Media Literacy Journals

Jackson Schlinkert

What is the media and what does it mean to be Media Literate?

In today’s society, almost all information that is given to the public comes through the media. This “media” refers to the giant means of communication in the twenty-first century. The internet, news, social networks and even radio shows are all examples of media. The media is responsible for getting information to the public eye. Any information that is available to the public can be found in the media, whether it is from a simple google search or through the local news channel. Social media is probably the biggest form of the media. Social media is websites or applications that allow its users to share content or take part in social networking. Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat are all examples of major social media sources. Being “media literate” means that someone is able to interpret and evaluate messages in all types of media. This is important in today’s society because almost all the information we receive comes from the media, not the source itself. Every media source has its own way of sharing information, and a person needs to be media literate in order to find the true message hidden behind the information. Media literacy is something that should be taught to all students so they can be prepared to find the meaning behind videos and texts that they come across on a daily basis. Having the ability to interpret the media will help the student navigate through everyday media easier and more fluently, ultimately allowing them to find the information they need faster than ever before.

Social Media Challenge

Recently, I was presented a challenge which asked that I "log off" of social media for a day. Sounds simple right? It was actually a lot harder than I thought it would be. I noticed myself mindlessly tapping on my various social media apps, only to quickly exit out after realizing that I was not supposed to be using social media for a full day. I must honestly admit, I did not make it a full day. The next morning, tired from the day before, I turned off my alarm on my phone and picked it up, automatically checking all of my social media accounts before realizing that I still was taking the no social media challenge. I was disappointed in the fact that I did not make it a full twenty-four hours. This challenge proved to me how much social media has become apart of not only my life, but my entire generations. I have become so accustom to checking my social media accounts throughout the day, it has basically become a second nature to me. I wonder how much time I spend daily on social media, and how much the average person spends on social media daily. Social media has become apart of almost everyone's daily lives, and for most people, going twenty-four hours without social media is impossible. It makes me wonder what our lives would be like without any social media at all. What would we do in place of all the time we spend logged on to social media? How much different would society be?

Advertising Reflection

Many of today's advertisements are photo-shopped, modified, and unnatural works of art. The beauty industry is a prime example of this. Almost every beauty ad you see contains a model that has spent countless hours in a make up chair, and then a few more hours in an image editing program to make her look just right. This process shows just how much our society is obsessed with perfecting their natural image. The media rarely embraces a women's natural look, therefore creating a new standard of beauty that women try to hold themselves to. I am shocked that I never paid any attention to the work that goes into making an ad, and I have completely missed some underlying themes that the ads are suggesting. Some of today's advertisements are objectifying women and showing them off as accessories or passive possessions of men. These ads are teaching young boys that women are possessions, and that is not okay. Advertising agencies need to start making a change. A change that could possibly embrace nontraditional roles in men and women, a change in the concept of beauty, a change in the way they portray women in our society. If the beauty standard could be lifted, people would be more confident in themselves, they would spend less on beauty products, and they would be less stressed about how they look. People would not judge as much, if there was no such thing as a beauty standard.

Fact Checking

Recently, A New York Times article made a claim that "Nearly 20 percent of Donald Trump's voters disagreed with the freeing of the slaves in Southern states after the Civil War" (Armbruster). I decided to check the validity of that statement, and the author's claim is partially true. The reported data was exit poll data that revealed one in five Trump supporters opposed the Emancipation Proclamation. However, data from February 2016 indicated 38 percent "of Trump voters say they wish the South had won the Civil War" in specific Southern polling results. Data from 2014 taken before Trump's campaign was even announced showed surprisingly similar responses.

Checking the validity of statements is very important, because the media does not always report the truth. The media can easily manipulate the news to any way they want. I will always try to find all sides of a story before forming my own opinion on a topic.

The Cuban Revolution

Fidel Castro overthrew General Batista in January of 1959 after gathering a new group of rebels in Mexico, and pushing across the island of Cuba in a series of victories. The group group’s guerrilla war tactics were new to Batista’s army, and the tactics eventually led Castro and his revolutionists to victory. The only reason that Castro’s rebellions were so powerful was because he had people who believed in him and his ideas for Cuba, and they wanted to make a change for Cuba. The people of Cuba were angry that Fulgencio Batista overthrew the president and suspended all elections after realizing that his campaign was failing. Castro easily gained supporters at the thought of someone new in Cuba’s office. Castro’s “History Will Absolve Me” speech gained him most of his revolutionary support at home.

"Top 10 Revolutions Felt Around the World - Listverse." Listverse. N.p., 03 Oct. 2010. Web. 18 Mar. 2016.

"Fidel Castro and The Cuban Revolution." Fidel Castro and The Cuban Revolution. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2016.

O'Brien: Victim or Villain?

O’Brien, is he a victim or a villain? In George Orwell’s 1984, O’Brien, a well dressed questionable character, is first mentioned during the two minutes of hate, and later seen meeting with Winston and Julia in his own apartment. Winston then finds out O’Brien’s plot against the party, and he believes that O’Brien is on his side. Later in the story it is revealed that O’Brien only met with Winston and Julia to trick them into trusting him, and revealing their secrets to him. When Winston is captured and taken to The Ministry of Love, O’Brien is seen again in the torture room with Winston. O’Brien tells Winston “Don’t worry, Winston; you are in my keeping. For seven years I have watched over you. Now the turning point has come. I shall save you, I shall make you perfect.” (Orwell, 244) revealing that he has been plotting against Winston for a long period of time. I believe O’Brien is the true villain, for tricking Winston into trusting him and revealing all of his secrets against the Party.

Media Literacy: Revisited

My take on the idea of Media Literacy has deepened, after taking this class my understanding for the media has noticeably gotten better. I can now pinpoint different types of literature that the media uses. Knowing the different techniques that the media uses to lure in their readers or listeners helps me to understand the who’s, what’s, and why’s of all the news that is released through the media. This class has been different than my other Language Arts classes in the sense that there was more “hands-on” activities that brought me closer and more in-depth to real life examples of all of these literature pieces. I don’t think that this class should be taught any different, as it held its purpose with teaching me everything I needed to know.

Can Man Fix His Habits Before It's Too Late?

The only true thing that can be done to really prevent us from becoming disconnected to the world is to stop using so much of the technology. Put down your smart phones, tablets, PS4s, Xboxs, and whatever you spend enormous amounts of your time on. You should spend time with the people you care about, and actually connect with them. You should share your wildest experiences and even have a laugh. There’s no emotion through a phone, so you’re never truly connection with them.