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Media Literacy

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PowerPoint to accompany lesson about media bias

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Media Literacy

  1. 1. DENOTATION V. CONNOTATION • DENOTATIVE LANGUAGE: explicit definition; the meaning as listed in a dictionary • CONNOTATIVE LANGUAGE: the association or set of associations a word brings to mind; the cultural definition
  2. 2. CONNOTATIVE EXAMPLES Cars of the 1960’s: Thunderbird, Falcon, Charger, Comet, Mustang, Barracuda Cars of the 1970’s: Rabbit, Pinto, Colt, Civic, Starlet, Gremlin
  3. 3. WHY DOES WORD CHOICE MATTER? • POSITIVE CONNOTATION: Sarah was an enthusiastic member of her sorority. • NEUTRAL CONNOTATION: Sarah was an active member of her sorority. • NEGATIVE CONNOTATION: Sarah was a fanatical member of her sorority.
  4. 4. WORD CHOICE • Disabled vs. Handicapped vs. Differently-abled • Thin vs. Slender vs. Slim • Fat vs. Obese vs. Heavy • Republican vs. Conservative vs. Right Wing • Democrat vs. Liberal vs. Progressive vs. Left Wing • Gay vs. Gay and Retard v. Retard
  5. 5. CX IN MEDIA LITERACY & JOURNALISM Agenda Setting: the theory that media can exert a large influence on audiences through the choice of what stories to consider newsworthy, and how much prominence and space to give them
  6. 6. AGENDA SETTING (EXAMPLE #1) The Iraq War: • Amount of news coverage on war made it the prominent topic for discussion in the American political arena • However, as war progressed, there was less coverage about the war – making it less important in the U.S. political agenda
  7. 7. AGENDA SETTING (EXAMPLE #2) The Penn State Child Abuse Scandal: • In the midst of the Republican presidential campaign, the Penn State child abuse scandal was exposed. • Suddenly, Republican presidential race was secondary to the unfolding Penn State story. • Rep. presidential story disappeared from news before story was finished.
  8. 8. AGENDA SETTING (EXAMPLE #3) Miley Cyrus v. Syria: • The day after the VMAs, Miley Cyrus was mentioned on Facebook 8,454,022 times. • Syria and Obama were mentioned only 2,452,600 times. • Was this reflective of media coverage? Or did the media merely reflect our culture? How can you tell the difference anymore?
  9. 9. CX IN MEDIA LITERACY & JOURNALISM Priming: “Priming occurs when news content suggests to news audiences that they ought to use specific issues as benchmarks for evaluating the performance of leaders and government.” Scheufele & Tewksbury
  10. 10. PRIMING (EXAMPLE) The Iraq War: • Invading Iraq – direct response to 9/11. • Most news stories treated the invasion as a necessary response by USA to show it won’t stand down in the face of terror. • Media suggested we judge the effectiveness of President Bush as a leader based on his decisive, swift response.
  11. 11. CX IN MEDIA LITERACY & JOURNALISM Framing: • Process by which an issue is portrayed in news media • Media frames provide boundaries around a news story, determines what is and is not newsworthy or notable. • Journalists rely on media frames to decide what to include and what to leave out – a process that may be conscious, instinctive, or culture-bound.
  12. 12. FRAMING (EXAMPLE #1) SCENARIO: Imagine the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) plans to hold a rally on the grounds of the State Capitol Building. STORY #1: • One broadcast does a story on the rally, suggesting the KKK rally may attract protestors, which might result in violence. • A police sergeant is interviewed about how extra security is going to be needed to prevent injuries. • The news reporter has framed this as a public safety issue.
  13. 13. FRAMING (EXAMPLE #1, CONT.) • STORY #2: • Another news broadcast does a story on the rally focusing on the KKK’s right to assemble in public and to voice their opinions. • A university law professor is interviewed about the KKK’s right to assemble under the protection of the Bill of Rights. • The story is framed as a freedom of speech issue.
  14. 14. FRAMING (EXAMPLE #2)
  15. 15. FRAMING (EXAMPLE #2, CONT.)
  16. 16. YOUR MEDIA BIAS ASSIGNMENT This weekend, locate an example of a biased magazine or newspaper article. On Monday, we will annotate your article in class, looking for specific examples of bias in the writing of the piece.

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