Asia Pacific Media Educator


This article highlights the imperative of developing multiple media literacy skills in high school students to prepare them for work in a world plagued by complex social, political, economic and environmental issues. These skills can be imbued through the integration of the concepts of journalism ethics with journalism’s role in a democracy within the practical aspects of production of digital television community news. This idea is to be explored in an Australian Research Council Linkage project (2005 to 2007) - a collaborative initiative between Apple Computer Australia, WIN Television and the University of Wollongong (UOW). The ARC School News project investigates the notion that high school students’ creation of digital video news about their school and community, facilitated by innovative technology and expert advice, can lead to their acquisition of multiple literacy skills. As the students’ skills develop in constructing television news, they will then begin to appreciate a set of multiple literacy resources that should serve them as young participants in a democratic system. In a changing news media landscape, dominated by deception, spin and public relations, these resources are critical and young people require them to effectively exercise their rights, now and into the future. In the making of community oriented television news, young people will develop a critical ability to read the media products for what they are: constructions that are often persuasive and propagandist, disguised as news and loitering on the boundaries of the pornographic and the violent. Young people will develop their critical abilities in multi literacy, finding that news and current affairs often serve singular political and commercial interests, rather than what journalism purports to serve – balance, fairness, independence, investigation, pluralism and democracy.