My Introduction to Media Literacy

Between Andrea Quijada’s session on media literacy and Nancy Schwartzman’s discussion about her documentary “The Line” there were many moments in the day that resonated with me. But if I had to choose I would say a moment that resonated with me the most was when Andrea Quijada discussed how the media will create a frame to show a story through and if certain facts do not fit that frame the media will ignore them. Therefore, the media can present a story through different points of view. An example of this would be if a story was covered by three different newspapers, which put the story in three different contexts. The three different contexts allow the newspapers to mention different people, blame different people, and change basically the whole situation. Therefore, the audience is never really getting the true story. I was also amazed at how many advertisements have some kind of subtext that the viewer unconsciously infers from the advertisements without them giving to much information. An example is when we were watching an ad for the sidekick phone from AT&T. The ad showed a lot of young people dancing which the viewer is supposed understand that the phone can twist and turn like the dancers. Then later on, the ad shows how slim the phone is by spinning its image 180 degrees. After breaking down the ad I was amazed at how each and every detail in the ad was used to sell the item to the audience. The dancers were used to show how “cool” the phone was and the age of the dancers was used to show how the target audience was teenagers or young adults. This part of Andrea Quijada’s session made such an impression on me because I watch ads all the time when I watch television and I never noticed how much subtext there was in ads until today.

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