A brief summary of some of the things that have happened or have been discussed during the week regarding media literacy and media in general in Europe and elsewhere.
1. Contrast between September covers of Girls’ Life and Boys’ Life
The covers of the September issues of Boys’ Life and Girls’ Life magazines present quite a disparity between what advice they choose to give to young boys and girls; boys are told to consider their future and girls are advised on how to look pretty.
It has been pointed out that previous issues of Girls’ Life have emphasised other topics such as body acceptance and books to read to help girls succeed at school. The two magazines are also unaffiliated. However, in this piece from Katherine Young, she remixes the Girls’ Life cover to create what some would regard as a fairer more positive version than the real one.
Read the full article here: http://www.katherineyoungcreative.com/blog/2016/9/7/girls-life-we-need-to-do-better
2. Whisper Systems – Alternative to Whatsapp
Regarding last week’s story about Whatsapp‘s new privacy settings, we have come across a free alternative app called Signal with absolute end-to-end encryption. Its development is supported by donations and grants and it comes with an endorsement from Edward Snowden. Link: https://whispersystems.org/
3. Not All Screen Time is Equal
Jose Picardo makes the case that reactionary thinking that decries the downfall of society because too many people are spending too long in front of their screens, is not very useful. Instead, he advocates thinking about what we are doing with our screens, echoing the thinking of professor Sonia Livingstone and research officer Alicia Blum-Ross from LSE who have said that ‘screen time’ is an “obsolete concept” and that “it is more important to consider the context and content of digital media use.”
4. 7 Question To Ask Yourself Before You Leave That Comment
A humorous look at the wondrous world of online commenting from writer Clem Bastow makes an appeal to cyberbullies, trolls and outrage enthusiasts to maintain some composure when responding online. From the guide:
“Am I a frustrated writer myself?“
Is your rage at someone having carved out even a small niche for themselves in an increasingly crowded digital media landscape because you disagree with their opinion, or because you’d actually, kinda, sorta, really like to see your own name up in lights? If that’s the case, stop pouring your material into comment sections and start pitching to some editors.”
5. GAPMIL Petition to UNESCO for MIL Week
GAPMIL (The Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy) has created a petition on change.org to call for UNESCO to create an international dedicated week to media and information literacy.
If you are interested in signing it, follow the link: https://www.change.org/p/support-the-call-for-an-internationally-recognized-global-media-and-information-literacy-week?utm_source=embedded_petition_view
6. Viacom, Hasbro, Mattel and Jumpstart fined for tracking on children’s websites
The Verge reports that an investigation has found that websites for “Barbie, Dora The Explorer and other popular children’s brands were tracking users to serve ads.” Tracking of course is a fact of online life, however websites aimed at children under the age of 13 are expressly forbidden from using the practice.
Read more at The Verge: http://www.theverge.com/2016/9/13/12902588/child-tracking-online-ads-viacom-hasbro-mattell-barbie?utm_campaign=theverge&utm_content=article&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter
7. Almost Every Word of Donald Trump’s Birther Statement is a Lie
In another brief reminder of how well that post-factual democracy thing is working out for us, Trump released a statement saying that it was Hillary Clinton who invented the ‘birther’ idea that Obama wasn’t born in the US (and therefore has no right to the presidency). The statement also positions Trump as the hero who put an end to all the consternation and nastiness by “pushing Obama to release his long-form birth certificate in 2011.” HINT: Trump was instrumental in propagating the rumour that Obama isn’t a US citizen and many times bullied him into proving it.
From Mother Jones, here: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/09/every-line-donald-trumps-birther-statement-lie