Saturday, February 2, 2008

Max Headroom

In an episode of Max Headroom, a television show from the 1980’s, there were many references to media literacy. The show was had a futuristic setting that focused on the large impact television would have on people and society. One of the main focuses of the show was on media content.
According to James Potter, media content is one of five factors that make up a person’s knowledge structure. Knowledge structures are crucial in aiding a person to make decisions. Specifically, media content was focused on in this episode of Max Headroom.
Media literate people are aware of the different forms that media messages can take, and they understand how different messages are put together. The people in this Max Headroom episode were susceptible to whatever messages the television companies broadcast. They did not possess the knowledge structures that would allow them to make their own informed decisions.
This show predicted that if people passively accepted everything they saw on television the media companies would have too much control over what the public thought. While this show went to extremes, they made a good point about the need to actively and consciously evaluate media messages.

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