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The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies, 7 Volume Set by Fabienne Darling-Wolf, Radhika Parameswaran, Erica Scharrer, Vicki Mayer, Sharon Mazzarella, Kelly Gates, John Nerone, Angharad N. Valdivia

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32

Boom or Boomerang

A Critical Review of Evidence Documenting Media Literacy Efficacy

Smita C. Banerjee and Robert Kubey

ABSTRACT

This chapter advances research on media literacy by reviewing studies that utilize media literacy in either short-term or long-term interventions. Media literacy interventions on a wide array of topics including violence, smoking, alcohol, and advertising are reviewed. Effectiveness of media literacy is discussed using various criteria: duration of intervention, intervention design, target group, intervention modality, causal process, and different strategies for media literacy interventions. Key questions addressed in this chapter ask how media literacy efficacy is defined, and what issues surround media literacy efficacy.

Media Literacy Defined

Media literacy has been most commonly defined as the skills of accessing, analyzing, evaluating, and communicating messages in a number of forms (Aufderheide & Firestone, 1993; Hobbs, 1998). Davies (1996) has emphasized listening, viewing, or reading audiovisual texts as basic skills that need to be learned by young audiences. The need for learning technical skills to decode the meanings behind the media, and developing a critical understanding of the relationship between different message content, forms the backbone of media literacy education. Kubey (2004) notes that media literacy involves critical analysis of media messages, evaluation of sources of information for bias and credibility, increased awareness ...

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