Media Literacy Initiative

This important initiative, the first of its kind in Pakistan, supports the global consensus among leading educators that the definition of Literacy for the 21st century must be expanded to include Media Literacy. This thinking has been brought about by several recognised forces at play today: the amount of time spent by students – mostly unsupervised (and, in practice, almost impossible to supervise) – with the media; surge of aggressive behaviour and the links, if any, to the impact of media violence (and violence in video games); sexual content and other taboos in the media; tobacco and drug abuse; effects of media on obesity and school performance; advertising (and, in particular, the targeting of increasingly younger audiences); and the value of media education in an exceedingly media-impacted world.

In cognizance of this, the TRC decided at its AGM in January 2006, to take steps to create awareness and initiate discussions through such a programme. Related topics are covered through a variety of means and forums, including the Film Club that was also launched in 2006.

Media Literacy Included in ECE-CP

expository writing essay Demonstrate our commitment to the importance of teachers learning about Media Literacy, this year we have added a component to our ‘Professional Practices’ course, which will take place in Term 3 (April – June 2012) of the ECE-CP. An update on students’ feedback will be given in June.

Second Workshop on Media Literacy

Our first Media Literacy workshop was conducted in 2009. It was high time we introduced media literacy to more teachers. On March 25 – 26, 2011, teachers from The A.M.I School, Beaconhouse School Systems, Generation’s School, Indus Academy, P.E.C.H.S. Girls’ School, Valika Comprehensive School and P.E.C.H.S. Girls’ College came together to become more media literate, which is, the ability and skill to be more discerning consumers of print and electronic media. The majority of teachers were from the primary level, which is the level the workshop was announced for.
There were some pre-primary teachers, one of whom attended because she has older children and there was also one college teacher. Mahenaz Mahmud, Uzma Rauf and Madiha Afzal facilitated the workshop.

A number of participants reported that on the way home after the first day, they viewed all the billboards more consciously, asking themselves questions such as, “So, what is behind this message?” “Who benefits from it?” Another participant said she was particularly conscious about listening to the news on different channels.

At the end of the workshop, most participants said that they would recommend the integration of media literacy into their curricula, to their school administration. One participant shared that by attending this workshop, and becoming aware of how critically one needs to analyse the media, would make him a better citizen.

TRC aims to form a Media Literacy Group in 2012, which will pilot the ‘formal’ integration of media literacy activities into their curriculum. They will meet at TRC on a regular basis to share experiences, and develop materials to advocate media literacy to other schools.

TRC conducts first workshop on Media Literacy

On April 6th and 7th, 2009, 16 teachers attended a workshop on Media Literacy. These teachers from Habib Girls’ School, St. Michael’s Convent School, Shahwilayat Public School, PECHS Girls’ School, The M I School, DHA Junior Model School, (Darakhshan branch) and Karachi Grammar School, along with TRC’s Mahenaz Mahmud, explored the issue of the impact of media in our lives … in our physical, social, emotional and intellectual environments.
When they came to TRC on Day 2 of the workshop, some teachers shared that they were viewing the billboards the previous evening on the way home, with a more critical eye … going behind the frame to explore deeper issues. ” Who produces the media we experience?” For what purpose … Who profits? Who loses? Who decides what is added and what is left out?”

One teacher shared that she was asking critical questions regarding the manipulation and manufacture of information, while watching a News Channel with her father that night. He was surprised and asked her “Aaj tum kahan gai theen?” “Where did you go today?” 🙂

By the end of Day 2, the teachers went away more ‘media literate’ and assured Mahenaz that they would work with their students in a more democratic manner, not by telling them what to watch and what not to watch, but to engage them through the many classrooms activities that were shared at the workshop, and through meaningful discussion … they would ‘help’ children understand how to manage their own media diets.

We have one more media literacy workshop planned for this year … and in August we will pilot our Media Literacy Book with two or three volunteer schools.

Children’s Opinions! Media Survey Report

The Children’s Opinions! Media Survey responses have finally been compiled and analysed and are now ready for you to read. While several colleagues at TRC have contributed to the analysis and writing of this report, we would like to acknowledge the hard work Sabah Baxamoosa put into it.
To find out what they said, download the survey findings.

Media Works! Children’s Opinions Survey

The Children’s Opinions! Media Survey was distributed to selected member schools in the second week of February 2008. We have had a good response. The survey responses will be compiled and analysed and will serve as critical primary research for the further development of the Media Literacy Programme. A BIG “thank you” to all the schools and students who participated in the survey! 🙂

Media Literacy Initiative

Work on the Media Literacy Toolkit has finally begun! The TRC team is busy brainstorming strategies for implementation and programme development. We are currently in the research phase, collecting and disseminating information about the core concepts of media literacy and the global media education movement at large.

Since media education is a relatively new phenomenon in the education sector there aren’t any prescribed methods or formats that can be followed for a successful programme, but there are guidelines that can be used.

TRC will soon be approaching schools, teachers, organizations, media analysts and media enthusiasts for the formation of a working group in order to develop a Media Literacy Toolkit. The Toolkit will include activities, lesson plans, workshops and an orientation guide to media literacy.

If you are interested and want to actively be a part of this exciting initiative, please get in touch with us!

You are what you watch. Or are you?

Media Violence is a serious issue, we all agree. But studies disagree about the impact that it has on children. One group says that the Media only reflects the society but plays no role in promoting violence; another camp feels that constant exposure to gruesome images and sensational reporting trivializes the evils of violence and makes children apathetic and insensitive, a state that leads to the greater acceptance of violence or even deriving pleasure from it.

Ex-teacher (and winner of many accolades for his brilliant work in the use of education technology), Tom Snyder, has developed a brilliant computer-based application – Violence in the Media – as part of his company’s famous “Decisions, Decisions” series. Aimed at Grades 5-10, this simulated scenario covers issues of Television Violence, Censorship, and Free Speech. The software has received the Teachers’ Choice Award and the Technology & Learning Award of Excellence, in addition to being chosen for the prestigious Media & Methods Awards Portfolio.

If you are interested in an interactive demo of how such software is used and what benefits, if any, result from it, get in touch with us.

While any teachers from the above grades – as well as Heads – may attend, the teachers most suitable for this session would be those involved in Social Sciences, Languages, and Arts. This announcement was made in 2006. Not one head or teacher got in touch with us. It is now 2012!