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Final Reflection: Blog Assignment

What is media literacy? According to my research, and from all the learning materials that I have read from this course. Media Literacy is an umbrella term encompassing a variety of approaches that develop critical thinking skills across all types of media. Building an understanding of how media message shape our culture and society. Also, to give people tools to advocate for a changed media system.

Media literacy education teaches us students to apply critical thinking to media messages and to use media to create their own messages, it is a key and a useful skill to have, especially in 2022. Media literacy is critical to the health and well-being of America’s children, as well as to their future participation in the civic and economic life of our democracy.

We covered in this course are, Access, Analyze, Evaluate, Create, and Act. Which are all very important in understanding media literacy. The first one is Access, in media literacy, Access is defined as how, when, where, and how often people have access to the tools, technology, and digital skills necessary to thrive. This includes how media, technology, and how the internet works. How consumers access information may determine what information they receive. Access to all information and ideas without censorship; individuals should draw conclusions about media based on their own assessment, experiences, values, and beliefs, Participation in society, including the ability to receive and convey information, is a global human right and access to media literacy education. People who are at risk of this are are those who are in third world countries, who has little to no access to the internet or any media tools. The other important area of media literacy is Analyze. In media literacy, ANALYZING media content is the process of asking questions about a piece of media in order to identify authorship, credibility, purpose, technique, context, and economics. Understanding who created a piece of media/information by identifying: The author(s), Whether the author(s) are credible/knowledgeable about the topic, What their intent might be by creating this piece of media–what they want people to think, know, or do in response to this media, what biases the author(s) has and how that bias is reflected in the content they created. Individuals that are at risk are those people who immediately believes whatever they see in the internet immediately, that they would spread fake news, that may cause panicking. 

The 3rd one is Evaluate. In media literacy, Evaluating media content involves drawing one’s own meaning, judgment, and conclusions about media messages based on the information gathered during media access, thoughtful analysis, and self-reflective interpretation. The 2nd to the last is Create. In media literacy, media creation is a form of expression. It encompasses learning how to express ideas through media and communication tools and using that power to create media narratives beyond those that exist in mainstream media. One must first be able to access, analyze, and evaluate how mainstream media narratives are produced in order to subvert those narratives in their own media creations. One must also understand their own agenda, intent, and bias when creating media. The last but not the least, which I also think the most important is to ACT. Action is the culmination of accessing, analyzing, and evaluating media messages.

Another area of media literacy we have covered in this course is Media history, ownership, and regulation. Who owns everything in the media today? The media landscape used to be straightforward: Content companies and their studios made media contents such as television shows and movies to sold it to pay TV distributors, who sold it to consumers. Now things are up for grabs: Netflix buys stuff from the studios, but it’s making its own stuff, too, and it’s selling it directly to consumers. The giant company is one of the most powerful media company nowadays, that it have already started making it’s own contents (called: Netflix originals) That’s one of the reasons older media companies are trying to compete by consolidating. Disney, for example, bought much of 21st Century Fox though much of the early success of its Disney+ streaming service looks like it’s a result of earlier purchases of Lucasfilm, Marvel, and Pixar. Meanwhile, distributors like AT&T, which bought Time Warner, and Verizon, which bought AOL and Yahoo, thought they wanted to become media companies — and have now done an about-face and are bailing out of those acquisitions.

Giant tech companies like Google, Amazon, and Apple that used to be on the sidelines are getting closer and closer to the action and now Amazon has jumped in with both feet with a plan to buy MGM, the studio that makes James Bond movies and TV shows like Shark Tank. If regulators approve, Amazon will pay $8.5 billion (including debt) for MGM, with the hope of turning brands and characters like Rocky and the Pink Panther into new shows and movies.

Let’s now talk about privacy and security in the media. Privacy is hitting the headlines more than ever. As computer users are asked to change their passwords again and again in the wake of exploits like Heartbleed and Shellshock, they’re becoming aware of the vulnerability of their online data — a susceptibility that was recently verified by scores of celebrities who had their most intimate photographs stolen. People who are at risk with their privacy being stolen are those who did not set their mobile devices, laptops, and other gadgets two-factor authentication feature. I was personally victimized by having my Instagram account stolen by hackers. It was so much easier for them to obtain the log-in information of my account because I did not set up a two-factor authentication. I have learned my lesson, so I encourage everyone to set up two-factor authentication on all of their social and any other important media accounts. Now, I know the reason why Americans have little trust in online security. Most Americans don’t believe their personal information is secure online and aren’t satisfied with the federal government’s efforts to protect it, according to a poll. The poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and MeriTalk shows that 64% of Americans say their social media activity is not very or not at all secure. About as many have the same security doubts about online information revealing their physical location. Half of Americans believe their private text conversations lack security. They are not just concerned. They want something done about it. Nearly three-quarters of Americans say they support establishing national standards for how companies can collect, process and share personal data. Jennifer Benz, the deputy director of the AP-NORC center said “What is surprising to me is that there is a great deal of support for more government action to protect data privacy,” as well as their bipartisan support.”

Now, Let’s talk about Misinformation, disinformation, and hoaxes. What are they? What is their differences? Misinformation is perhaps the most innocent of the terms – it’s misleading information created or shared without the intent to manipulate people. An example would be sharing a rumor that a celebrity died, before finding out it’s false. Disinformation, by contrast, refers to deliberate attempts to confuse or manipulate people with dishonest information. These campaigns, at times orchestrated by groups outside the U.S., such as the Internet Research Agency, a well-known Russian troll factory, can be coordinated across multiple social media accounts and may also use automated systems, called bots, to post and share information online. Disinformation can turn into misinformation when spread by unwitting readers who believe the material. Hoaxes, similar to disinformation, are created to persuade people that things that are unsupported by facts are true. For example, the person responsible for the celebrity-death story has created a hoax. People who are at risk receiving misinformation, disinformation, and hoaxes are nothing but the general public. This is timely and relevant in year 2019- current day because of the corona virus pandemic. There have been conspiracies that are coming out that says, it is a biological weapon made by the Chinese government, which makes a lot of people racist towards Asian people, although that is not a reason to be racist. It is an example that is truly alarming, and it harms a lot of innocent people.

The other area of media we talked about is Persuasion culture, Propaganda, Influencers, and Influencers.

Persuasion has become fundamental to shaping people’s view of what is attractive or unattractive, good or bad, acceptable or unacceptable. In essence, it has changed human interaction itself to the extent that consumption – rather than class, region, geography or occupation – has now become the primary form of self-identity and self-expression. The digital world has exacerbated the situation. For all that it has revolutionized human communication, arguably the web’s most profound achievement has been its impact on trade and consumption. In 2018, the FAANG group of technology companies – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet (Google’s parent company) – was worth more than the whole of the FTSE 100 combined.

Last but not the least is the Representation in Media. Representation is how media texts deal with and present gender, age, ethnicity, national and regional identity, social issues and events to an audience. Media texts have the power to shape an audience’s knowledge and understanding about these important topics. This makes them very powerful in terms of influencing ideas and attitudes. In order to analyze media texts to determine how they’ve represented ideas and issues, it’s important to be familiar with some of the key terms. Representation is very important especially for those who are oppressed and the minority. As a trans woman myself, I have been affected by the negative representation we receive from the media. We have been treated as a joke, and it is quite humiliating. Although, there is now a great representation of trans women in the media, there is still a long way to go. I am hoping that in the near future, minority would have great representation in today’s media where they have serious role, where they are the heroes, and the ones who save the day rather than the comedic relief and center of humiliating jokes. That is all, and thank you for reading my blog.

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