Using the Transatlantic to Teach Media Literacy

Using the Transatlantic to Teach Media Literacy
First Place in Third Annual Faculty Research Days Competition,
Central Missouri State University

Transatlantic Conflict and Consensus: Culture, History, and Politics MCTS
Conference 25-28 October 2006
Maastricht, The Netherlands

E. Sam Cox, Ph.D.
Department of Communication
Central Missouri State University, Warrensburg,

Aaron Crowe
Loyola University
Chicago, IL

Fernando Gutiérrez
Department of Communication
Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Estado de México

This paper describes and critiques how a transatlantic perspective can be used to teach media literacy. It briefly summarizes how media literacy is defined, explains why and how the transatlantic is used, provides two student projects as case studies, and assesses the transatlantic perspective as a pedagogical strategy for teaching media literacy. Media literacy outcomes are discussed from the viewpoint of the teachers who taught the course and students who completed the course. Finally, the paper offers suggestions for how the Transatlantic might be utilized by teachers who want to develop media literacy in their students.

Media Literacy

There are numerous resources that define and suggest ways to implement media literacy projects.1 For pedagogical purposes and to be consistent and clear we used Baran’s (2004) seven elements. He stresses Silverblatt’s (1995)2 five and adds two of his own. Baran’s features are: (1) an awareness of the impact of media. (2) An understanding of the process of mass communication. (3) Strategies for analyzing and discussing media messages. (4) An understanding of media content as a text that provides insight into our culture and our lives. (5) The ability to enjoy, understand and appreciate media content. (6) An understanding of the ethical and moral obligations of media. And, (7) the development of appropriate and effective production skills.3

For our projects, we attempted to improve student literacy in only items 1-6 above. As Baran stresses: “Learning to enjoy, understand, and appreciate media content includes the ability to use multiple points of access {emphasis in original}—to approach media content from a variety of directions and derive from it many levels of meaning.”4 We also were informed by Rubin’s summary that media literacy is “the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and communicate messages,” and on a broader level, “knowledge about how media function in society.” In that broader definition Rubin includes “understanding cultural, economic, political, and technological constraints on the creation, production, and transmission of messages.” Therefore Rubin concludes: “Media literacy, then, is about understanding the sources and technologies of communication, the codes that are used, the messages that are produced, and the selection, interpretation, and impact of those messages.”5

The importance of media literacy was forecast when Bardgett in 1977 predicted that electronic reporting would radically change news reporting.6 Downing, Mohammadi and Sreberny-Mohammadi in 1995 acknowledged the erosion of contextualized and critical news coverage. They stated, “In the media’s global rush for instant coverage and the best picture, we stand to see a further erosion of independent, critical news coverage and analysis from reporters who know something about the places and issues they are covering.” They also noted the danger of watered-down media stereotypes. Downing Mohammadi and Sreberny-Mohammadi stated, “Such media stereotypes can become globally dangerous at an international level, fueling cross-national misunderstanding, mistrust, and conflict.”7 Differences in common knowledge about national media coverage of the War in Iraq support this claim. Similarly, Dovey notes the importance of media literacy when he exposes how the new digital age is a “promise to the disenfranchised that exclusion will change to inclusion.” However, Dovey describes his book as “for people who don’t believe the hype, for the reader who wants to question the surprisingly persistent myth that technology will set us free. It is a myth driven by relentlessly optimistic media coverage.” Instead, Dovey claims that “the realm of the digital offers the media/finance/military bloc an opportunity to reorganize and consolidate its power.”8 Not only can media literacy counter disillusionment but as Loeb stresses, society today is at risk of succumbing to cynicism and that cynicism is perpetuated by uncritical acceptance of mediated messages that envelope our lives.9 Therefore, according to Downing, Mohammadi and Sreberny-Mohammadi, a major way to counter this dilemma would be audiences with media savvy that demand “multiple perspectives in international news coverage”.10

Therefore, it is not surprising that there are several groups devoted to the pragmatic development of media literacy. For example, Paper Tiger Television “believes that increasing public awareness of the negative influence of mass media and involving people in the process of making media is mandatory for our long-term goal of information equity.”11 (For additional resources see Endnote 12.)

