TV and Popular Culture

Sports and Media Literacy

This issue of Connections looks at how technology and new data are changing the narrative around sports and media, and how that changes our experience as consumers and participants.  Sports provide an excellent opportunity to not only learn people skills and health information, but they offer excellent arenas for math and science and algorithmic thinking – and of course, media literacy.  And this includes sports cars, too. We have an interview with Wil Cashen, Tesla Foundation. 

Television and Media Literacy

Television in a Networked Age -- marketing suggests that future television sets will be able to assemble an evening of programming based on individual personal profiles. SportsTelevision and the Networking of Nostalgia -- sports occupy a unique place in the world of TV entertainment.  Norman Lear Center at USC released a study of local Los Angeles area TV News offering an in-depth analysis of news coverage in a major metropolitan area.  CML’s Tessa Jolls was a guest panelist at The Cable Show 2010 session on digital citizenship.  

Sexism in Media

What is clear is that the majority of media offer images of beauty to young girls which are virtually impossible to attain.  Many of those images also offer a hyper-sexualized model of feminine identity for girls to emulate.  In this issue, you’ll find reviews of two films from the Media Education Foundation which will help you discuss issues of media, sexuality and gender identity with your students and children.   

Responding to Racism and Stereotypes

In this issue of Connections, we examine the ways in which stereotypes and prejudice surface in media, and discuss ways in which media literate citizens can become agents for positive social change. We explore dehumanizing representations of the Other.  In our second article, we investigate the connections between use of stereotypes in television news and the social capital of communities.  

Reality TV and Media Literacy

In our research section, we reveal how reality television producers mine the emotions, bodies and identities of cast members for spectacle and profit.  In our second article, we excavate the values and beliefs embedded in reality television with a close examination of American talent and makeover shows.  We also discuss lifestyle television as a laboratory for the development of democratic citizenship skills. The University of Rhode Island held a symposium on the Historical Roots of Media Literacy Education, and the Elizabeth Thoman Media Literacy Archive was unveiled.   

Comics and Media Literacy

This issue introduces the use of comic books and graphic novels as tools for media literacy.  We demonstrate how readers of comic books and graphic novels make complex choices to construct meaning from text, illustrations as conventions of the medium; demonstrate how comic books can be appreciated as works of storytelling art in their own right; and how writing and producing comics can help students develop complex literacy skills.

Monsters and Media Literacy

We discuss why zombies are relevant to the philosophy and purposes of media literacy education. In our second article, we focus on the pedagogical applications of horror texts, including media production and building students’ awareness of the role they play as media audiences.  

Media and Body Image

Advertising sends contradictory messages to young people about food, dieting and fashion. We look at a recent survey regarding teen girls and their attitudes toward media and fashion. We also report on new research from the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media on the representation of women in family films.