Frank W. Baker: Media Literacy

October 9, 2009 at 7:31 pm (Uncategorized)

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I am a junior at Lindenwood University and just starting The Mass Communication degree. This semester is the first time I’ve taken communication classes and they have been real eye opening. I learn something new every day, but one of the things that I felt most appealing was a lecture by Frank Baker on media literacy. What is media literacy? Coming into the lecture I had no full understanding of what media literacy actually was. Frank started off by asking what we believe media literacy is. My definition was, “Understanding the media, and being able to understand the messages it’s trying to convey”. To be honest with you, I pulled that out of know where. I have no idea what it is or what it means. About ten minutes into the lecture I started to get a grasp on the concept. The true meaning, and which makes the most sense, is “the ability to access, analyze, interpret, and produce media”. Frank explained to our class that advertisements are filling up the media world. We experience advertisements in our everyday lives. We are just so used to it; it seems hard to notice them.

During the lecture Frank went over what media really is. First he talked about how media messages are constructed, and that they represent reality. The images on TV and in pictures aren’t real; there just technology showing us what something looks like. Next is that media uses their own language, such as OMG and LOL. Next is that audience’s negotiating meaning. If a message is trying to be conveyed, newer audience might think of something more “up to date” when an older generation could believe of something that occurred a long time ago. It just depends on how old the person is and how media literate they are. Last, is that media communicates value and points-of-view, and are also interested in communicating power and profit.

An important part of the lecture is mainly set on advertising. Frank went over what the purpose of TV was, and that it was made to bring eyeballs to advertisers. When the voice is heard, “this program is brought to you by the sponsor”, in truth, you are brought to the sponsor by the program. Advertising is huge in the media today. Advertising has different techniques to capture the audience’s attention. Company’s strategies are to make things look better than they really are. In making ads, companies manipulate colors, genders, fonts, symbolism, camera angles, and expressions. All these different techniques are used to do one thing, and that is to capture the views attention so they look and find their product or products appealing.

This lecture will really make me pay more attention on how advertisers work. I won’t be able to watch a commercial without thinking about the things I talked to you about here. It has been real eye opening for me and I hope you look more into it.

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1 Comment

  1. harmonie00 said,

    I really like your post. I like the way you summarized everything that happened when Frank Baker was there. It is like you giving us a report of the speech and at the same time you really explain to us what media literacy is step by step in your own world but not too far from Frank Bakers word. Furthermore your video was very interesting and points out how important media literacy is, in order to be a responsible consumer. Great job!

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