2 February 2009

Warm up — Images of Michelle Obama. How is the news  media treating the First Lady?

Surface computing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoM4wuCZOms

Lesson for Level II —

Today we’ll begin using the camera. We will learn about viewing images in thirds, the basic angles, pans, tilts. We’ll also begin looking at iMovie and slowly step through the process of mastering the edit program. The process will take up the bulk of our class time. Before class ends, we will assign students to specific computers, which you will share, and where you will work together in teams.

Level I —

Before you left class on Friday, I told you to watch the news racks in stores, groceries, pharmacies, etc. to see whether (and how) the First Family is being treated in the media.

Next, I would like to call your attention to the “crisis in print journalism”: what does it mean? can electronic media substitute or take the place of newspapers and magazines? is television news enough? what is at stake in the decline of print media? can our Democracy function without reliable information? Thomas Jefferson was the chief writer and composer of the Declaration of Independence, and he was our third President. Here’s what  he said on the matter:

“The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.”  –Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 1787. ME 6:57

WALL.E showed us what happens when media is used to influence the public for selfish interests. Thomas Jefferson also said:

“The most effectual engines for [pacifying a nation] are the public papers… [A despotic] government always [keeps] a kind of standing army of newswriters who, without any regard to truth or to what should be like truth, [invent] and put into the papers whatever might serve the ministers. This suffices with the mass of the people who have no means of distinguishing the false from the true paragraphs of a newspaper.” –Thomas Jefferson to G. K. van Hogendorp, Oct. 13, 1785. (*) ME 5:181, Papers 8:632

Are we safe relying on the World Wide Web for information? How are we to distinguish truth from propaganda?

Closer — Rupert Murdoch — Georgetown U. lecture:  http://fora.tv/2008/04/02/Rupert_Murdoch_Seeks_a_Mass_Audience

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