Extend of the media impact on various spheres of life increasing day by day, it requires individuals not only be able to work with modern technical devices and knowledge of it, but also we need a certain level of critical thinking skills, independent creative work ability associated with searching, processing and data presentation, etc.
The summer 2012 Media Support Center presented Media Literacy Course project – special course on media for students and high school students. The goal of the project is to raise awareness of young people about communications and media industry by introducing them to the different types of media and advancing work skills with information: development of critical thinking by information perception and its processing, ability to analyze media content, to understand and to resist manipulation in media.
Media Literacy Course consists of theoretical and practical activities, it does not provide only basic information about the media, but also it covers media-specific issues separately. Participants become familiarized with print media production, radio work, television and new media on a practical level. The course program includes field trips to news agencies, radio and television offices.
Day 1. Introductory Lecture “The information cycle”. Lecture on mass media work system; how and why people consume media; types of readers and media content. Lecture “The basics of journalism in one day”. News as basic content of media. Production of news standards, media resources. “Live” data sources and final data analysis. Information reliability. Data Visualization work. Data mining and use of search engines.
Day 2. “New Media”. How new media works; characteristics and distinction from conventional media. Journalism in social media; Internet audience in Kyrgyz Republic.
Day 3. “Television”. Specificity of broadcast television work; broadcast formats (informative, entertainment, etc.). How is broadcast schedule made? TV formats.
Day 4. “Radio Room”. Characteristics of radio room. Radio formats (music, informative, etc.). Formation of information blocks on the radio.
Day 5. “Printed media”. Types of print media (newspaper, magazines, etc.). Layout, principles of collection and layout content. Print media distribution system.
Day 6. “Controlling the media”. What is media-business? Readers believe that media should inform and entertain them. Producers believe that media exist for profit and the audience from economic point of view is source and means to realize this profit. Profit comes from (1) sale of audiences to advertisers, (2) circulation sales of print media, (3) sponsors fund and payments for ordered materials, etc. Media is not only about business, some of them exist to attain political and other goals of founders.
Day 7. Lecture “Advertising and media ratings”. Advertising; types of advertising; impact of advertising on consumer buying behavior. Journalism and PR. Internet advertising. B-roll features. Media ratings and media business components. Media ratings in Kyrgyz Republic, perception and tools to use it.
Day 8. Lecture “Information or manipulation”. Can the media be trusted to tell the truth? Can the media be objective? Why different media say opposite things? Standards of objective journalism. Journalism of opinions and propaganda. How does political situation, present and prospective advertisers and sponsors determine media content? Plagiarism and information stealing.