International Communications: A Media Literacy Approach
The traditional approach to international communications pedagogy focuses on the histories and characteristics of individual media systems around the world. However, a media literacy approach to international communications represents a new direction, emphasizing the critical analysis of the media and media content.
The discipline of media literacy is particularly relevant to the study of international communications. Media literacy is a critical thinking skill that is applied to the source of most of our information - the channels of mass communications. As applied to the field of international communications, media literacy focuses on ways to make sense of the global information that people receive through the channels of mass communications.
Media literacy should not be understood merely as an opportunity to bash the media. A well-produced media presentation can be enormously worthwhile, exposing people to different ideas and cultures. Media literacy should enhance an individual’s appreciation of media at its best: insightful articles, informative news programs, and uplifting films. In the case of international media communicators: the ability to produce effective and responsible media messages.
In order to be effective in a global arena, media communicators must demonstrate an awareness of the complexities presented by communicating with an international audience. But further, in order to improve the media industry, media communicators must understand the responsibilities involved in producing programming that serves the best interests of the public.
This paper defines the media literacy approach to media communications. In addition, the presentation introduces selected strategies for the systematic analysis of international communications: Function, Media Communicator, Historical Context, and Cultural Context. The session will include a discussion of these concepts, along with examples that illustrate these concepts.
Art Silverblatt (United States)
Department of Communication and Journalism
Art Silverblatt is Professor of Communications and Journalism at Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri. He is the author of Media Literacy: Keys to Interpreting Media Messages, (Praeger Publications, 1995, 2001), and co-author of The Dictionary of Media Literacy (Greenwood Press,1997), and Approaches to the Study of Media Literacy (M.E. Sharpe, May, 1999). Silvrblatt is co-author of International Communications: A Media Literacy Approach (M.E. Sharpe), which will be published in February, 2004. He earned his Ph.D. in 1980 from Michigan State University.
Person as Subject
(60 min. Workshop, English)