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What Is Media Literacy And How To Be Media Literate

There are few points that has to be taken care while reading a media message

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Over the past half a decade, Social Media has emerged as most influential terms for the society. Social Media is the online communications which enables anyone to post, comment, share content and form communities around shared interests and to remotely connect with their peers and friends with a click. Social networking sites like Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram and Youtube have revolutionised the citizenry globally, the trend has affected all and sundry. If anyone doesn't have an Instagram profile, that's a pity for one. 

The recent study shows that in every one minute there are 1million of Facebook logins and around 4 million of videos watched on You Tube every minute all over the world. India tops the chart of the social media users. 

It is imperative to understand that social media come with its pros and cons, while the weightage of pros and cons is a coffee table discussion. It is needless to say that social media is re shaping our daily lives. In today’s context social media is a platform to spread fake and propagated news which in turn causes distress and confusion among people. 

This becomes absolute to understand media literacy. Media literacy means that the ability to access, evaluate and process media. It means to have critical thinking skills which will help in identifying the underlying motivations in the media messages. In the era of fake news and dis-information it is utmost important to have media literacy. Media literacy helps the citizens to be the wise consumers of media, develop critical thinking skills, recognises the underlying meaning in media messages. Media literate citizens are able to integrate new information into the existing fabric of knowledge which further motivates to participate in more constructive learning. The effective use of technology can be determined by Media literacy only. 

The question comes how to be media literate? 

The answer to the question is just be critical to the media messages and ask few questions to one self.

Who made this media message? Where this message does comes from? Who created the message? How the creator of the message is using the techniques to grab the eye balls? What is the purpose of this message? What is the message hidden inside the message? How the other readers see this message? And most importantly why this message is being created? 

There are few points that has to be taken care while reading a media message.

Media messages which one comes across is constructed. It is constructed by using the creative and attractive language. Media messages represent someone’s point of view and contains two types of values- of the creator and of the audience. Majority of the media messages are created with the motive of profit. 

Keeping these points in mind if the Indian Citizens critically evaluate the message, the fake news will show a sharp fall and the Indian Citizenry will become Media Literate.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Tags assigned to this article:
media and entertainment

Priyanka Sachdeva

The author is Research Associate, GGSIP University

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