The Transatlantic as a Pedagogical Strategy

Much like media literacy, much has been said and written based on the transatlantic perspective. In fact, the Transatlantic Studies Association hosts an annual conference and the Maastricht Center for Transatlantic Studies hosts a semi-annual conference. In addition, scholars like Karel van Wolferen, the highly regarded international relations scholar of The Netherlands, gave a speech at the Roosevelt Study Center on October 5, 2005 titled “The Bush Administration and Europe: The End of the Transatlantic Alliance,” as had Alan Dobson, Godfrey Hodgson Association Fellow at Oxford University in 2003 when he highlighted the transatlantic in his speech titled, “Anti-Americanism and American Exceptionalism.”13 As Kaufman and MacPherson (2002) stress, since Bourne’s 1916 essay titled “Trans-National America” there has been awareness that “the transatlantic dynamic is an irresistible force of attraction and repulsion, absorption and distinction, between all the continents on the two seaboards.”14 Giles (2000) points out that while the concept has been used for many purposes, “Transatlantic Studies might be said to situate itself at that awkward, liminal place where the national meets the global.” To further explain Giles notes, “Whereas globalization in its more utopian (or dystopian) forms imagines a ‘postnational’ world which simply transcends national identity, transnationalism focuses instead upon the frictions and disjunctions brought about by the slow but inexorable erosion of national formations along with the various reactions and tensions which this process produces.” We were also attracted to the pedagogical possibilities by what Giles (2000) describes as an “impetus from an uncomfortable, highly contested situation where traditional identities find themselves traversed by the forces of difference.” Giles concludes that “the paradoxical (and sometimes apparently incongruous) points of convergence, divergence and traversal between local interests and global imperative” are what make Transatlantic Studies so valuable.15

Therefore, encouraged by the research reported in Transatlantic Studies edited by Kaufman and MacPherson in 200016, New Perspectives in Transatlantic Studies edited by McPherson and Kaufman in 200217, and Democracy and Culture in the Transatlantic World edited by Wallin and Silander in 200418, we sought to assess the utility of the transatlantic as a pedagogical strategy for teaching media literacy. In 2000 Kozma stressed the impact of the transatlantic through what he termed “The Fourth Stage” in education.19 and in 2004, Rodenberg, in his address, “The Internationalization of Universities” emphasized that “the challenge is the incorporation of necessary international perspectives into our institutional missions and whether or not this internationalization process can actually be integrated into our existing academic structures.” He continued by stressing that “Our curriculum lacks coherent strategies to encourage students to learn and participate in international endeavors.” 20 Additional impetuses came from Håkansson, Sjöstrand and Villanueva’s article, “New Perspectives in International Cooperation in Higher Education: Empirical Report from Two Trans-Atlantic Educational Projects.”21 Their piece provided an additional push to use the Transatlantic as a pedagogical strategy to enhance media literacy.

Finally, since the United States has massive influence due to her pervasive mass media, and since there has been a decline in US media coverage of international affairs, we believed our transnational project would be a beneficial learning experience. As Baran stresses, “Before September 11 the amount of newspapers´ newshole (non-advertising space) devoted to international news was 2%, down from 10% in 1971” He continues, “The proportion of international news in the major weekly news magazines fell from 22% in 1985 to 13% in 1995.” In fact, he adds, “In the months before September 11, network newscasts on many nights had no foreign news at all, although 20 years ago reports from overseas accounted for 45% of a typical newscast. Overall airtime devoted to international news fell by more than half during the decade of 1990 to 2000.” Finally, Baran references work completed by Ginsberg in 2002 as well as that by Parks also conducted in 2002 who both pointed out that, “ABC News closed 10 of its 17 foreign bureaus between the 1980´s and 2000; Time magazine cut its foreign staff from 33 in 1989 to 24 in 2001.” 22

Therefore, we produced six predictions.

Prediction 1: The required use of the transatlantic in the major class projects will increase students’ awareness of the impact of media.

Prediction 2: The required use of the transatlantic in the major class projects will increase students’ understanding of the process of mass communication.

