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20 October 2003

MEETING MINUTES

Media Smart Expert Group


20 October 2003
Ergo Communications offices, London

Attendees:
Paul Jackson, Chairman, Media Smart
David Buckingham, Institute of Education, University of London
Jenny Grahame, English and Media Centre
Natasha McGill, Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Charlotte Hughes, Ergo

Apologies:
Anna Chapman, Hasbro
Graham Brown, AMV BBDO
Matteo Zachetti, European Commission DG Education and Culture
Michael Simons, English and Media Centre
Rebekah Willet, Institute of Education, University of London
Tim Suter, OFCOM
Stephanie Lvovich, Ergo

NB: The next Expert Group meeting will take place on Monday 12 January 2004, from
10.00am to 12.00pm at the offices of Ergo Communications.

1. Media Smart Five Year Vision

1.1. The Media Smart Five Year Vision was presented by Paul Jackson.

1.2. Key points include;

• Media Smart will remain focused on becoming a world class media literacy
programme for 6 to 11 year olds. It will not work on social messages.
• By the end of 2007, Media Smart materials will be in 80% of schools.
• By the end of 2004, 10,000 schools packs will have been distributed.
• Sample lessons will be distributed to teachers on CD Rom via Media Smart members
such as Lego.
• In 2004, the Advertising Resource Library will be constructed.

1.3. OFCOM’s role in UK media literacy provision has yet to be clearly defined.

1.4. Action Point: Ergo to follow up on meeting with Tim Suter and OFCOM’s newly
appointed Head of Media Literacy.

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1.5. With regard to teacher training, Media Smart would start with online or CD-Rom based
courses for individuals to use after school or at home. An option for the future would be
more formal day-long courses with official accreditation.

1.6. Expert Group members acknowledged the need for teacher training on media literacy,
especially for primary school teachers.

1.7. It was agreed that any teacher training would have to be in partnership with another
organisation. The possibility of government funding should also be considered.

1.8. Action Point: Ergo will contact Marie Costigan at DfES.

1.9. Action Point: Media Smart Monthly Reports will be circulated to the Expert Group.

2. Teacher Pupil Evaluation Report

2.1. The group felt that the Be Adwise materials were mainly used with children of 9, 10 and
11 years old for several reasons;
• Teachers of younger children would be focusing on developing basic literacy skills.
• Teachers of younger children in Media Smart’s target age group may not recognise
media literacy as useful or relevant to their pupils.
• Despite concerns about younger children and advertising, Teachers may feel that the
programme is more relevant to 9, 10 and 11 year olds as they have more income and
the issues are more likely to enter classroom discussion.

2.2. It was noted that the research shows that even before using Be Adwise, 82% of children
said that advertising was trying to sell you something. However, the quotes from
teachers on how helpful Be Adwise was, do not seem to recognise this.

2.3. It was agreed that by the time children are 7 they are au fait with advertising and already
fairly cynical. To avoid teaching children what they already know, the phase 2 materials
must show the behind the scenes view of creating advertising. It was also noted that part
of the purpose of in-school materials is to educate teachers.

3. Phase 2 Materials

3.1. As agreed, Jenny Grahame (English and Media Centre) is revising the materials to bring
television into the pack earlier.

3.2. As stated in the Five Year Vision, Media Smart will not address social issues. There
are social issues referred to in Media Smart’s Phase 2 materials. The group agreed that
this was necessary in the materials, as media literacy discussions and debates will
automatically draw on concerns and problems.

3.3. One of the issues to be debated should be the purposes, benefits and problems of
advertising.

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3.4. Issues for debate should be relevant for children. For example, food advertising could be
a forum for discussing wants and needs. The tooth-brushing example in the draft outline
could be replaced by the benefits of physical activity.

3.5. The group was keen that debates should not be ‘propagandised’. For example, with
regard to the issue of advertising to children, both the views of proponents and
opponents should be presented with conclusions left for pupils to decide. The group felt
that 8 year olds could have this kind of debate.

3.6. Action Point: Organise a high profile opponent of advertising to children to speak on
the in school video. Eg Naomi Klein.(Did this ever happen?)

3.7. Media Smart’s materials cover a large age range and there is also a large amount of
material in the draft outline. Teachers will pick and choose parts of the pack to use with
their class.

3.8. Routes for teachers should be suggested; selections of tasks for specific age groups etc.
Some form of indication is necessary. This could be done using grids to map tasks to
stages of the national curriculum, colour coding, layout and the teachers’ notes.
However it is done, it should be immediately recognizable.

3.9. Proposed routes could follow the key concepts of media literacy, for example;
• Language of advertising, close analysis and making advertising
• How advertising is made, industry
• What does advertising tell us about the world and how does it compare with the real
world? Do we trust the view presented in advertising?
• Audience, a more conceptual analysis of who advertising is designed for, what does it
say about those groups?
• What is a brand?
• Truthfulness and how to complain

3.10. With regard to the volume of materials, the group decided that nothing should be
dropped out. Key terminology has to be introduced. However, the analysis of images in
print media could be modified to analyse stills from TV advertising. Activities on
industry (16 and 12) could be simplified and combined.

3.11. A key learning that be included in the materials, is that entertaining and
aesthetically pleasing advertising, does not necessarily increase sales.

3.12. It was agreed that Media Smart needs to get input from primary schools on the
phase 2 materials.

3.13. Action Point: Organise a meeting at Melcombe Primary School with Janet
Moffat.

3.14. Media Smart should consider contacting teachers in other ways; use English and
Media Centre contacts, use focus groups made up of primary school teachers, go to a
few schools with the materials, liaise with the Centre for Language in Primary Education
(CLPE). In these cases, the materials should be introduced to teachers through the issues

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that they will be familiar with; Pokémon cartoons, pupils watching a lot of TV,
discussions between pupils on planned purchases.

3.15. As stated in the Five Year Plan, teaser lessons will be distributed to teachers by
Media Smart partners on CD Roms. The group suggested that these teasers would be;
activity 4 on the language of advertising, a lesson on the production process, a debate on
the problems of advertising, celebrities in advertising and an interactive game.

4. Advertising Resource Library (ARL)

4.1. The sources in the ARL should be searchable in terms of;


• Techniques used by advertisers
• Types of products
• Product names
• Type of example (still, TV ad, storyboard etc)

4.2. Historical and foreign material should also be included.

4.3. There is also a quality issue. We must ensure that the downloaded materials, in particular
ad reels, are good enough quality to be shown on a big screen.

5. National Grid for Learning (NGfL)

5.1. Media Smart will apply for NGfL accreditation.

5.2. Other websites that Media Smart will try to be listed on are; Channel 4’s gridclub, BBC
Learning, Teachit, Espresso, TES website, Mediaed.org.

5.3. Media Smart will also consult the TES’s primary magazine for further ideas.

6. Any other business

6.1. It was agreed that the next Expert Group meeting will take place on Monday 12
January 2004, from 10.00am to 12.00pm at the offices of Ergo Communications.

6.2. Regarding discussion of Media Smart’s web, the group discussed whether the characters
and tone of the website was too young. The group concluded there was a case for
detailed research on users behaviour; where do they click, which pages do they visit,
what is easy/hard to navigate.