Media literacy: from reading to writing and beyond
I'm currently reading Lawrence Lessig's new book, Free Culture, which is available as a free download under a Creative Commons license. I'm only up to pg 64, but already I've discovered some great new ideas. One of them is "media literacy". This is the best definition I've found so far of media literacy:
"The ability to read, analyze, evaluate and produce communication in a variety of media forms (television, print, radio, computers, etc.)."
Lessig refers to it as "an expanded literacy - one that goes beyond text to include audio and visual elements" (pg 50). He follows this with a paragraph that really made me sit up and take note:
"Read-only." Passive recipients of culture produced elsewhere. Couch potatoes. Consumers. This is the world of media from the twentieth century. The twenty-first century could be different. This is the crucial point: It could be both read and write. Or at least reading and better understanding the craft of writing. Or best, reading and understanding the tools that enable the writing to lead or mislead. The aim of any literacy, and this literacy in particular, is to "empower people to choose the appropriate language for what they need to create or express." It is to enable students "to communicate in the language of the twenty-first century."
In a nutshell:
20th Century = Read-Only
21st Century = Read/Write
Now obviously this is exactly what I've been trying to promote on my own weblog over the past year, but it's only been recently (after my interview with Marc Canter in fact) that I've begun to appreciate that "personal publishing" goes far beyond writing. It's whatever form of multimedia is most suited to you, the Reader/Writer.
This is exceptionally large quote for my weblog :) It explains well my own interest in weblogs: it's not about weblogs, it's about empowering individuals, authorship, freedom and will to create...
This post also appears on channel weblog research