Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Informed citizens? Spaniards' capacity for analyzing audiovisual messages is very low, study suggests

Date:
November 14, 2011
Source:
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Oficina de Información Científica
Summary:
The majority of the population does not have sufficient capacity to critically interpret and analyze the audiovisual images and messages coming from the communication media. This is one of the main conclusions of a recent study analyzing the media competence of Spaniards.

This study, which is a global pioneer, was carried out with the main objective of measuring the media competence of citizens from age sixteen on. "This allowed us to see individuals' ability to use critical reflection to interpret and analyze the audiovisual images and messages, as well as to express themselves in a communicative situation," explains one of the study's authors, Alejandra Walzer, of UC3M's Department of Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. This study, titled 'Media competence.

Research on the level of citizens' competence in Spain ('Competencia mediatica. Investigación sobre el grado de competencia de la ciudadanía en España'), and coordinated by Professors Joan Ferrés and Josep Fernández Cavia, of the Universidad Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, was carried out throughout Spain, with Professor Walzer being responsible for the research done in the Autonomous Community of Madrid. The results obtained in this region "are very disheartening, because they show a high level of media incompetence in the majority of the population ," she concludes.

The purpose of the study was to be able to infer whether or not citizens have sufficient knowledge and capacity to manage, analyze, participate in and evaluate different aspects related to the multimediated context in which they live. This is especially relevant, according to the researchers, if we consider that we live in a time in which technological mediation plays a huge role in our societies, and affects the ways in which we communicate, as well as the language that we use. This study, points out Professor Walzer, shows the urgent need to do away with the existing apathy with regard to this subject in terms of educational policy "Media education, communiceducation, cannot continue to exist randomly or on the sidelines of our concept of what is educational," she explains, "because it constitutes a decisive area in the formation of the citizenry and in the cultivation of the multiple languages in which we express ourselves and enrich our culture and our social ties."

Technical and symbolic deficiencies

The methodology used in this research included one stage involving quantitative work and another involving work of a qualitative nature. The first stage of the work used a questionnaire completed by a sample population of 6.626 Spanish citizens, stratified by gender, age, and educational level (a total of 600 people participated in the Community of Madrid). Later, in the second stage of research work, all of the results were grouped into two categories and analyzed: technical-operative aspects (production and programming, reception, audience and technology) and symbolic aspects (esthetics, languages and values). With respect to the first category, the researchers found a significant lack of knowledge, although that level decreased slightly among younger participants, especially with regard to those questions related to the use of certain technical-electronic devices and some aspects related to the Internet. With regard to the symbolic aspects related to aesthetics, the deficiencies that were noted revealed a high level of inability to evaluate aesthetic aspects in media messages in a well-reasoned manner, as well as to use a certain level of correctness in the form of expression. "We found that people have serious difficulties defending their opinions regarding the media universe and to discern that media messages are carriers of values and contents," reveals Alejandra Walzer.

This professor presents the results of the research that were obtained in Madrid in a book which has just been released, and which is titled 'Visiones, saberes y placeres. Sobre cultura visual y educación' (Editorial Universitas, 2011 -- "Visions, knowledge and pleasure. On visual culture and education"). The text includes three essays on the presence of the iconic, education in this context, and cinema about the school environment. In the first, titled 'La imagen, el texto, la máquina' ("Image, text and machine") -- the author reflects on the visual and the ways in which current technology undermines the hegemonic tradition of prestige of the modern episteme in Western culture, highlighting the image as opposed to the word and the text. In this way, she analyzes the new ways of learning, reading and writing in digital forms in order to investigate the transformations that the new technologies bring with them.

In the second essay, 'Schools, knowledge and the media', the researcher analyzes the changes in which schools are immersed, the difficulties they face, the needed reformulation of the knowledge they begin with, and the knowledge which they dispense, and the reformation they must face in order to change their current conflictive social position. Summing up, the essay raises the question of what the schools of tomorrow will be like. "It is difficult to predict -- responds Professor Walzer -- but it IS possible to state with conviction that if they do not incorporate the technologies of knowledge and communication in a creative and natural way, and from a perspective that questions the status quo, the problems will multiply."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Oficina de Información Científica. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Oficina de Información Científica. "Informed citizens? Spaniards' capacity for analyzing audiovisual messages is very low, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 November 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111114093546.htm>.
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Oficina de Información Científica. (2011, November 14). Informed citizens? Spaniards' capacity for analyzing audiovisual messages is very low, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111114093546.htm
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Oficina de Información Científica. "Informed citizens? Spaniards' capacity for analyzing audiovisual messages is very low, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111114093546.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands of Fish Dead in Mexico Lake

Raw: Thousands of Fish Dead in Mexico Lake

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Over 53 tons of rotting fish have been removed from Lake Cajititlan in western Jalisco state. Authorities say that the thousands of fish did not die of natural causes. (Sep. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) — Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) — Fears are mounting in Bangkok that poor planning and lax law enforcement are tipping Thailand towards a waste crisis. Duration: 01:21 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins