Sunday, 5 February 2017

Nerd Church - The Age of Media

(This post contains gifs with jerky/not smooth motions, which may cause problems to those with photosensitive medical conditions such as epilepsy or migraines.)

We live in a world of media.

Mass media, social media, targeted media - it's all there.

And yet Media Studies and related subjects are often criticised and seen as 'easy.'

The fact is, Media Literacy is something we all need - urgently - in today's world.

Too many people are left illiterate in this area. And in a world of Trumpy McTrumpface and all the other sh**, this IS NOT GOOD.

media icons tree pic

So today, my nerdlets, I'm going to attempt to show you why you need to start thinking about this - and how you can do that:

What counts as 'media?'

The Internet, social networks, magazines, TV, film, music, and, yes, even books. That's just a few.

Media is modern life - modern popular culture, the modern world.

Why is it important?

It's important because we need the relevant critical skills to analyse and think about the media we consume.

We need to understand what different pieces of media are saying about topics, and about groups of people.

All human beings have biases, therefore all media has biases.

So you can't trust everything you see.

You also have to realise that every part of the media you consume is part of a wider picture - it's all telling you something, whether intentionally or unintentionally, and you need to be able to figure out what that is.

Where can I start?

Media literacy isn't something that you just magically acquire.

I personally think it's something that you have to develop over a lifetime (although many may disagree,) but the first step is understanding that you need to know more.

And while the obvious place to start in the digital age may seem to be Google, it can often be difficult to figure out what to search for, and what sites are useful.

Here are a few websites to get you started:

  • TV Tropes - this is a huge resource of recurrent themes, stereotypes, and symbols, within all aspects of the media, complete with examples (the site started with TV themes etc. - hence the name.)

  • Common Sense Media - this is a site with a focus on media literacy for kids, and is aimed primarily at parents and educators; it does have some really interesting articles and resources which I'm sure you'll find useful.

OK, I hope that's useful guys - go be awesome! :)

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  1. I took a media studies class last year and I loved it! It was so informative and helpful, not to mention really fun to learn about. I think everyone should have taken it to be honest.

  2. Media illiteracy is so real. Even among people who think they're media savvy. Just because we consume it every day, doesn't mean we know how to analyze and think about that media critically. I still have ways to go and I think you're right to say that media literacy is something you develop in the long-term.

    1. Totally agree! I think it's something we should all be regularly working on.

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  5. Yes, media does play more of an important role in our lives than most people realise. It's the way a lot of people receive their news, and some do forget to check their sources. How reliable is that news? What is the bias?


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