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date: 25 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

As a field of study, media literacy emerged along with the study of radio propaganda in the 1930s. More recently it became a field of research that has responded to the television saturated consumer cultures of the late-1960s onwards. Unlike literacies of pre-electronic media environments, those that have been studied within electronic environments have been almost solely concerned with analytical ways of reading multimedia texts. In contrast, literacies in the written word have typically involved the production of written texts as integral to curricula. The new media environment provides opportunities and challenges for research in new media literacies, not the least of which is understanding what it means for people to have a widespread potential to write themselves into global, multimediated conversations. This not only involves technical, cultural, discursive, and aesthetic knowledges, it also involves the need to be politically and economically literate in the implications of a dispersed, participatively produced, multimedia environment as distinct from the ‘broadcast’ literacies of past media environments. This article situates new media literacies in an historical framework, emphasizing the close connections among technology, culture, discourse, and related changes in political economic structures.

Keywords: new media literacies, discursive knowledges, electronic media, political structure, economic structure, multimediated conversations

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