Mapping Media Literacy: Key Concepts and Future Directions
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New York : Routledge
InBeck, C.S. (ed.), Communication Yearbook 32, pp. 313-354
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Beck, C.S. (ed.), Communication Yearbook 32
This chapter examines how different researchers define media literacy; i.e., what people need to know about the media and their use in order to be deemed media literate. As opposed to previous overviews, this chapter attempts to structure the multitude of definitions using a schematic representation of media production and use. Such a construction provides a thematic overview of diverse definitions of media literacy. Thus, it specifies key aspects of the media and their use in terms of media literacy and corresponding emphasis in the media literacy literature. This analysis reveals that the vast majority of researchers consider understanding how media content is created to be a central aspect of media literacy whereas scholars treat the ability to handle the media in a constructive manner as far less important, and the media literacy literature virtually ignores the fact that media producers are prone to media influence. Furthermore, this chapter indicates that little has changed in the field of media literacy in the past few decades, with the majority of the dimensions of media literacy present in definitions utilized in the 1970s and 1980s. Finally, this chapter also identifies the features of media literacy that require additional investigation, such as the relationship between media literacy and Internet-based technologies.
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