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Support critical thinking about media and technology

Posted by Gus at 4:30 pm, January 16, 2011 | About the Show, Kickstarter

Dear friend of education,

Today, media and technology are changing so fast that not a day seems to go by without a huge, related headline:

  • iPhones are hacked and celebrities’ personal photos are posted online.
  • Facebook is revealed to have been experimenting with whether users saw “happy” posts or not.
  • Comcast looks to merge with TimeWarner, making the threat of Internet throttling even more real after the end of Net Neutrality.

And yet, critical thinking about the media — often known as “media literacy” — has been edged out of school curricula. High-stakes tests pressure teachers to stick to rote memorization, reading, and math. Internet access is spotty or locked down at many schools, limiting what teachers can teach about online safety. Students may graduate without ever learning how advertisements provide the funding for most of their favorite shows, magazines, or websites.

The Media Show makes short online videos to take up the slack. We believe that when youth learn how the media and technology around them are made, they are empowered to think critically about the media messages they are immersed in.

Since 2008 we’ve used irreverent humor to explain copyright law, advertising tactics, email etiquette, and more on YouTube, the world’s most popular video site. In 2010, we won a Media That Matters award for our episode on photo manipulation throughout history — from Hitler airbrushing his enemies out of photos, through advertisers lightening pop star Beyonce’s skin color.

How can you help? The Media Show is currently seeking donors to fund not only production of upcoming episodes on search engines, online ads, and hacking, but also to support us as we take our shows to classrooms, libraries, and afterschool programs.

Would you help us? Education Sponsors at the $400 level fund videoconference workshops, as well as helping us reach young viewers online with brand new episodes.

Donors at the $1000 level help us do workshops in areas of the United States which are farther from centers of media production — places where youth are even less likely to be exposed to the workings of media and technology industries.

Time is running out on our campaign. Will you help us teach more young people to think critically about media systems?

Visit our Kickstarter campaign to learn how to support The Media Show. Here’s a list of the workshops we can offer, and here’s a little more about the show.

Thanks in advance for your support!

Gillian “Gus” Andrews
Producer, The Media Show
themediashow.net

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