The Politics of Spin

Last post, we gave a brief run-down of how to look at various medium and be critical of what information you are given.

Briefly mentioned too, was a reference to information given by individuals and groups (particularly political leaders).

This post is going to give you a brief overview of a tool used by political leaders and others in public relations: spin. Continue reading

Media Literacy

Media is an influential cultural force. Traditional media are watched, listened to and read. Now, social media such as Facebook and Twitter are revolutionizing the way we communicate , the way we send and receive information. Evidence of this, it can be argued, could be seen in the so-called Arab spring beginning in December 2010.[1] Media has had a huge impact on society creating a need to be aware of it in a more critical way.

Despite the vast flow of information, the benefits of the media need to be weighed with its more negative impacts. There are fewer ‘voices’ in the media as fewer owners control large segments of the industry in global corporations. There is inherent news bias based on ideology and interests and selling news as entertainment which includes public relations ‘spin’ [2] These are but a few concerns of which we need to be aware and so we must do our best to look at the information we are given critically, rather than taking everything as truth.

The National Association for Media Literacy, says, “being literate in a media age required critical thinking skills that empower us as we make decisions, whether in the classroom, the living room, the workplace, the boardroom or the voting booth” [3]. So then, media literacy is the ability to ACCESS, ANALYZE, EVALUATE, and COMMUNICATE information in a variety of forms, including print and non-print messages.”[4] Continue reading