Reading about Media Literacy – Three Books

Within formal studies of media literacy, a school library may provide access to an expansive range of literary resources. Literature services such as ProQuest and EBSCO would provide access to dissertations, academic articles, and published books. Schools and professional institutions may also provide access to book services such as O’Reilly learning (formerly Safari Books Online) where the researcher may find access to a wide range of technical and professional books, as well as an informative range of video courses in popular technical topics. Complimentary to the broad range of literature services available without a paywall, these resources may help towards discovering the state of current thought in media literacy and communication, as well as for studying any individual topics at depth.

Today, I’d like to introduce three books available at O’Reilly learning, here focusing mainly about topics in visual literacy, ethics, and journalism. I’ll be linking to each of these books’ pages at O’Reilly learning. These books may also be available in other digital and print formats, through normal book sellers and at the library.

Visual Ethics, at O’Reilly Learning

The book, Visual Ethics, by Martin Lester – published in 2018 – provides an introduction to a range of topics in visual aspects of mass communication. Undergraduate students might find the book particularly helpful for its general, comprehensive approach. The text begins with a discussion about principles in ethics – perhaps a general topic for its introduction in this simple blog article, but of a continuous significance both in and beyond the digital media landscape today. When accessing the book at O’Reilly learning, the table of contents can be viewed from the menu at the top right area on the page.

Film and Video Editing Theory, by Michael Frierson

Complementary to the prevalence of cinema and video – broadly, in a sense, film – in the contemporary media landscape, is there any theory of composition or of creative meaning, for works in film? Broadly under an umbrella of Directing, Michael Frierson provides an introduction to concepts of theory about camera work and editing for film. Not leaving the deep topics for the last chapters, the text begins with an introduction to theory after the canonic style of Orson Welles, in Citizen Kane. The student of visual communications might find this resource helpful for discovering a sense of depth of meaning in film as an artistic process. Frierson’s text also provides an introduction about more technical topics such as the use of depth of field in filming. The student of visual communication might discover a helpful range of resources for further study, within the text.

Journalism in the Digital Age, by John Herbert

Even for us ‘bloggers, the state of current thought and of scholarly theory about journalism might be a topic of ongoing interest. John Herbert provides an introduction to journalism within the contemporary media environment, in Journalism in the Digital Age. Albeit, perhaps it could seem somewhat daunting to read this and other full-length texts outside of assignments for any formal academic program. On the ground level, perhaps the text can find a further sense of meaning though individual writing and journalism in a form of individual practice, such in a blog….

I hope these resources may be useful to the student of media literacy, in the current state of thought about communications today.


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