Comunicar Journal Blog

Xu Wen: Media literacy education as liberal education in a Chinese high school


Two years ago, I got a chance to practice media literacy education in a Chinese high school. Based on the preliminary survey among these high school students, they are involved in popular culture, but do not care news much. News is an important channel for high school students to know the world and participate in social affairs. Therefore, we (the research team) plan to take them to focus on studying news. The purpose is to help students to access to news information, analyze and evaluate news information and communicate news in various situations. Studying news information is a way to cultivate citizenship, helping them to involve in social activities. Media literacy education is taken as liberal education in the school, and news is the main topic through the course. For news information, the main analytical framework for the course is:

Who (person and agency) produce the piece of news?

How many information sources are used in the piece of news?

Are these sources independent?

Which are reliable sources and which are not? Why?

How do you rewrite the piece of news if you were a journalist?

During the course, it takes activity-based learning for students. There are a lot of news examples that we can use for students activities. They are often divided into different groups to discuss some current issues, to present their news production and so on. Right or wrong is not the final answer for their discussion in the classroom. They have to provide logical and rational analysis for their opinions instead of offering a conclusion. Besides the classroom learning, students visited newspaper agency and TV station to get direct perception toward news production. With two rounds of practice, students show great interest in studying news. For media literacy education, it is expected that students could communicate news information in various situation. However, the time for the course is very limited. There are just six sessions for each class. In the later practice, we wish it could extend to news communication and production, particularly with we-media like twitter.

Author: Ms. XU Wen

XU Wen

Research Fellow, Institute of Higher Education, Communication University of China

Research interest: media literacy, comparative education and higher education