Media Literacy
Keys to Interpreting Media Messages, 4th Edition
by Art Silverblatt, Andrew Smith, Don Miller, Julie Smith, and Nikole Brown
May 2014, 550pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3091-4
$64, £48, 54€, A92
Paperback: 978-1-4408-3115-7
$33, £25, 28€, A48
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3092-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Media is everywhere but is often a poor source of information.

Covering print, photography, film, radio, television, and new media, this textbook instructs readers on how to take a critical approach to media and interpret the information overload that is disseminated via mass communication.

This fourth edition of Keys to Interpreting Media Messages supplies a critical and qualitative approach to media literacy analysis. Now updated with conceptual changes, current examples, updated references, and coverage of new developments in media— particularly in digital, interactive forms—this book addresses all forms of information disseminated via mass communication.

Organized into three sections, the book first presents a theoretical framework for the critical analysis of media text that covers the definition of media literacy as well as fundamental principles and concepts. Part II focuses on the application of this methodological framework to the analysis of advertising, journalism, American political communications, and interactive media. Part III considers specific mass media issues, such as violence in the media, media and children, and global communications, and discusses outcomes of having a media-literate population.


  • Supplies clear explanation of media literacy theory and guidance on interpreting modern mass media from leading scholars
  • Represents a highly effective tool for achieving a key aspect of media literacy: enabling students to decipher information and independently reach opinions and positions without relying on the pervasive influence of the media
  • Provides critical examination of controversial, current topics such as violence in the media and the intersections of media and social change
Art Silverblatt, PhD, is professor of communications and journalism at Webster University, St. Louis, MO, and vice president of Gateway Media Literacy Partners (GMLP), a regional media literacy consortium. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including Praeger's Media Literacy: Keys to Interpreting Media Messages, Greenwood's Dictionary of Media Literacy, The Praeger Handbook of Media Literacy, and Approaches to Media Literacy: A Handbook. Silverblatt earned his doctorate from Michigan State University.

Andrew Smith is full-time professor in the School of Communications at Lindenwood University, teaching courses in media literacy, mass communication, film, and interactive media. Prior to joining Lindenwood's faculty, Smith taught film courses at Webster University, where he completed his master's degree in media literacy. His research and writing specializes in film/television analysis, media aesthetics, and video game theory. As a pop-culture enthusiast, he examines the collective consciousness and correlates social phenomena such as memes, slang, and culture trends back to their origin to better understand the media's influence on our everyday lives.

Don Miller is faculty at Webster University School of Communication. He holds a master's degree in media communications.

Julie Smith is professor of media literacy at Webster University and holds a master's degree in mass communication from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Nikole Brown is a graduate student in media literacy/education at Webster University.
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