Prediction 3: The required use of the transatlantic in the major class projects will increase students’ strategies for analyzing and discussing media messages.

Prediction 4: The required use of the transatlantic in the major class projects will increase students’ understanding of media content as a text that provides insight into our culture and our lives.

Prediction 5: The required use of the transatlantic in the major class projects will increase students’ ability to enjoy, understand and appreciate media.

Prediction 6: The required use of the transatlantic in the major class projects will increase students’ understanding of the ethical and moral obligations of media.

The Course and the Transatlantic Projects

Media literacy is a vital element in the International Communication course at the Instituto Technológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterey—Campus Estado de México (ITESM-CEM), commonly known as TEC de Monterrey. According to the official approved syllabus for Comunicación Internacional (Co00971) at the TEC23 the general objectives of the course are:

To analyze and evaluate the role of mediated communication, governments and international institutions in the development of strategies, programs and policies that determine the flow of international communication.

To analyze and evaluate the social, cultural, and political impact of the international exchange of media and messages.

To evaluate the role of new communication technologies, strategic development and international movement towards economic integration to structure a new order of international communication.

Therefore, the class was contextualized with a discussion about the prisoners in Plato’s Cave and the pervasive nature of “chains” and “shadows” in the flow of mediated communication in today’s world. Discussions aimed to help students discover: What is happening in the world around us? How do we perceive the world around us? Is it better not to know? Will those who try to tell us be marginalized? What effort should we make? Would more media literacy help us to think/act more rationally or humanely? 24 Additionally, the class utilized both Lakoff and Johnson’s 1980 work, Metaphors We Live By; and Lakoff’s more recent work in 2004, Don’t Think of an Elephant to explore the elusive but powerful impact of metaphors on social, cultural and political messages in the new world order of communication.25

But the key assignment that required a transnational perspective was a semester-long group research project. Students self-selected into groups of four or five students after being told that this would be a semester-long project-based learning experience with required intermediate progress reports. Each group named themselves and chose an event with international significance like Poverty as the Top Priority of the United Nations for the 21st Century, The Bird Flu Epidemic, Removal of Settlers from the Gaza Strip and Sudan after the Civil War. Next they generated research questions that were approved by the instructor and that they could reasonably answer in 2-3 months of media monitoring. They selected 2-4 major mediums from four different countries to monitor for approximately two months in order to answer their research question. A 10-minute graded oral report explained the rationale for their topic, countries and media selections.

Media logs (See Appendix A) were kept and assessed by the instructor at about the mid-point of the semester as well as when the project was completed. Media coverage focused on main stories not editorials or paid commercials/paid political ads. Blogs were not allowed only because the aim was to expose them to how mainstream media works. However, they used online sources for many of their media–BBC, Italy, Pan-Africa News, etc. Due to the international nature of this class—every group had students who were able to read 2-4 languages. Students probed their problem areas by using a transnational perspective—they sought similarities and the differences during a specified period of time. They also produced metaphors to in capsule the media coverage for each of their countries. Finally, they were given 30 minutes to present their findings and to answer questions–15 minutes had to be saved for a question and answer session. There were severe penalties for exceeding the 15 minutes presentation limit—and none did! Students participated in the question and answer session led by the instructor.

The grading of the research projects was based primarily on four “pillars” suggested by Noam Chomsky in 1996.26 They are: (1) intellectual responsibility—finding out and telling the truth as best you can, addressing the things that matter, and having a clear conception of an audience that is to be enlightened and equipped for action that will be of human significance; (2) originality—refraining from just rehashing old ideas and creatively explaining new insights in a distinctive and unique manner that challenges and exposes the dominant discourse and suggests possibilities for intervention; (3) critical thinking—expanded as is presented in The Critical Thinking Rubric, developed by researchers at Washington State University27; and, (4) analytical work—insightful enough to expose deeply seated personal and social wrongs and expressed in an alternative narrative that accurately identifies root causes and incorporates the work of multiple scholars.

Finally, the research projects were worth 40% of the overall grade for the course—20% for the in-class presentations of the findings and 20% for the accompanying papers. Thus, the media project was a major component in the course which motivated the students to perform well.

