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Center for Media Introduction

What you'll find

WIINDMILL PRESS PUBLISHING (Publisher of media books and resources)
Demographics and Media (A look at how population trends affect media)

Welcome to the Introduction to Media Studies. If this is your first stop on your tour at the Ontario Media Literacy Homepage, you're probably new to the world of media literacy. A second stop we recommend is the Camera Center.

Definition of Media Literacy

--From the Ministry of Education in Ontario

Media literacy is concerned with the process of understanding and using mass media. It is also concerned with helping students and children develop an informed understanding of the nature of mass media, the techniques used by them and the impact of these techniques. More specifically, it is education that aims to increase students' understanding and enjoyment of how media work, how they produce meaning, how they are organinzed, and how they construct reality. Media Literacy also aims to provide students with the abilities and skills to create media products.

Media Outcomes

The basic truth in media literacy is that the media constructs reality. With that in mind, students must consider three basic concepts about media literacy: audience, text, and production.

Audience: students recognize that audiences select media texts (images, music) for different purposes and create their own meanings of media texts.

Texts: Students will examine media texts critically.

Production: Students determine the importance of the role of production in the creation of media texts.

Media Forms

An understanding of the different types of media is essential when talking the language of media literacy.

Electronic Media: radio, television, film, CDs, videos, telephones, computers, photography, cameras

Print Media: newspapers, magazines, books, comics, advertising, junk mail, travel brochures, fanzines, electroniczines

Popular Culture: stardom, celebrity-making, shopping malls, toys, clothing trends, fashion fads, fast food, theme parks, slang

Overview of Popular Culture

The following "blues" lyrics were written by a grade 11 student from a Kitchener high school who also wrote the music to the song.

The song is copyrighted and may be used with permision through our email.

The Pop Culture Blues

I've been wearin' these jeans,

For sixty-five years.

Along came Klein and Hilfiger,

And left me in tears.

One pair of them designer jeans,

Cost me a whole month's pay.

But I know it's just a trend,

So it sure ain't here to stay.

'Cause this is pop culture,

It's all what's "in" and "out."

Yeah, image is everything.

And money is what it's all about.

I got me a Cabbage Patch Kid,

Some Barbie dolls, too.

I love them new Teletubbies,

And old Winnie the Pooh.

I seen 'em all on tv,

A million times.

I can't never forget 'bout them now,

They just control my mind.

<> I like to buy cereal,

That's got a prize inside.

The food may taste like crap,

But I got nothin to hide.

'Cause this is pop culture,

It's all what's "in" and "out."

Yeah image is everything,

And money is what it's all about.

All them celebrities,

They think they're so nice.

Givin'their money to charities,

Barely even a sacrifice.

'Cause they ain't no heroes,

No more than you or me.

They just got lots of spare cash,

To give to people in need.

I know a real asshole,

His name is Phil Knight.

He's got a big rich company,

But his morals, they just ain't right.

He pays all them hard workers,

Just twenty cents an hour.

While he rakes in the millions,

Man, he likes the power.

Now I'm wearin my Hilfigers,

Nikes and all.

I feel like some greasy food

So let's head over to the mall.

You got McDonald's, got your Starbucks

And a bottle of Coke.

Or should I just have bottled water,

Ya right, what a bloody joke!

'Cause this is pop culture,

It's all what's "in" and "out."

Yeah, image is everything,

And money's what it's all about.

That's right. Image is everything,

And money, yeah, that's what it's all about.

--lyrics and music by Andy Beninger