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Media Literacy in High-Poverty Communities

Media Education Lab members Yonty Friesem, Sait Tuzel, and Renee Hobbs will share their work in a session at the International Communication Association's annual meeting in San Diego on May 26, 2017 in a session entitled, "Media Literacy in High-Poverty Neighborhoods: Six Case Studies Offering a Global Perspective."  I

DATE: Fri, May 26, 2017

TIME 8:00 to 9:15

LOCATION: Hilton San Diego Bayfront, 3, Aqua 313

Poverty continues to constrain the life chances of many learners across the world. While significant sociological and geographical work has explored patterns of educational and other disadvantage that are associated with low incomes there are limited studies focussing on the role of media literacy in such contexts. Media literacy education is considered by many to be a successful practice to not only foster students’ voice, identity and creativity, but also to teach critical thinking and civic engagement with and via media messages. While there is undoubtedly some difference in how the term media literacy is interpreted across the world and its role in the curriculum, in this panel we bring together six case studies focussed on the intersection of media literacy and educational inequality. The panel offers research based perspectives on media literacy in contexts of high poverty and disadvantage. The aim of the panel is to consider how the most effective media literacy practices might be developed in response to the challenges outlined above.

The chair, Dr. Jeff Share will introduce the concept of critical media literacy. The first panelist, Dr. ML White will explore how visual practices can be used to challenge the stereotypical deficit models of ‘the poor’ and the potential for innovative social justice work in teacher education in the UK. The second panelist, Dr. Yonty Friesem will describe the struggles of a first year teacher to bring media literacy to the poorest elementary school in Hartford, CT, USA. The third panelist, Dr. Sait Tuzel will portray a Turkish initiative that brings together a poor Kurdish school and an affluent Turkish school through a media literacy program in Turkey. The fourth panelist, Dr. Petra Grell will talk about socio-cultural contexts of media literacy in highly poor neighborhoods in Germany. The fifth panelist, Dr. Shobha Avadhani will discuss a media literacy initiative in a middle school in Singapore to address this smart city’s inequalities. The sixth panelist, Dr. David Gonzalez-Hernandez, will share his study on a media literacy program in marginal neighborhoods on both sides of the San Diego – Tijuana border. The discussant, Dr. Renee Hobbs will review all the six cases as she provides a global perspective on the use of media literacy in high poverty neighborhoods.

In this panel, participants will learn about the challenges and benefits of teaching media literacy in distinct social contexts as we explore and challenge the concept of digital divide.

Chair Jeff Share, U of California - Los Angeles

  • ML White, U of East London
  • Yonty Friesem, Central Connecticut State U
  • Sait Tuzel, Canakkale Onsekiz Mart U
  • Petra Grell, Technical U Darmstadt
  • Shobha Avadhani, National U of Singapore
  • David Gonzalez Hernandez, U California, San Diego

Respondent Renee Hobbs, U of Rhode Island