Media Literacy

An understanding of your oppressor and the power of words

An Entire Semester of Media Literacy

As defined, Media Literacy is a set of repertoires that enable competencies that allow people to analyze, evaluate and create informational media across the web. Having a set of skills like these are essential for successfully networking in the twenty-first century. With the comprehensive given to me in Media Literacy, I now know the importance of internet privacy, about the dangers of an oppressive government and finally the significance behind propaganda.



To begin, one of the very first things I did in Media Literacy was to investigate social media. Social Media has become a huge, huge part of our everyday lives. Along with all the benefits we gain from it, such as connectivity and readability, the technology behind social media can quickly turn dangerous. From the very beginning, I was obscurely aware of the injustices that were within media giants like Facebook and Google. However, now I know that information has been collected on a massive scale through the use of deceit and deception. Covering this unit about Media Literacy was very enlightening for me and for the first time I was able to channel some of my teenage angst in a healthy, academic manner. Aside from this, this class also reinforced the idea that these websites, even Facebook, can be used productively. One way I have seen this done is through individuals campaigning against a certain idea or event. A great example of this happened in 2012, when # Stop Koney 2012 went viral. Although this unit had lots of material I gained from, there were also some other areas I did not.



Another unit in Media Literacy that we covered was the novel 1984 by George Orwell. For as long as I can remember, 1984 was a book I have always been looking forward to reading. However, when we first began the book, I realized I was wrong about quite a few things. I thought I had an idea about what the story was about, government spying, big brother, etc. However, after the first few chapters, it became blatantly obvious to me that I was wrong and that I didn’t know very much about the subject. I was completely under the impression that I did know, when in reality, I did not know very much about the subject at all. From this point on, I learned the importance of doublethink and doublespeak. I realized the message that lied within the book was so relevant in this world today that I didn’t even realize I was letting myself think in doublethink. How can one possibly know the truth about something solely based on the word of mouth, textbook or news station without personally witnessing the event or having a firsthand witness of the event? I suppose if there is anything I did not like about reading 1984, it was the realization that I do not know everything there is to know and that there is always room to grow and move forward. Since then, I am now able to analyze the world a bit more systematically and academically rather than rising to the streets immediately without a deeper understanding.



Finally, if there is anything to walk away from Media Literacy having a greater understanding of, it is the awareness of propaganda and how it can easily be used as a weapon. This was something new because usually in language arts, such topics aren’t usually covered from that perspective. No matter where a person lives, the United States, Japan, Brazil, there will always be an economy with a market and a quota to satisfy. One thing that really gets people going is money. Money is an incredible incentive for people; it is what drives us to do everything that we do. However, the money goes as easily as it comes. There will always be a corporation that will try to trick me into thinking I need their product, and although I was already aware of this, Media Literacy allowed me to academically do something with knowledge I already knew.



For the first time in school, I was able to be a part of a class that actually participated in discussions I could contribute to and feel knowledgeable about. This class truly reinforced my understanding of what it means to take information and turn it into an academic piece of work. Above that, Media Literacy has helped me understand everything from how sneaky internet entities can steal my personal information from how the ease of technology can simplify life down to the very bones of your body and from that I now know, Media Literacy is a repertoire of information designed to help people understand the cyberspace around them.

Analysis of Welcome to 1984 by Anti-Flag

In the video “Welcome to 1984”, Justin Greever alludes to the dystopian characteristics of George Orwell’s 1984 by connecting double think, redirection of human thought and finally significance of war and its effect on society. Throughout the song, Greever refers to the line “War is peace and freedom is the police state”. This, an example of doublethink, is a connection between Greever’s dissatisfaction with war and the idealism of words being given new and inverted meanings as seen in Newspeak. Another example of how Greever alludes to 1984 is in the line “As the unpresident spew homophobic speech”. In order to weaken and simplify the human mind, the Party heavily censors and controls media to limit the depth of the human mind. To connect, a common belief about homosexuality is that the act is a choice, contrary to the Party’s policy, citizens in Oceana are not allowed to make even the smallest choices for themselves. Finally, in order to express dissatisfaction with the acts of war taken by the United States, Greever refers to the line “Now we have armies of peace, armed to the teeth”. Along with the use of doublethink, this line connects with the Party’s domestic and foreign policy of being in a constant state of war to ensure peace. In order to maintain control, the Party mainlines the idea that a state of war is actually a state of peace. The Party does this in order consume and reap the benefits of the war machine. Overall, “Welcome to 1984” is nearly based from the foreshadowing events in the story 1984 and only intends to promote awareness of the similarities.

ANTI-FLAG - "WELCOME TO 1984"

Welcome to 1984 Lyrics

Who would Jesus bomb? Yeah, who would Jesus kill?
The double talk is past surreal
The word of god is now the word of hate
War is peace, and freedom is the police state
Can't you see the writing on the wall?
Democracy lays trampled on the floor

You better believe that
Hell yeah, I'm confused for sure
What I thought was the New Millennium is 1984
Mr. Orwell from the grave, adding fresh ink to the page
As the unpresident declares an endless war
Welcome to 1984

Feels like Nazi Germany and Hitler on TV
As the unpresident spews homophobic speech
Didn't the allies fight a war to end extremist fascist law
So tell me now what are the fuck we fighting for?