Case Studies

In our three classes students completed sixteen research projects that included a transnational perspective. Those cases ranged from media coverage of Tsunami in Southern Asia to the revolution in Columbia. We present two cases in this paper. They are not necessarily the best papers but each contained a strong transatlantic element and they illustrate different s of a common issue.

Case #1 – Transatlantic Differences in Media Coverage of Katrina: The Post-Hurricane Actions of George W. Bush

This project by the group known as “The Dukes of México” sought to answer two research questions: What are the political measures that Bush took after Katrina? And, how do the mediums from each country show that information?

They monitored Canada’s CBC News, National Post, and Ottawa Sun from August 29 to October 8, 2005; Spain’s El País, El Mundo, and Agency EFE from September 1 to October 25, 2005; the United Kingdom’s Guardian, BBC, and The Times from September 1 to October 26, 2005; the United States’ Wall Street Journal, Herald, and New York Times from August 25 to November 15, 2005; and France’s Liberation, Radio France, Le devoir, and L’Expansion from September 2 to October 8, 2005.

The team reported the transatlantic helped them gain practical knowledge about international communication, the importance of diplomatic relations with the USA, and discovered framing and agenda setting in the media. Their learning ranged from discovery of embedded metaphors to how issues were framed to nuances of agenda setting to how media alters the environment. Also, they claimed the transatlantic revealed similarities and differences regarding: the right of the press to investigate, media cultures in various countries, why German help with Katrina was stopped by the US, how sensationalization skewed stories, and social exclusion. For example, most newspapers agreed that President Bush was very slow to react to Katrina, but then varied greatly regarding key arguments of “why.” Overall, French media was critical of Bush, but British media tried to fix the image of the US president, as did the US media except for the Herald. Spain and Canada did not cover Katrina as extensively and thus presented a quite different picture. Therefore, in the paper the students claim that using a transatlantic perspective enhanced their media literacy. They concluded: “In some way the argument is like dance because all the news [countries] involved in our research take different point[s] of view.” Or media coverage is like a race, where each media tries to benefit their teams. French media goes one way and Spanish and Canadian media goes in the opposite way and everyone’s goal is to receive the prize: which is having people accept what they present as true.

Case #2 — Realities of Hurricane Katrina: A Comparative Study of International Media Coverage.

This investigation by the group, “Awesome Mujeres,” examined British, Canadian, American and Mexican news to answer: What are the differences and similarities in the media coverage of Hurricane Katrina?

According to from September 5 to October 4, 2005, British themes focused on damages caused by the hurricane, reconstruction labor, and the human perspective of the disaster. Canadian news ( monitored from August 31 to October 16, 2005, produced the themes of damages caused by the hurricane, American government’s reaction to improve the security, economical problems, comparisons with Hurricane Rita, the role of volunteers, non-governmental organizations and international help. American news ( from September 9 to October 17, 2005 produced the themes of damage caused by the hurricane; reconstruction efforts; the human perspective of the disaster; criticism of the government’s response; political and economical consequences; and racism. Mexican news ( from September 1 to October 11, 2005 produced themes of damages caused by the hurricane; how this affected Latino people–especially Mexicans; the image of President Bush; and intervention of the Mexican Army.

Therefore, there were many similar themes. But there were also important differences. For example, in the US media, which was the most complete, the media reported every aspect of the disaster and always included color images. But in México, a unique focus was on Latinos and Mexican help and the coverage diminished quickly because of hurricane Rita. In the UK, which was very objective, the news focused on the conditions of the disaster and also always included color images. Canadian media focused on international aspects and Canadian help rather than on political issues and often compared Katrina to Tsunami.

Finally, embedded metaphors explain differences in the media coverage. For example, the Mexican news presented the Mexican government as the father that cares about his children and tries to protect them. It also presents the American government as the father that knows best. On the other hand, the UK media presented the people of New Orleans as children to be taken care of and the government as the adult who should provide the care. For the United States media, two metaphors emerged. One, Katrina was terrorism, because the media compared all the damages caused by the disaster with those caused by the twin towers attack. Two, Katrina was God’s hand because some media presented the event as the way in which God will save the city of sin and evil and produce a spiritual rebirth for the affected people. Canadian coverage fed off the metaphor of Katrina as south east Tsunami.

