Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963992 | Print ISBN: 9781412906784 | Online ISBN: 9781412963992| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Myriam N. Torres
Media literacy is a new and important area within the interdisciplinary movement of new literacy studies (sociolinguistics, mass media, curriculum, and cultural studies, etc.). In this context, media literacy goes beyond reading and writing texts to also include (in a Freirían sense) reading and writing the world. As a new area of inquiry, media literacy involves (a) understanding how corporate for-profit media work, and their impact on educational, social, political, cultural, and linguistic practices; (b) understanding that educators, parents, and citizens need to be media literate to be able to participate in and for a democratic society; and (c) developing strategic abilities for searching, supporting, and/or creating independent, nonprofit alternative media. There are several approaches to media literacy. Some draw on theoretical frameworks (cognitive, moral, ideological, etc.), and some on media analysis (advertising, news, content). The lack of media literacy potentially prevents citizens from effective participation in democratic systems. Democracy, ...