Writer's Choice Grade 10
Viewing and Representing
The mass media creates messages that inform, entertain, and persuade their audiences. These media messages shape and influence your behavior and attitudes, whether you are aware of it or not. However, developing media literacythe ability to understand, interpret, analyze, and critique media messageswill help you recognize the ways that media messages influence your life.
There are four main genres of media: print, broadcast, film, and the Internet. When you deconstruct, or analyze, the media messages contained in these genres, you will be more aware of their effect on you. To deconstruct a media message, ask yourself the following questions:
- Who created this message, or who or what is the source of the message?
- What is the purpose of the message?
- For whom is the message intended? Who's the audience?
- What is the main idea of the message?
- What are the visual techniques used to persuade the viewer?
With the exception of radio, all mass media send visual messages. To understand the design of a visual message, examine its composition, or the arrangement of visual elements. When creating still images, like photographs or illustrations, producers think about the following visual elements: shape, line, color, tone, texture, positioning, light, and space. When creating moving images, either film or video, the producer carefully considers camera angles, camera shots, lighting, movement, editing, special effects, and background music or other sounds.
You may want to create a video or Web page for yourself. By producing your own visual message, you will increase your understanding of media production and become more media literate. To make a video you will need to take on or assign some or all of the following roles: director, researcher, scriptwriter, storyboard designer, camera operator, actor, interviewer, and narrator. Once these roles have been assigned, begin by brainstorming about the video. For example, ask questions such as: "What is the purpose?" and "Who is the audience?" Use storyboards as an outline or blueprint for shooting your video. When you are shooting, remember to vary your shots and work with good lighting; always shoot with editing in mind. Carefully edit your footage, and ask for viewer feedback once you have presented your video.
You can incorporate video into a Web page, as well as sound, text, photographs, and other graphics. Good Web sites are attractive, informative, and easy to use and navigate. To create a good Web site, begin with a clear purpose. Plan extensively. Remember to keep the design simple and consistent. Make sure the site downloads quickly or viewers might give up. Keep text short and easy to read. Finally, test your site and revise as needed.