Jeff Share: The Need for Critical Media Literacy

By Joanie Harmon, Ampersand UCLA School of Ed & IS Online Magazine

Jeff Share, lecturer in the UCLA Department of Education, was interviewed for, on his 2019 book, “The Critical Media Literacy Guide: Engaging Media and Transforming Education” (With Douglas Kellner). A former photojournalist and classroom teacher, Share discussed the urgency for critical media literacy in a rapidly evolving media landscape.

In the interview, Share outlined the book’s concepts of critical media literacy, including social constructivism, analyzing the medium as well as the message, audiences and positionality, politics of representation, traditional institutions of communication, and social environmental justice.

“An important part of critical media literacy is recognizing power and understanding how information is always somehow connected to power,” Share said. People are benefiting and people are losing by different information, by what’s being chosen to be shown or told, and what’s not. What’s missing and also how it’s being framed and how the information is being communicated.”