By David Wilkening, Contributing Author
MEDFORD – Julie Dobrow, one among New England’s best-known media consultants, has achieved appreciable analysis on how media impacts kids. However media stereotypes and different misconceptions for youthful audiences additionally apply to the aged. And whereas she just isn’t but a grandmother, she has some ideas for attaining media literacy, grandparent-style.
“A few of the identical rules apply to older individuals. The stereotype image is of ‘doddering’ previous people. They’re usually not seen in any respect or depicted as irrelevant or in a restricted variety of occupational roles,” mentioned Dobrow.
Media portrayals matter, after all, as a result of they affect what individuals assume and consider about all teams―younger and previous. Dobrow’s instructional philosophy as a university instructor and author is “media literacy” or to coach others to be extra cautious and significant of media portrayals. Which means “to not consider all the pieces we see or do however to ask crucial questions on it…similar to who’s producing it and what had been they pondering?” in response to Dobrow.
Background consists of varied media connections
Dobrow, 61, is a senior lecturer at Tufts College in Medford, and is director of the Heart for Interdisciplinary Research there. She can be Tisch School Senior Fellow for Media and Civic Engagement. She has varied different tutorial positions involving kids and media however is best identified to most people although her writing, which has appeared within the Huffington Submit, Boston Globe Journal and others. She can be a biographer.
Dobrow was born in New York Metropolis and raised on Lengthy Island, the place she was well-acquainted with the world’s largest media market. She will’t recall any specific affect from that atmosphere, however all the time thought she could be a author.
Her later skilled coaching started at Smith School, the place she studied anthropology, sociology, and girls’s historical past. She acquired her M.A. and Ph.D. from the Annenberg Faculty of Communication on the College of Pennsylvania, with a deal with the sociological implications of know-how in mass communication.
A lot of her analysis in the present day focuses on the content material and results of media on kids. She is a co-founder of the Tufts Kids’s Tv Challenge (CTV).
For kids, in addition to for older adults, maybe the most typical media misrepresentation includes stereotypes.
“What we’ve present in our analysis is that media are likely to stereotype as a form of shortcut. Once you don’t have lots of time to develop character, you depend on stereotype to assist inform part of a narrative. That is as true within the depiction of older individuals because it within the case of gender, ethnic or racial illustration,” she mentioned.
As for her recommendation to seniors dealing with grandchildren, there are some ideas from a Tufts research that discovered half of American households had kids who had been consuming two or extra meals day by day in entrance of the tv.
Dobrow, who has 4 grown kids and is the coordinator of Household and Media Initiative at Tufts, mentioned she has made it the family rule to not eat household meals in entrance of the tv.
Methods for grandparents to assist foster media literacy
“It’s not that I’m terribly against it. It’s simply that we would like mealtime to be household time. In our home, we attempt to make it tv watching with lively engagement,” she mentioned.
Older kin would possibly begin with an preliminary consciousness that kids place an significance and take note of media―which underscores the significance of media literacy―and a few skepticism. In the event you don’t perceive why your baby or grandchild is taking part in video video games, ask why they’re attention-grabbing. In the event you don’t get why a toddler is spending a lot time on a cellphone, ask about what apps they’re utilizing, Dobrow advised.
“My very own private philosophy is that relatively than squander the vitality and a spotlight most children spend money on media, channel it―therefore the deal with media literacy,” she mentioned.
“Analysis has persistently discovered that it’s not the time spent on media that may be a determinant of what children do or don’t get out of it, it’s the content material, itself. And one other piece of recommendation could be to ask children what it’s that they’re doing, or what it’s that like and why? They’re the digital natives, in any case!”
Effectively-received Dickinson e book
Dobrow is the writer of “After Emily: Two Exceptional Girls and the Legacy of America’s Best Poet.” It tells the story of a mom and daughter whose tireless work to edit and publish Emily Dickinson’s then-obscure poems led to her hallowed place in American literature.
Throughout analysis for her Dickinson e book, she was a frequent customer to the poet’s bed room in Amherst, which is now a museum. It’s the place Dickinson spent her total life.
Her Dickinson e book, revealed by W.W. Norton, was described within the Irish Instances as “Fantastically produced…with the standard of each biography and of an exciting soap-opera.” The New Yorker journal known as it a “riveting account of the mom and daughter who introduced Emily Dickinson’s genius to life.” It was additionally a finalist for the New England Society E-book Award in 2019. It acquired that yr’s “Conch Shell Award” from the Amherst Historic Society.
Exterior of her work at Tufts, Dobrow has volunteered extensively on city boards and committees in her group of Lincoln in instructional and environmental realms. She can be president of the Boston Authors Membership. Dobrow describes herself as a “massive information junkie.” Her style in tv viewing is historic dramas and PBS documentaries.
“I all the time inform my lessons that when my children had been youthful, I had my little house laboratory of 4 children at totally different improvement ranges,” she mentioned.
Bruce Frankel – Finest-selling writer spreads message of anti-ageism (fiftyplusadvocate.com)
Massachusetts is reimagining growing older in its communities (fiftyplusadvocate.com)
Seniors embrace firm’s digital actuality expertise (fiftyplusadvocate.com)