Understanding Media: Process and Principles

Media messages can be understood by using four process skills: access, analyze, evaluate and create.

  • Access means you can locate, identify and understand information that you need. Many different media can provide you with information, including newspapers, magazines, books, television, radio, the Internet and social media platforms. You need to identify the type of media that gives the information you seek.
  • Analyze means you can interpret and understand the components of a media message. Different media use different elements to convey messages including colors, photographs, art elements, type styles, camera angles, music and sounds.
  • Evaluate means that you can make judgments about the truth, accuracy and relevance of media messages.
  • Once you understand the other process skills, you will know how to use the appropriate technology to create and disseminate your own media messages. You can use the components and principles of media messages to communicate your own ideas.

Taken from Understanding Media: Process and Principles, a self-directed course by Sherrye Dee Garrett and Stephanie Johnson at Poynter NewsU.

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    Vicki Krueger

    Vicki Krueger has worked with The Poynter Institute for more than 20 years in roles from editor to director of interactive learning and her current position as marketing communications manager.


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