Fake, fact and fantasy: Children's interpretations of television reality

Grant, Michael (1998) Fake, fact and fantasy: Children's interpretations of television reality. Sight and Sound, 8 (8). pp. 28-29. ISSN 0037-4806. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Gauntlett is opposed to the view that complex social problems are simply effects of the media and attacks what he sees as a patronising "effects" psychology which claims to measure the supposed impact of television on children. His own approach has been to encourage pupils at several Leeds schools to make their own videos on the theme of the environment. When children get involved in this way, it soon becomes apparent that they are clear-sighted readers of the media, alert to the constructed nature of the televisual text and well aware of the way things are falsified in programmes. It is this degree of media literacy that makes earlier psychological models irrelevant. Davies covers some of the same ground, looking at how US and British children's varied ideas of reality are shaped by and shape their viewing. Davies is keen to defend popular (television) culture, and this forms a central strand in her argument. Questions of genre are important here, and she finds that the reality and credibility of media representations are inseparable from value judgements children pass on the forms in which they are expressed. Though somewhat weighed down by the paraphernalia of questionnaires and psychological testing, the book is worth reading in tandem with Gauntlett's if only as a timely reminder of the need for the school system to encourage children's media literacy and critical awareness. (MG)

Item Type: Review
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages (inc film, TV and radio studies) > PB2994 Film Studies
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of Arts
Depositing User: R.F. Xu
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2009 12:25
Last Modified: 21 May 2014 09:20
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/17775 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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