The media has come a long way in the processing and delivery of its messages and information, the advent of new technologies and gadgets has entirely changed the world’s perception and approach to media issues.
By definition, Media literacy is the ability to know, evaluate, experiment, and analyze messages, information, and issues in the media. The coming of new technologies and culture has greatly influenced the media and how it messages are being delivered, this has also affected the perception of the society on how to approach and dissect it messages and information.
No longer is it enough for an individual to read the printed or comprehend the broadcasted words but to also critically analyze and interpret the powerful, educative, innovative, informative, entertaining images in a multimedia society.
Media literacy provides the information and frame work for individuals to view messages in a constantly changing world. David Berli says “Learning must shift from knowledge acquisition to knowledge processing, people need to know how to use their knowledge and skills by thinking critically, putting new ideas to issues, understand and make decisions by updating their knowledge continually because the media no longer shape or pattern our culture it is part of our culture”.
The society needs to use and view media messages in a positive and better way to change their environment and the world at large.
The society should have a positive mindset on the usage of media like the social media, foreign movies, home videos, print and broadcast messages.
Media users should actively and positively make effort to change the negative activities going on in the media and also contribute to the development of all media issues.
African government should discourage its citizens from participating in activities in the media that won’t help in moving the continent forward but to encourage them use images, sound and messages to better themselves and indeed the society they live in.
Journalists and media organizations can also help in ensuring that the general publics use the contents of the media to positively affect lives and society at large and do justice to the media, because media literacy is an effective and engaging way to apply critical thinking skills to a wide range of issues.
Media literacy can help:
– Develop critical thinking skills
– Understand how media messages shape our culture and society
– Identify target marketing strategies
– Recognize what the media maker wants us to believe or do
– Name the techniques of persuasion used
– Recognize bias, spin, misinformation, and lies
– Discover the parts of the story that are not being told
– Evaluate media messages based on our own experiences, skills, beliefs, and values
– Create and distribute our own media messages
– Advocate for media justice.