This short video clip ‘Greenwashing and the media’ is a satire exploring the capacity for advertisements to persuade audiences. In particular, it addresses a new phenomenon called ‘greenwashing’ – where corporations attempt to change the images of their ‘brands’ from that of being environmentally unfriendly to being sustainable. They achieve this through such mechanisms as the visuals presented in their ads (e.g. happy babies in a green environment), the audio (e.g. peaceful, harmonious music) and through the information that they select to present and omit. It emphasises the importance of consumers being able to effectively critique the information that they are presented with in today’s age of information bombardment, ending with the phrase “it is easy to look sustainable, but you can’t hide the truth.”
This clip emphasises the importance role of teachers in helping students to develop the critical literacy skills that are essential for the new literacies that they are faced with today. It clearly emphasises the importance of exploring the purpose of the composer creating a text and of assessing the ways in which the text, sounds and images are carefully constructed to create meanings and impact audiences. Through reducing media content to its basic components, teachers can help students to evaluate information (is it accurate?) and learn to construct their own messages to convey their intended meanings.