Diversity in media is all about recognizing that multiple perspectives should be present in media, and if they aren’t then seeking out more diverse perspectives is warranted. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED Talk, “The Danger of a Single Story,” is a shining explanation of why diversity in media is a must and why we must not rely on single perspectives when creating our world view.
As educators, we need to examine our social media use ourselves. The article “Is there enough diversity in your social media?” discusses the fact that as many of us utilize social media more and more our views are getting less diverse as we are consuming information from people just like ourselves, meant for people just like ourselves. The ISTE standards encourage us all to be more aware and critical consumers of media as educators and students.
Diversity in media is essential for many reasons; the most important for our students is that in our increasingly global world, a narrow world view hinders them in their success in future endeavors in our global society. As educators, it is our responsibility to fairly and equitably engage our students as well as expose them to diverse views.
Lesson plans abound for teaching students about different topics related to diversity in media. Topics in diversity on media are also diverse. They range from who is missing in mainstream media to gender representation to political viewpoints to photo ethics. The Broadcast Education Association provides an extensive list of media diversity links. Students can also be challenged to provide solutions to global media literacy issues like the projects in the global media and information literacy hackathon.
Diversity in media is an issue that should be at the forefront in our classrooms as it is in the world today. Educators and students alike should seek out and promote diversity in media in our increasingly global society. This post is the fourth in our media literacy blog series. This summer, check out our past posts in the series and make media literacy a priority in your classroom!