Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The term media literacy is drawn from an analogy with reading literacy: just as the latter refers to an ability to read, write, and understand words and phrases, the former refers to an ability to analyze, evaluate, and produce various kinds of media texts. Media literacy is often used interchangeably with media education , which technically speaking is the creation, primarily by school teachers, of the necessary conditions for the development of media literacy. The relative uncertainty surrounding the definition of media literacy also characterizes the movement associated with it, as various media educators base their work on different theoretical perspectives. Virtually all media literacy schools of thought, however, agree that media pervade people's everyday lives, thus creating a need for an educational diet of analytical and critical thinking skills that can be specifically applied to their content. Alongside commercial messages carried by the media, news and public affairs stories ...