Media Literacy

The video letter aims to teach media literacy in two ways: making media, and reading media.

We teach technical skills- camera operation, sound, framing, angels, story telling, and narrative structures, as well as theoretical concepts such as representation, the power of media, and media activism.

It is important to the process that we not only teach the youth technical skills, but also to teach them how media is a powerful tool that performs a social function.

We spend time in class speaking about how the youth interpret mainstream media and how their communities are represented. What is true what is false?

What consequences do certain media representations have?

In addition to focusing on negative representations within the media, we also discuss how media can be used as a tool to challenge these representations.

One example of this is after the 8 week program, we took students to a presentation by the director of Viva Favela which is a community media NGO that trains favela residents in journalism so they can report from within their communities, offering an inside perspectives and alternatives to mainstream news.

It is our hope that the youth from Cantagalo will continue on independently or with Viva Favela as community journalists.


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