I just can not take it anymore
Democracy lays trampled on the floor
Man, isn't freedom great

Hell yeah, I'm confused for sure
What I thought was the New Millennium is 1984
Mr. Orwell from the grave, adding fresh ink to the page
As the unpresident declares an endless war

Now we've got armies of peace, armed to the teeth
Delivering death to make the world a better place
So celebrate the weapons spending, say a toast to Armageddon
Raise some hell, we're all headed straight to hell

Hell yeah, I'm confused for sure
What I thought was the New Millennium is 1984
Mr. Orwell from the grave, adding fresh ink to the page
As the unpresident declares an endless war
Welcome to 1984


Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/anti-flag/welcome-to-1984-lyrics/#dluFbzC6bvpWgQ8m.99

A Special Report

Parents raise smartest 2 year old in Metro Atlanta area


Adam Sinclair, Fictional Reporter
March 11, 2014


FORSYTH – Maxwell Hammonds, a swell two and a half year old baby-student has just received one of the highest test scores in his age group. Hammonds, born only two years ago on February 30, 2012, has been hard at work at the Winston Pre-K academy. Since the age of nine months, little Maxwell has been studying a vast array of subjects there varying from Darwinian Evolution to old English grammar.


When Hammonds Mother stopped by the office today, was asked her deepest ambitions for young Hammonds. She had this to say, “We just love our little genius, we just knew from the second he took his first breath that he had to be the perfect brain to program.”


“I mean really, go big or go home, right? What I really mean to say is how wonderful would it be if we could pay thousands of dollars for our son to take SAT classes to then get accepted into a brand name college so he can then in turn get accepted into medical school where he can then put a burden of many years of debt and then only to charge others who are less fortunate for 35 minutes of my little Maxwell’s gracious time. But we just think he would have a better life working for Mr. Kaiser, they just have such a swell monopoly.”


Also, as a side note, our reporters asked Hammonds another question pertaining to the condition of the economy. She told us that she thought it was just "A-OK".


Wondering if there’s more news to come? Hammonds mother thinks so, when she decides he will becomes the first ever two and a half year old football star.

Precis

Adam Sinclair
Media Literacy
Mrs. Hicks
26 Feb 2014

“Sochi Olympics”

In The Daily Currant’s article “Russia Houses Prisoners In Sochi” (2014), the journalist ridicules Russia for its overall failure to host the Winter Olympics that states Russia is politically incorrect and often unstable. The Daily Currant conveys this by explaining in detail the events prior to that of the housing of prisoners at the Olympic Games to events after. Using news already publicized The Daily Currant paradises the instability found in Russia in order to mock them and their strange policies. The Daily Currant blatantly mocks Russia bringing in a biased audience, however, the audience really being sought here are critics far and wide of Russia’s constant lack of progressiveness and stability.

“America on Poverty”

In the infomercial “Teenage Influenza Is Spreading Fast” (2014), the writer satirizes the American teenager’s tendencies to be over dramatic and forgetful of the luxuries that are given in the United States. The writer develops this by imitating organizations that help children of poverty around the world and contrasting them with the average first world problems of the American teenager. This is conveyed to the audience through exaggerated problems found in the everyday American lifestyle in order to help people realize they do not experience all of the hardships they believe they do. The intended audiences sought by the author are men and women who are perhaps depressed but also to America as a whole to illuminate the issue of taking luxury for granted.

Cheerios 2014 Game Day Ad | "Gracie"

Cheerio's - Gracie

Cheerios, General Mills, in their Super Bowl Advertisement named “Gracie” suggests that America is a diverse nation where people of all races, religions and creeds can come together and live a happy life. General Mills supports this claim by first responding to criticism from their first bi-racial commercial aired earlier this year, then they take their activism a bit further by portraying the family as caring, happy and conventional, and finally the claims are supported by the African-American father informing his multiracial daughter that they are introducing another member to the family. General Mill’s purpose for this is to help normalize the idea of freedom of marriage in order to show America that it is okay to be different. General Mills adopts a gentle tone in order to promote a happy, functioning home life style for people of all ethnicity and backgrounds.

Media

In the world today, we are living in the age of information. For the first time ever, we are experiencing a generation that has a wealth of the world’s information in at our finger tips. With all this said, it is important to be media literate. To be media literate is to be able to make decisions based off of what is seen in the media. This includes analyzing the information presented and then evaluating it. These are critical skills to have as there are many networks of media available to us. For example, there are a variety of media in broadcast media. Broadcast media boasts media outlets such as local and international news on the radio and television waves, propagation and promotion and entertainment for just about every generation. Another form of media is social media. Social media works within the boundaries of cyberspace. Examples of social media are Instagram, Snapchat, Reddit, Facebook, Wikipedia, and any tool designed to connect people with information. Social media is a relatively new form of media that is becoming available to more and more people around the world every day. With the world on such a large network, it allows for current events to be shared instantly. This ability to instantly share information has marked a watershed moment for mankind. Lastly, a third type of media is print media. Print media is slowly disappearing with the growth of technology. An example of this is the newspaper and generations ago the newspaper industry was booming with journalism. However, with the ease of technology and the urge to go green, print is not as popular as it once was. Although, it is still used in other forms such as books, flyers, brochures, maps, etc. Overall, we analyze and act upon new strings of information every day, with media literacy, we have the ability to be able to make the right decisions as they unfold in every day life.