Finally, this project revealed clear agenda setting and illustrated the developmental models of neo-liberalism and nationalism. The international media coverage of Hurricane Katrina varied by country and was not always objective. Thus, it was necessary to consult multiple international media before creating a perspective of a reality to avoid being manipulated by the media of a single country, and to be well enough informed about international events to critically examine the different points of view presented. The coverage in each country depended on how the event affected them. The way the media presented the news (time or length of story, use of images, etc.) told us the importance of the event. They concluded, “We agree with Sir. Isaac Newton, ‘What we know is a water drop, what we ignore is the ocean’.”

Assessment of the Transatlantic Perspective as a Pedagogical Strategy

In order to achieve our overarching purpose—to assess the utility of using the Transatlantic as a pedagogical strategy to teach media literacy—we have grouped our assessment into two parts. First, we provide our professional reflections as the instructors in the classes. Second, we present student assessments that accompanied their projects and some that were provided one year later.

As the instructors, we reviewed the case studies—both the written and oral presentation materials—using six of Baran’s 28 (2004) media literacy elements as our rubric (as previously presented on page 2). We acknowledge that Baran’s six elements comprise only one possible rubric and that others like those by Worsnop and Livingstone would have worked equally well.29 However, to keep our study as straightforward as possible, we opted to use Baran’s six elements of media literacy. Based on his rubric, we found this to be an engaging experience for our students. They began to ask the kinds of questions in class that indicated they were developing their capacity to be sound critics of the media. Furthermore, using the transatlantic perspective forced the students away from their home country’s preferred view and demanded they consider multiple perspectives. The nature of the assignment made this occur quite naturally.

We expected that with or without the particular project, the makeup of the class was going to bring out discussion of some attitudes about national perspectives in media. The smallest section was almost evenly split between Mexican students and foreign students. Personal past experiences with teaching classes with a high proportion of International Students at Tec de Monterrey (for one of us), was that both foreign and Mexican students came into the classes with an already configured conception of the differences between their own national media and others, particularly that of the USA. These preformed conceptions were usually, but not always an opinion taken without too much objective consideration or wide experience with media from outside their own country. One hoped-for outcome, based on our weekly pre-class meetings when we discussed the project, was that by systematically implementing a transnational perspective into our study—as a constant presence in the classroom–rather than simply to have it an unanalyzed element, the students would be able to examine more carefully some of their preconceptions about transnational difference in media perspectives.

How did our expectations compare with what came out of the Transnational Group Projects? The results varied quite strongly. In the better cases, where the guidelines of the project were most closely followed, the project was very worthwhile educationally. In these projects students were able to identify and to analyze usefully recurring differences in the media coverage of their topics. Also, it was very satisfying that, in many cases, the students were able to discuss their own preconceptions in light of the results of their project in their oral presentations to their classmates.

In general we believe the projects allowed the students to develop a much more objective understanding of the transnational differences in media positions and perspectives. This occurred even with the projects that were less successful, through the feedback that was received by the presenters from their classmates and us as teachers. All students were required to offer a critical analysis of the other projects and provide feedback to their classmates.

Our second level of assessment came from the students. Self-reported insights, as illustrated by the case studies, also suggested an affirmative answer to the value of the Transatlantic as a pedagogical strategy for teaching six of the media literacy concepts. In addition, the question and answer sessions in class often proved to be lively and provocative. The exchanges between the presenters and the audience demonstrated understanding of key elements of media literacy. And, two of the three classes were selected for an online survey. We waited one year to conduct our survey in order to measure latent learning. Unfortunately only 28 of the students were enrolled at the TEC in the fall of 2005. But twelve (12) responded to the online survey for a 43% return rate.

