Post Your Top 10 Berry Biodiversity Center and Geological Museum Photos

Write a short paragraph about your photographic experiences at these locations. Discuss the difficulty or ease that you had taking these photos. Discuss anything that you learned while at these locations.


Media Literacy: Media Content and Reality

Key Idea:

The media spin reality to make it appear more exciting and thus attract people away from their real lives.

Two Worlds

  • Media world vs. real world
  • Why do we enter the media world?
    • To get experiences and information that we otherwise cannot get very well in our real lives.
  • We need to increase media literacy by being able to tell them apart as they merge together

How We Approach Media Reality

  • Magic window: Young children see media as window to the world
  • Adult discount: As we age, we distinguish between fiction and nonfiction
  • Multiple dimensions: We evaluate media reality on:
    • Plausibility (possible?)
    • Social utility (is it useful for me? social scripts as tools for real life)
    • Identity (parasocial relationship? identity development and character relationships)
  • Differences across individuals

Organizing Principle: Next-Step Reality

  • Next-step reality: Audiences want media that gives them another level of reality and takes them one step further.
  • It takes less time, energy, and money to experience the world via media than real life
  • Messages must appear real and must present a little more than everyday reality.
  • We want sweetened reality.
  • From the media producer perspective,
    • Make messages that are anchored in real world, but tell stories that are bigger than life.
  • For entertainment: characters, plot, and setting are a little more interesting than real life.
  • For news: feature novel, unusual, conflicts, extraordinary, negative events
  • For persuasion (ads): show a problem and show how the product solves the problem

Importance of Media Literacy

  • Next-step reality principle asks:
    • Which elements reflect reality and which are removed from reality in some way?
  • People vary in terms of how big of a step from reality they desire/are willing to tolerate
  • Don’t limit yourself to the reality end of the spectrum, but being flexible and aware

Next Step Reality and Comedy

We are going to watch a comedy show called “The Office”. We will:

  1. Make of list of “reality indictors” of events and characters that are typical for real life.
  2. Make a list of “non-real world indictors” of events and characters that are a typical for real life.
  3. Tally totals at the end
  4. Discuss our examples as a class.
    1. What events and characters are typical (or plausible) vs. atypical (or not plausible)?
    2. How does comedy use the “next-step reality” organizing principle to attract viewers?
  5. Pick a genre of TV/movies and write a blog post about how that genre uses the “next-step reality” organizing principle. You can discuss the entire genre or one particular TV show or movie in the genre. Think about how each of these genres takes reality and then “sweetens” it for our liking. What scenarios or characters are removed from reality in some way in the genre you choose? What scenarios or characters are more grounded in reality in the genre you choose?
    1. Comedy
    2. Police Drama
    3. Medical Drama
    4. Documentary-Style Reality TV
    5. Competition-Style Reality TV
    6. Fantasy / Science-Fiction
    7. Horror and Mystery