Media Literacy

What’s going on here?

What is being advertised? To who? Do you recall this incident? What happened? Try to answer these (really, write your answers!) before you go find out. Take five minutes.

A quick search on google and you will find the incident.


TASK: So does advertising have an ethical or social responsibility? Are there limits to where or what should be advertised? Write a few ideas on this topic. Try to come up with some specific examples. eg. Cigarettes shouldn’t be advertised near schools so as to stop children from starting this habit. This is perhaps obvious so move your examples closer and closer to the “grey” area. What about fast food?

Through the next unit of the course, we will cover a range of visual texts prevalent in the media today. In order to fully appreciate these texts, we need to develop a vocabulary with which to discuss these ideas. Complete the following activities:

A Little Theory

Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 10.12.46

Go to the website “Semiotics for Beginners

Skim through the following sections for a few minutes and just get a feel for what this website is about:

  • Introduction
  • Signs
  • Denotation, Connotation and Myth
  • Rhetorical Tropes
  • Modes of Address
  • Intertextuality

Using the section on “Denotation, Connotation and Myth,” define the following:

  • Denotation-
  • Connotation-

Using the section “Signs”, define the following terms:

  • Sign
  • Signifier
  • Signified

Extension Concepts

  • Go about half-way down that section. Read the definitions of the following terms. Briefly read the text below that chart to further understand the concepts. Now, define the following terms in your own words:
    • Symbol/symbolic:
    • Icon/iconic:
    • Index/indexical:
    • Extension Task: find an example of a symbol, icon and index.Look at the images on this document. Decide whether they are symbolic, iconic or indexical.

    Task: Search for some print advertisements of some of your favourite products. Try to find three or four different product advertisements.

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