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July 14, 2007


Michael Allison

I can't help but feel these conspiracy theorists belong in the same category as the 9/11 Truthers.

Alison Byrne Fields

Being media literate means being able to apply critical thinking skills to your "consumption" of the media and recognizing that information is created by individuals and institutions whose self interests impact the message. Although it's an effective way of illustrating the idea of self interest, knowing who owns the media is just one aspect of media literacy.

In the 90's (when I wore a Paper Tiger Camcorder Commando t-shirt), pointing your finger at General Electric or Disney every time Mark Crispin Miller came out with a new media ownership chart in The Nation was EASY.

I think the new demands of media literacy are less about knowing that Rupert Murdoch owns Fox News AND MySpace and more about being able to tell the difference between the companies that are truly embracing the Web 2.0 ethos by being transparent and allowing the customer in and those that are slapping "blogs" on their company sites and setting up MySpace profiles that they abandon in a month when they realize no one wants to be friends with a tube of toothpaste.

Susan F. Heywood

Media literacy is a skill that folks of all ages would benefit from using.

Beyond knowing who owns the platforms where Web users congregate and converse using social media, we need to understand how spin delivered in all media affects our perception of what is said versus the actual situation and why there are disconnects between perception and reality.

Strong critical thinking skills prepare media consumers to ask the specific questions necessary to draw objective conclusions about the credibility of information received via communication of all types.

Consumers of information should understand where and why messages originate, what they were designed to do, and why, which requires examination of where potential benefit from advocating a given point of view might lie.

"Following the money" very often adds valuable information to this process of determining the credibility of each item in the daily deluge of messages delivered via media of all types.

Fortunately, there are sites that provide excellent resources for educators interested in media literacy curriculum and competence for their students. Find my favorite Media Literacy education links at http://del.icio.us/sheywood/media.literacy

John Bell

Essentially, the movie and the article that preceded it is sloppy detective work. That hint at something but never make their case.

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