Media literacy describes the ability to apply critical thinking to analyze and understand media messages. In a world dominated by media and advertising, media literacy is a key skill students must develop to uncover misinformation and develop their own understanding of messages presented in front of them. Media literacy involves being able to: a) decode media messages, including the platforms in which they are presented on, b) assess how those messages make students feel physically and psychologically and c) create media conscientiously. Research shows that media messages have a direct effect on receivers. It’s why media literacy can help individuals make informed choices about the world around them and their actions.
Media literacy refers to the process of critically evaluating signs, symbols and messages displayed through mass media. Media literacy is viewed as an important 21st century skill for students who are constantly bombarded with messages online or in print. When practicing media literacy, students might ask themselves the following questions to evaluate advertising messages: “is it likely that a drug can deliver on the promises this ad states?,” “does the ‘before’ image look sad and the ‘after’ image happy?,” and “is this ad implying that one must be skinny to be respected?”