2. How can we become more critical consumers of media?
And why is a critical engagement with media vital to you?
In the past centuries, it would have been more relevant to study how to critically evaluate books and pieces of literature. But in today’s context, people spend more time in the media of mass communication like television, radio, internet and social media. One important example of the effects of media on us is how the studies conducted to find out the effects of media in identity formation and in the process of meaning making has demonstrated the correlation between media, negative body image and eating disorders. Hence, there is a strong need to turn into more critical consumers of media. Firstly, we need to educate ourselves how to critically and responsibly assess media. Being media literate means asking the right questions about the media contents we are being exposed to. We need to understand that commercial media are businesses, media messages are manufactured, and all media contents reflects or expresses the values of the content producer. When evaluating media messages, we need to focus on exploring the following key points:
- Audience and authorship – Understand the targeted audience, understand the purpose and find out the impacts of the message and how to respond to the impacts
- Messages and Meanings – Be aware of the types of contents being exposed to and excluded from, the delivery of the contents, and the interpretations of the contents by other and ourselves
- Representations and Reality – understand the reliability of the message with respect to time and the source, and finding out the credibility of the author and the sources
I like to call myself a light consumer of media. I understand that every interaction with the media has the power to generate in me different kind of thoughts which can affect me negatively or positively. That is why I try to stay away from unverified sources when I am scanning for the news which also takes a small chunk of my time on phone. I also create, and at time have to create media and I want focus on creating the media as informative, credible and unbiased as possible. Also, being a media literate person, I also like to help my friends, my parents and relatives, when they are possibly stuck in a wrong information and/or fraud, to be safe and well-informed. So, a critical engagement with media is vital to me.
3. In your peer review, you are asked to share your experience
as an audience member, telling the speaker
what worked and what didn’t in their presentations.
What are the challenges and advantages of writing a peer review?
Was writing peer review a learning experience for you? If so, how?
Being a learner myself, it difficult to judge other people’s presentation skills at first. Though it was easy to write down what the speakers were doing effectively as they would stand out anyway, it was a little difficult to find out what their mistakes. Writing the peer review helps us understand in real time the detailed process of delivering a speech increasing our understanding of what contributed to the effectiveness of the speeches, what didn’t and what negatively affected it. Learning all these features has made me more aware of the process of delivering a speech. For me, being nervous while delivering a speech was a challenge. Looking at others being nervous and understanding how that fact didn’t help them in their delivery has enlightened me with a reason not to be less self-aware during a speech delivery myself. This peer review has definitely been a great learning experience for me.
4. What were some aspects that you focused on in your presentations? Structure? Content? Delivery? Or, something else?
Is there something that worked well,
something that you want to repeat in the future?
Or, is there something that you wish you want to improve on?
What is it and how can you change that?
I focused on giving a detailed explanation of explicit and implicit messages. I spoke about how the use of celebrities was an appeal to the ethos. I focused on giving statistics to explain my presentation. From the peer feedbacks I received, I found out that I used more time on delivering the content, and also the researches than the organization of the presentation. My presentation became content heavy on one hand, and it lacked proper structure on the other. Due to the lack of proper organization, I had to omit a lot of information which I could have fit into the presentation. I also took a lot more time than what was allocated. It was almost double the allocated time. I realized a lot of the problems I created were pertaining to the lack of proper structure. I would like to focus on the structure at first next time. From the feedbacks I learned that I had used too much filler words, I will try to reduce this the next time I am presenting myself. For the type of advertisement, I was presentation and the type of statistics I was using, it would have been engaging and thought provoking to use some questions. So, I will also try to use some questions at first. I will also focus on making my presentation concise.