The excellent return rate is encouraging, and all respondents said “yes” to the question “Did the international aspect of your group research project contribute to your literacy?” To explain how they stated: “Now I know I have to look for information in different media;” “The research project and all the material contribute to understand the media and the way they present different problems around the world;” “Media literacy helps us to understand the importance of the news and how the owners of the media handle it according to specific interests;” “After doing the investigation project I was able to recognize and be more critical about the environment of the new technologies and the way the media give all the information;” “Now I know how some media show different issues according to its interests;” “You have a wider area where to base your analysis. It also creates a greater culture which is always good;” and “I always question the media messages and try to find out the context that lies behind the message to build up my own ideas. I also developed a concern for globalization and hybrid cultures issues in terms of how to prepare, construct, prove and explain my hypothesis about those subjects.”

These preceding statements seem to confirm that using the transatlantic perspective did help the students improve their media literacy. Downing, Mohammadi and Sreberny-Mohammadi (1996) described the dangers of illiteracy when they noted, “The ways in which the media, particularly television, select and interpret events, what they focus on and what they omit, help to define public knowledge and construct public opinion.” Our students report that they gained an awareness of the pervasive and powerful role of the media in constructing public knowledge by using the transatlantic perspective with their projects.

Additional data from the student survey also supports Prediction 1: “The required use of the transatlantic in the major class projects will increase students’ awareness of the impact of media.” Note the following graph of student responses.


Suggestions and Conclusions

In the survey of the students we asked this open-ended question: “If you were to do this project over, what would you insist be done?” Student replies included the following: “Analyze more media”—which seems to point to a wider variety, not just mainstream networked media; “Allow more time for the project”—there needed to be more in-class guidance for deeper understanding; “Emphasize Mexican media more”—the projects would have been more personalized for many with a greater emphasis on diverse Mexican media; and, “Work only on one topic as a whole class”—apparently the desire was for more breadth without requiring more individual work. As instructors, we do not agree with this final suggestion believing that the variety of projects itself helped us achieve some of the media literacy and course outcomes.

From perspective of the teachers, not all of the projects were successful. This was in part a result of our approach. The groups that were less successful seemed to fail in two ways. The first way was that their media logs were not as useful to them as the groups that were more successful. This was almost completely a result of their trying to compile a log immediately before it was due (even though we asked for them twice as a progress check). A few researched their topic on the internet at the last minute, rather than following their topic on a regular basis, and produced inferior projects. When we reviewed the logs it was apparent that this was a factor. If we were to run the project again we would implement a strategy that effectively required the students to follow their topic consistently rather than scrambling at the last minute. We would probably ask for a weekly or biweekly commentary on their media log.

The second hindrance to successful groups was misunderstanding the research project. Some students failed to design research questions that were useful for their projects, and others were less than consistent in following their research methodology. Again, the next time we would be much more careful in presenting the methodology to the students. We would probably assign more reading on it and do an exercise on designing research questions in class.

Also, we would really suggest that a controlled or comparative approach be used next time so that using the Transatlantic would be the primary difference between the classes and thus their learning of media literacy.

In conclusion, we were blessed since all our students could read at least two languages. However, we are convinced that even English-language-only versions of international news that is produced and distributed in nations around the world, like Al-Jazeera, could be effectively used. Electronic access makes this possible. This project needs to always be over several months so that the students experience the changes in a major news story over time. Making this a group effort enables a much broader reach and enriches the discussions of the underlying premises. Also, we spent many classes on theoretical perspectives and the role of metaphors in human discourse. The students must be equipped with analytical strategies and presented theory as lenses of illumination. Finally, we believe that giving the students maximum freedom where instructors are primarily available as advisors, frees students to be creative—a vital element in discovery and project-based learning.


1. See for example, Art Silverblatt and Nikolai Zlobin, International Communications: A Media Literacy Approach, (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2004), Kathleen Tyner, Literacy in a Digital World: Teaching and Learning in the Age of Information, (Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1998), Julie D. Frechette, Developing Media Literacy in Cyberspace: Pedagogy and Critical Learning for the Twenty-First-Century Classroom, (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2002), and James A. Brown, Television “Critical Viewing Skills” Education: Major Media Literacy Projects in the United States and Selected Countries, Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1991).

