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Digital Video: Engaging Students in Critical Media Literacy and Community Activism

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This article presents a strategy for teaching health communication that fosters critical media literacy through the strategic combination of digital video, documentary film, video worksheets, and peer-reviewed journal articles. Given the media-saturated environment in which notions of health are shaped, critical media literacy skills are crucial to students in health-related fields. Cases of key concepts illustrated through documentary films and the peer-reviewed literature are presented. The article then explores how one class took the lead in designing a community event that critically engaged both a YouTube video and a documentary film about police brutality as a public health issue.

Keywords: YouTube; digital video; documentary; education; health communication; media literacy; police

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College and CUNY Graduate Center

Publication date: February 2, 2012

More about this publication?
  • EME explores the relationships between media, technology, symbolic form, communication, consciousness, and culture. Its scope is interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary. Media ecology provides a rich philosophical, historical and practical context for studying our increasingly technological and mediated society and culture with an emphasis on historical context.
    Media ecology scholarship emphasizes a humanistic approach to understanding media, communication, and technology, with special emphasis on the ways in which we have been and continue to be shaped and influenced by our inventions and innovation. The Media ecology approach is predicated on understanding that media, symbols, and technologies play a leading role in human affairs, and function as largely invisible environments affecting the way we think, feel, act, and organize ourselves collectively.
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