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Media literacy, participation and accountability for the media of generation of silence

by M. Esther Del-Moral, Lourdes Villalustre
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Abstract

The purpose of this research is to study the level of media literacy in a sample of elderly women, the so-called «silent generation», belonging to the Asturian Housewives Association, by means of a questionnaire to collect data on critical awareness in women. The questionnaire seeks information on the persuasive effects of advertising; the women's evaluation of the information conveyed by the media, and their training, commitment and participation as media consumers. The survey also tries to identify the women's demands and concerns, regarding the media they usually use, by conducting focus group discussions. Findings show that the women surveyed believe that advertising lacks credibility and claim that some TV stations offer information and content which is biased or has been manipulated to the extent that it goes against the law. Although such women know the channels for citizen participation, they do not know how to exercise their rights in the face of illegal content. In addition, certain training needs have been detected. This research points to the need to design a training plan for media literacy which will empower them with critical skills and foster participation as active and responsible consumers. It is also intended that such women will acquire specific knowledge about the media, as well as the psychological strategies, technical resources and audiovisual language the media use.

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