A Production-based Approach to Media Literacy
Joseph C. Schaub.
While it is important for students to have the requisite skills to critique entertainment and advertising messages, merely watching and critiquing media messages does nothing to help students develop their own voices as participants in the mass media. My experience as a media studies teacher has taught me that media literacy can only be achieved with a balanced approach that emphasizes production as well as critical consumption of media messages. Just as writers make more discerning readers, media producers make more critical media consumers. Until recently the cost of video production equipment has been prohibitive, but advances in camcorder and PC technology have made adequate systems affordable for even the most cash-strapped college communications departments. My paper argues for this production-based approach to media literacy in favor of semiotic approaches that merely teach critical reception. In my paper I suggest ways to help students produce their own media messages using inexpensive desktop tools. Ultimately, the production skills students learn will also make them more educated consumers of mass media, and thereby achieve a more balanced and genuine form of media literacy.
Joseph C. Schaub (United States)
Communication Arts Department
College of Notre Dame of Maryland
(30 min. Conference Paper, English)