Do critical viewers learn from television?

Ava Parsemain
2016 unpublished
What does it mean to be 'critical' as a television viewer? How does it influence what we learn and how we learn from television? Although analytical and critical media literacy skills are necessary in order to learn from the media, audience studies suggest that being critical can hinder learning, especially when it involves cynicism, scepticism and distrust of the content. In this article, I explore this contradiction to determine whether being critical facilitates or impedes televisual
more » ... . Based on two focus group discussions conducted with viewers, I argue that there are two ways to be critical when watching television: critical viewing is a form of intellectual distance that is incompatible with learning whereas critical involvement is a form of intellectual proximity with the televisual text that facilitates learning through critical thinking.