About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2968-2977
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.0559

Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain

EXAMINING TODAY’S CONCEPTUAL MEDIA LITERACY LANDSCAPE: THE EVOLUTION OF MEDIA EFFECTS THEORIES WITHIN THE CONTEXTS OF EMERGING SOCIAL NETWORKS BUILT WITH ACCESSIBLE NEW MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES

M. Caton-Rosser

Black Hills State University (UNITED STATES)
In an era of ever-advancing communication technologies, media are influential forces within educational systems across the world. Media have been recognized as “informal educators” of the public, historically and currently. Thus, media literacy is a paramount consideration within educational systems and society, overall, especially in the 21st Century landscape, as an increasing amount of people worldwide have access to an array of media devices and technologies.

Simultaneously, it’s interesting to note that traditional direct effects theories that once suggested inevitable hegemonic influence in the study of media literacy in the mid to late 20th Century are becoming outdated because of the 21st Century emerging landscape of interactive media use among audiences. The approach to application of especially direct effects theories in the study of the current landscape of media literacy must be reconsidered and adjusted.

For example, basic direct effects theories, such as magic bullet and hypodermic needle, involve analysis of passive, uneducated, spectator audiences that are helpless against top-down media messaging. The scenario presents primitive perceptions within the current, busy participatory social media landscape that seems to feature a variety of media literacy aptitudes. Other related conceptual frameworks once commonly referred to intellectually in media studies, including two-step flow, diffusion, and N-step -- all classic mass communication direct effects theories -- appear to be fading, at least in part, in terms of their academic application in the wake of the 21st Century paradigm shift caused by the Web 2.0 evolution. The approach to how these theories are applied to research settings must be upgraded and somewhat "sophisticated" to the evolving times, and also make way for more appropriate theories that indicate media literate empowerment.

Emerging networks of community informatics, for example, may now be analyzed within certain theoretical frameworks that suggest more autonomous effects, such as social learning and uses and gratifications. Myriad digitized community-access settings where equipment is shared, as well as various social media technologies, are the enabling tools of these media-literate networks. The outcomes of having access to these spaces and these technologies allow ordinary people to communicate and learn together in participatory ways in an increasingly busy public sphere.

To this end, a number of studies of media literacy among groups of adults and youth have been conducted via action research in the past five years at Black Hills State University in western South Dakota, United States. Faculty, students, small business owners and middle and high school students have engaged in hands-on experiments in interactive media settings, such as panel discussions with professionals, work with campus television and radio studios, as well as workshops and classroom activity using social media. Both qualitative, such as focus groups and interviews, and quantitative methodologies, such as pre and post surveys, were used in various settings with the populations. The results indicate that conceptual frameworks for the more basic traditional mass communication theories should make way for upgrades and adjustments due to rising levels of participants that are media educated and media literate.
@InProceedings{CATONROSSER2018EXA,
author = {Caton-Rosser, M.},
title = {EXAMINING TODAY’S CONCEPTUAL MEDIA LITERACY LANDSCAPE: THE EVOLUTION OF MEDIA EFFECTS THEORIES WITHIN THE CONTEXTS OF EMERGING SOCIAL NETWORKS BUILT WITH ACCESSIBLE NEW MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES},
series = {12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-9480-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2018.0559},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2018.0559},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {2968-2977}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Caton-Rosser
TI - EXAMINING TODAY’S CONCEPTUAL MEDIA LITERACY LANDSCAPE: THE EVOLUTION OF MEDIA EFFECTS THEORIES WITHIN THE CONTEXTS OF EMERGING SOCIAL NETWORKS BUILT WITH ACCESSIBLE NEW MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES
SN - 978-84-697-9480-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2018.0559
PY - 2018
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2018
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2018 Proceedings
SP - 2968
EP - 2977
ER -
M. Caton-Rosser (2018) EXAMINING TODAY’S CONCEPTUAL MEDIA LITERACY LANDSCAPE: THE EVOLUTION OF MEDIA EFFECTS THEORIES WITHIN THE CONTEXTS OF EMERGING SOCIAL NETWORKS BUILT WITH ACCESSIBLE NEW MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES, INTED2018 Proceedings, pp. 2968-2977.
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