As we wrap up Media Literacy Month, we’re reflecting on what we have learned. Connecting to the world is much simpler nowadays with the various means to ingest media. As I think about this, I appreciate the fact that it is much easier to reach a larger audience. Anything you create can be made available to the world with a few clicks. While we learn how to be critical of what we see in the media, and how to avoid scams, we also need to remember that we are a source of information when we share something ourselves. We need to not only be responsible with what we consume, but we need to be responsible about what we distribute as individuals too.
Since video is our primary medium here at NCTV, I wanted to think about what measures filmmakers and video creators need to take to produce responsibly. One thing to consider is target audience versus potential audience. Many producers have a certain demographic they are creating content for, so the material is geared towards that group. But when you distribute the content, there is no way of knowing who will see it.
With that in mind, one responsible thing you can do is consider the perspective of the group you aren’t targeting, not just the group you are targeting. Take the time to understand how your content may affect people of a different gender, race, or other circumstance. Make sure your content aligns with what you want to show all people.
There are many reasons to create, but knowing your own motives as a creator is important. Do you intend to spark debate and controversy with your work, is it purely for entertainment, or perhaps it is meant to inform? Approach your work with open eyes and know what you want to achieve, then you can decide if your content matches. Ask other people to reflect on your work before sharing; having other perspectives can be helpful in making sure you are achieving your intended purpose.
Being responsible is about making sure you are aware of the possible impact you will have on others. This doesn’t mean you have to create your film or video to please every person, but know that your perception is not the only possibility. Be aware of what you want to see in the world and set out to make it happen.