2. Art Silverblatt, Media Literacy: Keys to Interpreting Media Messages, (London: Praeger, 1995).

3. Stanley Baran, Introduction to Mass Communication: Media Literacy and Culture, (NY: McGraw-Hill, 2004), 51-55.

4. Baran, 54.

5. Alan M. Rubin, “Editor’s note: Media literacy,” Journal of Communication, 48 (1998): 3-4.

6. Ralph Bardgett, “A Survey of the Use of Electronic News Gathering Equipment by Commercial Television Stations Broadcasting in the State of Missouri,” (MA Thesis, Central Missouri State University, 1977), 69-70.

7. John Downing, Ali Mohammadi and Annabelle Sreberny-Mohammadi, eds., Questioning the Media: A Critical Introduction. (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1995), 440-442.

8. Jon Dovey, ed., Fractal Dreams: New Media in Social Context, (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1996), 137 & xii.

9. Paul Rogat Loeb, Soul of a Citizen: Living with Conviction in a Cynical Time (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 1999), 24.

10. Downing, Mohammadi and Sreberny-Mahammadi, 441.

11. Paper Tiger,, (accessed 17 September 2006).

12. Alliance for a Media Literate America,; Association for Media Literacy,; Media Alliance,; Center for Media Literacy,; Center for Media Education,; More on Storytelling,; Project Gutenberg,; More on the Industrial Revolution,; and Media Awareness Network Work, (All accessed 17 September 2006).

13. Karel van Wolferen, “The Bush Administration and Europe: The End of the Transatlantic Alliance,” Roosevelt Study Center, 5 October 2005 and Alan Dobson, “Anti-Americanism and American Exceptionalism,” ITEAS Lecture on Contemporary Issues, Dundee University, 11 November 2003.

14. Will Kaufman and Heidi Slettedahl MacPherson, “Transatlantic Studies: A New Paradigm,” in Transatlantic Studies. Will Kaufman and Heidi Slettedahl MacPherson (eds.), (Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 2000) xvii-xviv.

15. Paul Giles, “Foreword,” in Transatlantic Studies. Will Kaufman and Heidi Slettedahl MacPherson (eds.), (Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 2000), ix-xi.

16. Course Syllabus, Communicación Internacional (Co00971), (Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Campus Estado de México, 2005).

17. Heidi MacPherson and Will Kaufman, eds., New Perspectives in Transatlantic Studies. (Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 2002).

18. Charlotte Wallin and Daniel Silander, eds., Democracy and Culture in the Transatlantic World. (Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 2002).

19. Tamás Kozma, “’The Fourth Stage’: Transatlantic Changes in Adult Education,” Transatlantic Studies. Will Kaufman and Heidi Slettedahl MacPherson, eds., (Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 2000), 127-139.

20. Terry Rodenberg, “The Internationalization of Universities,” in Democracy and Culture in the Transatlantic World. Charlotte Wallin and Daniel Silander eds., (Vaxjero U. Press, 2004) 287-292.

21. Krister Håkansson, Glenn Sjöstrand and César Villanueva, “New Perspectives in International Cooperation in Higher Education: Empirical Report from Two Transatlantic Educational Projects,” Transatlantic Studies, Will Kaufman and Heidi Slettedahl MacPherson (eds.), Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, 2004), 293-305.

22. Baran, 30-31.

23. Syllabus, Communicación Internacional (Co00971), Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Campus Estado de México (2005).

24. Julia Annas, An Introduction to Plato’s Republic. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981).

25. George Lakoff, Don’t think of an elephant, (Chicago: U of Chicago Press, 2004.) and George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, Metaphors We Live By, (Chicago: U of Chicago Press, 1980), 185-194.

26. Noam Chomsky, Powers and Prospects, Reflections on Human Nature and the Social Order, (London: Pluto Press, 1996), 55-69.

27. Washington State University, Critical Thinking Rubric, (assessed 15 September 2006)

28. Chris Worsnop, “Using Rubrics to Assess Media Work in the Classroom,”– backgrounders/me (accessed 4 October 2005) and Sonia Livingstone, “What is media literacy?”, (accessed 4 October 2005).

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