Media Literacy

No Matter How You Look At It, You Can't Escape From It

Media are various forms of communication including television, radio, magazines, and newspapers that induce an opinion from individuals. Basically, the media are ways for people to become more informed about the world: politics, wars, controversies, and the environment. The media bring the world into the comforts of our homes. My grandparent’s generation would remember the first television medium when the United States broadcasted the first presidential debate on live television. Almost everything we know about people, places, and events come from the media. Powerful, isn’t it? We rely on media so much, yet they can pose so many threats to everyone. Ideally, the media is one of the easiest things to access in this world; however, it can also be one of the most dangerous things. Often, people use the media to distort information or hide the unbearable truth. It dates all the way back to where such terms as propaganda and yellow journalism were used. In saying that, the media may not always bring the most comforting news to our homes. We choose to interpret the information that is being spoon fed to us. Thus, it is very crucial for young children to be able to understand media literacy and to be in control of his or her media experiences. Without the media, we would be ignorant fools. To be media literate means that you are able to understand the underlying message behind mass media. A media literate person can dissect the information into smaller pieces and can process the kind of image that it projects to the world. Nowadays, we use the media to our advantage and in unspeakable ways.

Budweiser Super Bowl XLVIII Commercial -- "A Hero's Welcome"

Super Bowl Commercial Analysis

In the 2014 Super Bowl ad, “A Hero’s Welcome”, Anomaly asserts that every U.S. soldier deserves a warm homecoming. Anomaly supports their assertion by stirring pride and honor among the audience, utilizing a song that fits well to the title of the commercial, and rendering the homecoming of a U.S. soldier. By tugging the heartstrings of fellow Americans, Anomaly effectively achieves its purpose of honoring and revering soldiers for fighting courageously in the face of our country. This ad is specially geared towards families whose loved ones are serving in the army.


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A Satirical Article

College Board Announces New Format for the SAT

Andrea Khairunisa

Mon March 31, 2014

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK – Brace yourselves, students. This may be the most exciting news of your spring break. Or not. College Board has just announced a new format for the SAT standardized test. That’s right, I am talking about the test that your parents spend hundreds of dollars on hiring tutors or registering you under SAT prep classes. With College Board’s new formula, we can predict that about a third of our population will not be going to college as college applications are going to get even tougher. Given that, a majority of college freshmen will be getting financial aid. Not a bad thing, right? Our economy won’t have to worry about not having loans repaid or any of that good stuff.

So what is exactly going to be on the new test? As of now, College Board doesn’t have an actual measurement on the level of difficulty that the new test has. However, there are going to be more questions on the new test. Don’t panic yet. The content on the math portion will be as simple as using the limited features of a basic four function calculator. Also, we can expect random questions about pop culture, like “Who rocked the Jovani dress better” or “Which celebrity couple named their child Northwest”. As opposed to the current SAT, students would not have to spend their energy and hours on an elongated list of overwhelming vocabulary that they are required to memorize in a short amount of time. When are we ever going to use words like ravenous or loquacious? Not in the next twenty, nor fifty years, and probably not for about another seventy years.

“We wanted to add information that would be more relevant to our society.” Said Dave Cook, a representative of College Board. Good idea, College Board. That means that students are allowed to throw out any pieces of old text that they. Instead, we can expect references to this decade’s novels that have made it to the higher-selling tier. As if this new test couldn’t get any better.

When is all of this going into effect? College Board announces that is should be no later than 2016. It is approaching fast, so might as well throw out your old copies of old SAT books now!

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Personal Reaction to 1984

In my personal opinion, I think that Orwell's 1984 does a good job at criticizing the government. We should really take into consideration the political messages that Orwell is trying to tell us. For instance, he warns us about the things that would happen if the government were to have total control of our society. In addition, he warns us that technology has the potential to threaten society. I have not read much of 1984 to know about the ending, but as far as I know, Big Brother's signs are prevalent today. We've been exposed to propaganda in the past and we have believed the false media stories circulating on social media. Our privacy is in danger. Our very own cellphones have a feature that will allow us to - only if we allow it to, publish our location to our news feed on Facebook or Instagram. Much of our personal privacy is taken away because there are government agencies out there that are monitoring our web searches. Even the police have a new device that can read license plates and check if a car is unregistered, uninsured, or stolen.

So getting straight to the point, I believe that we can actually prevent the world that Orwell visioned if and only if we continue to take precautionary measures.

Entry #6: Reflection

Over the course of this semester, I learned how we could weave literature and film and centralize them around a major theme. I was more aware of current events now than I was two years ago, because we did assignments that connect back to these events. I realized that our privacy is substantially at risk and I was more informed of the horrors of a totalitarian state of government. When I came into media literacy, it was like a breath of fresh air. For a while, students could take a break from reading classic novels and writing three-page long essays. We also did more interactive stuff on the web such as creating typography on Wordle and creating a commercial that advocated a campaign. I am more inclined to these kind of projects as opposed to writing a research paper. I think the most interesting aspect of this class is that we were able to complete most of the tasks on the computer instead of doing the usual paperwork that we normally received. I also learned interesting things based on reading the reactions and responses from classmates on Schoology as well as hearing a few contributors' insights to a discussion on the novel(s) we were reading in class. I especially enjoyed how we read novels that carried the dystopian atmosphere with it. Dystopia is one of my favorite genres, so I was relieved to hear that we would be reading Orwell’s 1984. In this generation, most schools are already moving towards this new curriculum that involves advanced technology, so this class will definitely prepare me in the near future. There’s no doubt that college classes will be similar to this one.

One thing that I would suggest in the future is to allow the class to read more novels outside of the course curriculum, and allow time during the week where we can all just read our own books. Some of the teachers in our school probably don’t realize that as high school students, we don’t have a lot of free time in our hands to read books outside of school. So I think that doing this will absolutely have a positive impact on the students in the class. Another thing I would recommend doing is to do more group activities. What I observed in the class, and maybe it was just first block, was that we didn’t have a lot of motivation to communicate with the people in our groups. Oddly enough, it seemed as though we were more engaged on the web.