Media Literacy Seminar at Media Bridges Feb. 4, 2004

Hello and good afternoon!

At 7:00pm on February 4, 2004 Media Bridges will host a very informative and timely seminar on media literacy. Jeff Smith from the Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy (GRIID) will be leading the seminar entitled, “Media, Race, and the Queen City: How has media coverage affected recent events?”

Modern media coverage is rarely objective and impartial. Media organizations no longer serve the interests of the people. Rather, in more cases than not, a media organization’s journalistic mission aligns to their parent company’s economic ambitions and political ideology, interests that are often radically different from those of the citizens media organizations claim to serve. Using edited footage and short, often incomplete soundbites, news production teams create their own versions of events that many times do not reflect the full truth of the matter. The “way” in which news stories are covered affects viewers’ perceptions of the events. And sometimes simply refusing to give coverage to an event is the most effective way to ensure that the average television viewer never hears about it. The result of this creative liberty taken by our trusted news organizations is an uninformed populace. More disturbingly, in an age in which accurate and timely information equals power, the lack of complete and unbiased media coverage of events that affect our lives effectively renders us ignorant and powerless to create change for the better. This is not the democratic ideal upon which our country was founded.

Becoming media literate is the process by which we, the manipulated and exploited citizens of the country, begin to understand the many ways media affects our perceptions of the world around us. It is becoming more inquisitive and critical of media coverage of local events in Cincinnati. It is asking questions such as, “What am I being asked to believe is true here?”, “Who benefits from my belief in their version of the truth?”, “Is this the whole truth of the situation, or is there more to it than I am being told?” and “If there is more to the story than I am being told, why is that information being omitted?”

Asking these questions when we watch the news or read the newspaper develops our critical abilities and compels us to get “under the surface” of the shallow and often skewed coverage we are presented with. We are driven to seek out alternative sources of information and develop a more complete understanding of things that happen in the world. This is the first step to real participation in Democracy.

If you believe in any cause whatsoever, be it environmental pollution, human rights, racial profiling, American foreign policy, or any of the hundreds of other causes for which people fight, then you are implicitly interested in media literacy and democracy. Without an objective and diverse media system how does anyone get accurate and timely information concerning any cause or issue that is important to them? It is time to take our media back. Media literacy is the first step. Come take that first step with us at 7:00pm on February 4, 2004 when Media Bridges hosts Jeff Smith from the Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy (GRIID) who will be leading the seminar entitled, “Media, Race, and the Queen City: How has media coverage affected recent events?”

More information about GRIID is available here:

Could you please write up some sort of Community Events announcement for your next edition of the Northerner? Feel free to copy and paste any of the text above.

Thank you very much!

Kevin King Assistant to Executive Director Media Bridges Cincinnati 513-651-4171

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