Friday, October 1, 2010


We spent a lot of time in class taking Sparks down, but in terms of O’Neil’s article on media literacy, something he says strikes a nerve. Spark’s final jab at the theory of global media domination: “A quarter of the world’s population, more than one and a quarter billion people, are today without any access to electricity, and that number will rise over the next 25 years (World Energy Outlook, 2002). No electricity, no internet. A theory that is blind to such facts is blind to reality.”
When O’Neil talks about the campaign for media literacy he frames access to communications as a human right. Put this together with Sparks… are one and a quarter billion people being denied an essential right? If having no internet access equates to denial of the right to communications access who is there to blame? Drag to the ICC?
O’Neil’s article really just gave me the impression that media literacy is a “First World” right. Protecting those who already have communications access but not bringing it to anyone new. The two authors conflicted me a little bit, because I do believe in increasing media literacy especially in children, and in communications access as a human right. But Sparks’s closing argument really stuck with me. Global communications is supposed to unite the world community, not become the new polarizer between the developed and the unfortunates. But how do you bring internet to people who can’t even access clean water?

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