Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mass Media and Education

Sorry for my late post. I have some problems to post on Blogger yesterday. Just fixed it.

In the excerpt, from UNESCO: Its Philosophy and Purpose (1947), Julian Sorrell Huxley considers the mass media, such as the radio, the cinema, and the popular press, as agencies of worldwide education. It’s responsible for UNESCO seeking the main effects of these innovations and take account to pursue its goals by using mass media. According to Huxley, “Although it is true that the mass media provide the first agencies in history through which peoples may speak to peoples, instead of communication between countries being limited to small minorities, yet it is also true that what they say to each other through these agencies may be false, and what they hear may be limited by man-made barriers or its effect distorted by previous propaganda.” (p.223)

This quote reminds me of the Chinese government regulation on free press. As we know, mass media have the power to reach wider dissemination of information of every sort, Chinese government is afraid of this wide dissemination about negative news which could affect government’s image, so they have strict limitation on free press. These man-made barriers of mass media have already affect media’s creditability in China. When people read news about tragedy, they automatically think the truth is worse than it reported. The distorted message will hurt media’s reputation. I’m curious how to make people stop sending false message to mass, but still not have too much regulation on freedom of press.

Another main task of UNESCO is about using mass media as educator. I definitely think it’s a great idea to use mass media in educational purpose. For instance, I had a class which required us to participate in Facebook group. It’s effectiveness to engage students in this social learning environment. We can share any field related articles and videos via Facebook. Students could learn something new at any places and at any time. Mass media is also great for distance learning which could easily connect everyone in the world. So, my question is beside the positive perspective of using mass media as educator, what kind of negative influences may occur in the educational purpose?

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