknowledgments

This book project has traveled a very long distance from its initial conceptualization in the mid-1990s. Since then I have had the privilege of using various versions of the book with more than a thousand students at Florida State University, UCLA, Stanford University, and the University of California at Santa Barbara. These students helped me form the idea into a useful book for a broad range of undergraduates and refine the material through eight subsequent editions. I thank them for every question, every puzzled look, and every smile of satisfaction from an insight gained. Over the years, Media Literacy has been translated from English into seven other languages, which makes it accessible to readers in many parts of the world. Some of those readers have provided me with their reactions, and I thank them.

I thank the many reviewers whom SAGE called on to critique the text in each edition. Some contacted me directly; others chose to remain anonymous. In all cases their comments were valuable. SAGE and I gratefully acknowledge the following reviewers for their kind assistance:

MaryAlice Adams, Miami University Richard T. Craig, George Mason University Donna L. Halper, Lesley University Elizabeth R. Ortiz, Cedar Crest College Phil Rutledge, University of North Carolina–Charlotte

I am grateful for the support of SAGE with its many highly skilled staff members over the years. First, I need to thank Margaret Seawell, who initially signed this project then shepherded it through three editions, then Todd Armstrong who took over for Margaret on the fourth and fifth editions, then Matt Byrnie who took over for Todd and gave me considerable help with the sixth, seventh, and eighth editions before turning it over to Terri Accomazzo for this ninth edition. In the production department, Astrid Virding skillfully took the first edition from manuscript to bound book, as did Claudia Hoffman on the second edition, Tracy Alpern on the third, and Astrid Virding again on the fourth, fifth, and sixth editions, Olivia Weber-Stenis on the seventh edition, Laura Barrett on the eighth edition, and Bennie Clark Allen on this edition. They made it look easy, though there must have been days when it was anything but. I also want to thank Carmel Withers in Marketing and SAGE salespeople for their enthusiastic support of the new edition. Finally, I must thank the many fine copy editors SAGE has assigned to this project over the years, especially Christina West, who demonstrated that she is the best of the best with her great job editing my work on this ninth edition.

If you like this book, then I share the credit of success with all the people I mentioned above. If you find a mistake, a shortcoming, or a misinterpretation, it is my fault for not fully assimilating all the high-quality help I have been privileged to experience.

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About the Authors

W. James Potter , professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, holds one PhD in Communication Studies and another in Instructional Technology. He has been teaching media courses for more than two decades in the areas of effects on individuals and society, content narratives, structure and economics of media industries, advertising, journalism, programming, and production. He has served as editor of the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media and is the author of many journal articles and books, including the following: Media Effects, The 11 Myths of Media Violence, Becoming a Strategic Thinker: Developing Skills for Success, On Media Violence, Theory of Media Literacy: A Cognitive Approach, and How to Publish Your Communication Research (with Alison Alexander).

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Part I Introduction

Chapter 1. Why Increase Media Literacy? Chapter 2. Media Literacy Approach

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1 Why Increase Media Literacy?

Media literacy increases your ability to exercise control over the vast array of messages you encounter through daily media exposure.

iStock/Xavier Arnau

Key Idea: To survive in our information-saturated culture, we put our minds on “automatic pilot” in order to protect …