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Ability to perceive various media texts

Interpretation/Appraisal

Ability to analyze critically social effects of media and media texts of various genres and types, based on perception and critical thinking development levels

Activity

Ability to select media and to skills to create/distribute one’s own media texts; self-training information skills

Creativity

Creative approach to different aspects of media activity

Detailed descriptions of the audience’s media literacy development levels for each indicator (based on the above>

Table 2. Motivation Indicator Development Levels

Level

Description

High

A wide range of genre- or subject-based, emotional, epistemological, hedonistic, psychological, creative, ethical, intellectual, and esthetic motives to contact media flows, including:

- media text genre and subject diversity;

- new information;

- recreation, compensation, and entertainment (moderate);

- identification and empathy;

- confirmation of one’s own competence in different spheres of life, including

information;

- search of materials for educational, scientific, and research purposes

- esthetic impressions;

- philosophic/intellectual,

- ethical or esthetic dispute/dialogue with media message authors and

critique of their views;

- learning to create one’s own media texts.

Medium

A range of genre- or subject-based, emotional, epistemological, hedonistic, psychological, ethical, and esthetic motives to contact media flows, including:

- media texts’ genres and subject diversity;

- thrill;

- recreation and entertainment;

- identification and empathy;

- new information;

- learning ethical lessons from media texts;

- compensation;

- psychological therapy;

- esthetic impressions;

Intellectual and creative motives to contact media are poorly expressed or absent.

Low

A narrow range of genre- or subject-based, emotional, hedonistic, ethical, and psychological motives to contact media, including:

- entertainment

- information;

- thrill;

- compensation;

- psychological therapy;

Esthetic, intellectual, and creative motives to contact media flows are not present.

Table 3. Contact Indicator Development Levels

Level

Description

High

Everyday contacts with various types of media and media texts

Medium

Contacts with various types of media and media texts a few times a week

Low

Contacts with various types of media and media texts a few times a month

This indicator is ambivalent. On the one hand, the audience’s high level of contacts with various media and media texts does not automatically mean the high level of media literacy in general (one may watch TV, videos or DVDs for hours every day but be still unable to analyze media texts). On the other hand, low-frequency contacts may mean not only the individual’s introvert character but also his high-level selectivity and reluctance to consume bad-quality (in his opinion) media products.

Table 4. Content Indicator Development Levels

Level

Description

High

Knowledge of basic terms, theories, and history of mass communication and media art culture, clear understanding of mass communication processes and media effects in social and

cultural context

Medium

Knowledge of some basic terms, theories and facts of history of mass communication processes, media art culture and media effects

Low

Poor knowledge of basic terms, theories and facts of history of mass communication processes, media art culture and media effects.

Table 5. Perception Indicator Development Levels

Level

Description

High:

comprehensive

identification

Identification with an author of a media text with basic components of primary and secondary identification preserved

Medium:

secondary identification

Identification with a character (or an actor) of a media text, i.e., the ability to empathize with a character, to understand his/her motives; adequate perception of certain elements of a media text (details, etc.)

Low:

primary identification

Emotional and psychological connection with the environment and a story line (sequence of events) of a media text, i.e., the ability to perceive the sequence of events of media text and nave identification of reality with the plot; assimilation of the message environment.

When analyzing the perception indicator, it should be noted that the majority of people remember 40 percent of what they saw and 10 percent of what they heard [Potter, 2001, p. 24], and that the perception of information is both an active and social process [Buckingham, 1991, p. 22]. There are many factors contributing to the success of mass media texts: reliance on folklore and mythology; permanency of metaphors; consistent embodiment of the most sustained story lines; synthesis of the natural and supernatural; addressing the emotional, not the rational, through identification (imaginary transformation into characters and merger with the aura of a work); protagonists’ magic power; standardization (replication, unification, and adaptation) of ideas, situations, characters, etc.; motley; serialization; compensation (illusion of dreams coming true); happy end; rhythmic organization of movies, TV programs or video clips where the audience is affected not only by the content of images but also their sequence; intuitive guessing at the audience’s subconscious strivings; etc.

Table 6. Interpretation/Appraisal Indicator Development Levels

Level

Description

High

Ability to analyze critically the functioning of media in society given various factors, based on highly developed critical thinking; analysis of media texts, based on the perceptive ability close to comprehensive identification;

ability to analyze and synthesize the spatial and temporal form of a text; comprehension and interpretation implying comparison, abstraction, induction, deduction, synthesis, and critical appraisal of the author’s views in the historical and cultural context of his work (expressing reasonable agreement or disagreement with the author, critical assessment of the ethical, emotional, esthetic, and social importance of a message, ability to correlate emotional perception with conceptual judgment, extend this judgment to other genres and types of media texts, connect the message with one’s own and other people’s experience, etc.); this reveals the critical autonomy of a person; his/her critical analysis of the message is based on the high-level content, motivation, and perception indicators.

Medium

Ability to analyze critically the functioning of media in society given some most explicit factors, based on medium-level critical thinking; ability to characterize message characters’ behavior and state of mind, based on fragmentary knowledge; ability to explain the logical sequence of events in a text and describe its components; absence of interpretation of the author’s views (or their primitive interpretation; in general, critical analysis is based on the medium-level content, motivation, and perception indicators.

Low

Inability to analyze critically the functioning of media in society and to think critically; unstable and confused judgments; low-level insight; susceptibility to external influences; absence (or primitiveness) of interpretation of authors’ or characters’ views; low-level tolerance for multivalent and complex media texts; ability to render a story line; generally, analysis is based on the medium-level content, motivation, and perception indicators.

Table 7. Activity Indicator Development Levels

Level

Description

High

Practical ability to choose independently and skills to create/distribute media texts (including personal and collaborative projects) of different

types and genres; active self-training ability

Medium

Practical ability to choose and skills to create/distribute media texts

(including personal and collaborative projects) of different types and

genres with the aid of specialists (teacher/consultant)

Low

Inability (or insufficient ability) to choose and skills to create/

distribute media texts; inability or reluctance to engage in

media self-training.

Table 8. Creativity Indicator Development Levels

Level

Description

High

Creativity in different types of activities (perceptive, game, esthetic, research, etc.) connected with media (including computers and Internet)

Medium

Creativity is not strongly expressed and manifests itself only in some

types of activity connected with media

Low

Creative abilities are weak, fragmentary or absent at all.

Regretfully, there is a danger of narrowing down media literacy/competence to computer or Internet literacy levels (which is the case with some Russian media organizations). In our view, such practices ignore influential mass media (the press, TV, radio, and cinema), which is a discriminatory approach to the problem.

Thus we arrive at the conclusion that media literacy/competence of personality is the sum total of the individuals motives, knowledge, skills, and abilities (indicators: motivation, contact, content, perception, interpretation/appraisal, activity, and creativity) to select, use, create, critically analyze, evaluate, and transfer media texts in various forms and genres and to analyze the complex processes of media functioning.

As for media illiteracy, I see its main danger in the possibility of a person becoming an easy object for all sorts of manipulation on the part of the media or becoming a media addict, consuming all media products without discrimination.

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