Encounters: Teaching Media Literacy

“In every society there has always been a story teller. The story teller is the one who imparts to the members the values and the accepted behaviors of the society.”

That’s how Dianna Morton begins her media literacy classes.

“When our ancestors were sitting around the fire, the stories were about how to work together for survival. Later, it was from the stories told around the family dinner table that we got our values.

“Now we have corporations as our storyteller and the only thing corporations what us to do is buy stuff.”

Dianna Morton teaches at the Cape Cod Regional technical High School in Harwich, Massachusetts.

Teaching 11th and 12th graders to be critical of the marketing that is aimed at them is, to her, a lot like deprogramming them.

“I believe they’ve been brainwashed,” she says, by the constant barrage of advertising that has shaped so many young people’s values and outlook today.

Dianna Morton gives presentations throughout Cape Cod on the insidious effects of advertising on children. She has also launched the Hegemony Project to spread her message.

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