Media Literacy Glossary

BROADCASTING
Producing and designing media content to appeal to a broad audience segment. The technology of broadcasting only applies to content carried through the airwaves.

BULLET THEORY
A commonsense theory, much debunked, that people are passive recipients of media information. That media can touch people and change them directly.

CABLECASTING
The delivery of media content through underground or overhead cables. Refers only to the technology of cable, but content production and design resembles narrowcasting.

FACE-TO-FACE COMMUNICATION
The sender and receiver of information are in contact. The receiver may disagree, ask a question, or repeat information. The sender and receiver can engage in a dialogue about the message. There is an opportunity for feedback.

FEEDBACK
The process of communication whereby a person can disagree, ask a question, repeat information for understanding, or otherwise talk back in the communication process.

GATEKEEPERS
Those in control of the flow of information. The gatekeeper can choose to accept or reject a piece of information for public consumption. Newspaper publishers, editors and reporters, television producers, radio station owners and broadcasting executives have all been cited as examples of media gatekeepers.

GENRE
Specific kinds of media content, e.g., entertainment, information, news, advertising, etc. Each category is defined with traditional conventions, but categories may overlap.

MASS COMMUNICATION
See mass media.

MASS MEDIA
Any form of communication produced by a few for consumption by many people. Mass media are channels of communication through which messages flow. As the messages go through the channels, they are distorted. When people receive media messages they have no opportunity for immediate feedback with the producers of the messages.

MEDIA
Any physical object used to communicate. Common media are televisions, radios, telephones, and newspapers. Less common articles are building materials, paint, sculpture, dance and other conventions for communicating ideas. Singular, medium.

MEDIA AGENCIES
Agencies who produce media. Also media institutions and businesses.

MEDIA CONTENT
Messages which are produced by the few for the many and delivered to large audiences simultaneously.

MEDIA LANGUAGES
Media conventions, formats, symbols and narrative structures which cue the audience to meaning. The symbolic language of electronic media work much the same way as grammar works in print media.

MEDIA LITERACY
The ability to read, analyze, evaluate and produce communication in a variety of media forms (television, print, radio, computers, etc.).

MEDIA LOG
A record of media use, often used to assess and control personal media use.

MEDIA MESSAGES
See media content.

MEDIA TARGETS
Audiences are media targets. Audiences are targeted, sold and delivered to advertisers by media agencies. Groups are targeted on the basis of demographics, media use patterns, zip codes, and polling by those who wish to sell or persuade.

MEDIA USE
The way people interact with media. Media use varies from person to person, group to group and at various times during an individual’s life.

MEDIUM
Singular for media. A television is a mass medium. Radios, televisions and newspapers are mass media.

NARROWCASTING
Producing and designing media content in order to target a highly specific segment of the audience. Opposite of broadcasting.

OBJECTIVE
The ideal that the media producer is representing a balanced viewpoint on issues. The ideal that media producers are fair, accurate and conduits for information. Opposite of subjective.

REPRESENTATION
The relationship between actual places, people, events and ideas and media content. Stereotypes are a common form of media representation.

TECHNOLOGY
Hardware used to create and communicate with media, e.g., radios, computers, telephones, satellites, printing presses, pencils, etc.

Media Literacy Glossary 26 January,2016Merisenda Alatorre

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