Katie Donnelly's blog

New media literacy resource: America the Beautiful

I recently had the pleasure of attending a viewing and discussion of America the Beautiful, a film by Darryl Roberts  that focuses on media and body image. The movie explores issues such as self-esteem, eating disorders, race and ethnicity, plastic surgery, carcinogens in cosmetics, and the modeling industry. In terms of film quality, there are some major problems with this one -- as you might imagine from the description above, it tries to take on way too much and in the end gives off the feeling of being unfocused and overwhelming.

The Furniture Is the Message

This article, "In Debates, the Furniture Is the Message," from The New York Times makes an interesting point about how set design can influence the substance of a political debate. While the article explores sitting versus standing, backgrounds, etc., it doesn't talk about why we expect debates to be structured in this format in the first place. What if there were no podiums or tables at all? What if candidates sat on couches? Or cushions on the floor?

Visual Op-Ed columnist

The Poynter Institute has an interesting article up about Charles Blow, The New York Times' first visual Op-Ed columnist. That's right: Blow doesn't write traditional Op-Ed Columns -- he uses visual data such as charts and graphs and diagrams to support his opinions. According to Blow, his inspiration was the original charts and graphs the Times printed on the Op-Ed page: