Joshua Meyrowitz - Articles and Journal Publications - "Multiple Media Literacies" - Media Grammar Literacy

Media Grammar Literacy

Media grammar literacy considers each medium as its own language. Thus, each medium possesses its own grammar and how production variables affect elements of content. Meyrowitz offers examples for a few media. Print media production variables include page size and format, color, and texture, typeface design, size, and color, and the use of spacing, punctuation, negative space, graphics, and more. Photography production variables include framing, depth of field, lens type, exposure, film vs. digital, contrast, post-production effects, and more. He then acknowledges that television and film will use many of those production variables found in print and photography, but then add their own. Thus, despite the existence of some shared production variables in many media, each medium possess its own unique combination of variables.

Meyrowitz develops this concept further by examining various techniques used in television and film (e.g., camera angle and depth of field) and how they are used differently and similarly within different styles of this medium (e.g., news vs. documentaries and documentaries vs. fiction/drama). An example of how one subset borrows from another is use of documentary-style production values used in a dramatic movie in order to establish the appearance of factual storytelling rather than fiction. He argues that media grammar does not receive much attention, in part, because most people are unaware of the wide range of production variables used. However, he acknowledges that this is partly because producers of content generally want views to be aware of content elements and not the production elements. Yet, the more a person is exposed to a specific production variable, the more that variable becomes increasingly noticeable.

Read more about this topic:  Joshua Meyrowitz, Articles and Journal Publications, "Multiple Media Literacies"

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