By Jackie S.
In today's world, we are surrounded by media; at home, school, work, and even on the streets. As we live in such a technologically developed country, it is only normal for the public to be so dependent on the media for most purposes. People rely on sources such as television, internet, and newspapers for their information and updates on life. The media is where we get our global news and where we can prepare for what the economy has in hold for us. In our mass mediated society, it is not only important but also necessary for media literacy education to be taught for economical and political purposes.
Because we live in an environment where media is very concentrated, media literacy takes importance in having people understand how the media affects us in postive and negative ways. Media literacy education helps individuals develop social skills as well as improve their critical thinking skills. It gives people the ability to be socially interactive and gain confidence in being able to speak their mind, and educates them by helping them analyze and observe critically. “Media literacy is about asking smart questions and making smart choices; it’s about using media selectively and reflectively” (Trampiets). Because the media can be so biased, it is important for people to understand where they get their information from and figure out whether that source is reliable or not.
Social media is used in our daily lives, whether it be for business or personal purposes. Through social media, businesses are able to progress using these techniques for marketing, advertising, and global exposure. The increase in the use of social networks is beneficial to many businesses because of its inexpensive marketing and advertising, the interaction with the public, and its convenience and efficiency. Social networking is also used for personal reasons such as networking, communicating, and constantly being updated with global and local news.
The mainstream media is the most important factor in any political election. It is the source that everyone relies on to investigate for information in making their decisions for voting. The influence and power of the media can affect the way people think and vote. “But while the public demands information from the media, there is also an underlying cynicism in the American culture against the media and politicians for negative campaign coverage and a perceived media bias” (Lane). Because the media is perceived to be biased, media literacy education is necessary for the public to see how the political process is controlled by the media. Seeking for public's attention, candidates manipulate the media by spending an enormous amount of money on campaigning through the media, which has the greatest influence on the outcome of all elections. Media literacy teaches how candidates create and control their image, and “understanding political advertising and the media management tactics of candidates is an important element of effective citizenship” (Baker).
We live in an society where media takes place in every and any form. As it has in the past, the public will continuously rely on messages given through television, internet, magazines, movies, newspapers, etc. It is important for people to “filter out what we don't need or want and how to access and then interpret, analyze and evaluate what's useful” (Trampiets). This is the reason why media literacy education holds such importance in our society.
Baker, Frank W. "Media Literacy & Politics." Middleweb.com. N.p., 18 Oct. 2012. Web.
Lane, Laura. "The Influence of the Media in Politics, Campaigns and Elections."Yahoo. N.p., 14 Nov. 2007. Web.
Trampiets, Fran. "Ask an Expert: The Importance of Media Literacy." CNNfyi.com. N.p., 17 Oct. 2000. Web.