Some truisms and a few provocations
"As media educators, we have spent so long campaigning for our field that most of us could probably rehearse the basic rationale in our sleep. Why should we be teaching young people about the media? Well, most of us would probably begin with assertions about the statistical significance of the media in children’s lives. Back in 1980, Len Masterman pointed out that children were spending more time watching television than they were spending in school – and in fact that claim was probably true twenty years earlier. Surveys repeatedly show that, in most industrialised countries, children now spend significantly more time engaging with the media than on any other activity apart from sleeping. This in itself might appear to suffice, at least if we believe that schooling ought to be relevant to children’s lives outside school.
However, we might want to go on to make some broader claims about the economic, social and cultural importance of the media in modern societies. The media are major industries, generating profit and employment; they provide us with most of our information about the political process; and they offer us ideas, images and representations (both factual and fictional) that inevitably inform and shape our view of reality. The media are the major contemporary means of cultural expression and communication: to become an active participant in public life necessarily involves making use of the modern media. The media, it is argued, have now taken the place of the family, the church and the school as the major socialising influence in contemporary society".
Manifesto pela Mídia-Educação
Centre for the Study of Children, Youth and Media
Institute of Education, London University
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