Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Develop your inner skeptic
I love this little critical thinking project, created by a guy named Frank Baker who has made it his mission to teach young people (and us old people, too) to think more critically about media messages. Baker put together a fabulous page of links to diet and weight-loss ads to help teachers show kids just how manipulative, treacherous, and false such ads can be. Very cool. He also gives some background on how the Federal Trade Commission's guidelines for ads like these. Which, frankly, shocked me, though it shouldn't have. But somehow I am always surprised when people acknowledge they're lying.
Take a little cruise through the site and you'll wonder why we tolerate deceptive advertising like this. Baker's point is that it's our job to read between the lines and become better media critics--a conclusion I agree with whole-heartedly. (But these ads still piss me off.) I plan to find a way to bring this into some of my classes next year.
Nice going, Frank!