List of Videos

Video Titles, Times and Descriptions

The media educators who created Scanning Television also helped to write the media literacy curricula that are used in Canadian schools.  They divide the 51 short videos in Scanning Televisioninto five thematic groups designed to help students explore the impact which the media has on their lives and the world around them.

  • Seeing Ourselves:  Media and Representation questions the media’s roles and responsibilities in affecting social change. Do the media influence the shaping of society, and if so, how?
  • Selling Images and Values  examines the issue of persuasion in the media. How is advertising created? What is ethical? What is censored? How does media advertising influence how we see one another?
  • Our Constructed Worlds: Media Environments looks at how the  media create their own special worlds as part of the marketing of products and services. This is part of their magic and their power.  These media constructions often become unexamined parts of our everyday world.
  • The Global Citizen. We are all citizens of the global village. How do we learn about the world through the media?   How does the media cover history in the making?  How does media coverage influence politics?  How do citizens make their voices heard?
  • New and Converging Technologies. These videos examine the impact of digital technologies and the internet, how they influence society,  and how they affect the way we see ourselves and the world around us.


Seeing Ourselves: Media and Representation

1. On Television 7:32 min.
MediaTelevision's 10th anniversary program examines the predictions made by media experts to see which came true and which took a left turn.

2. MADtv 8:03 min.
If comedy is the mirror of society, what does the sketch comedy in MADtv say about us?

3. The Lumiere Brothers' First Films 4:06 min.
The history of cinema began on March 19, 1895 when the Lumiere brothers asked the workers at their factory to appear in the world's first film, Sortie d'usine.

4. Are You Popular? 5:25 min.
A 1947 classroom film offers teenagers advice ranging from sober to absurd about how to be popular.

5. Dating Do's and Don'ts 5:34 min.
The way that social mores have changed can be seen in this 1949 classroom film about what to do, and not do on a date.

6. The Commercial Closet 6:02 min.
The Commercial Closet website charts the evolving worldwide portrayal of gays and lesbians in mainstream advertising.

7. Canadian Elections and the Media 10:56 min.
Strategists, campaign managers and media analysts talk about the power of political messages and how they affect us not only as voters by as viewers as well.

8. Women are Not Little Men 8:53 min.
The outrageous text of a 1950s industrial manual inspires a satire about women in the workplace that blends new drama with old footage.

9. PSAs Aimed at Children: The Chase 0:36 min.

The ability to run comes in handy, if you want to escape from girls.

10. PSAs Aimed at Children: What's Your Thing? 1:07 min.
While nobody can be good at everything, this PSA tells boys that everybody is good at something.

11.  PSAs Aimed at Children: We are Girls 0:52 min.
This PSA encourages girls to stay true to themselves.

12. PSAs Against Racism 6:15 min.
Each year students across Canada create short PSAs about racism for a national contest.  These are ten of the winners.
I Have a Dream, I'm Back, Morphing Faces, Claymation, News Story, Stop Racism, Pop-a-long, Wall of Racism, They Always Listen, Dans le noir

13. The Awful Truth: The African-American Wallet Exchange 7:26 min.
Host Michael Moore wonders how police officers could mistake wallets for guns in the shooting deaths of African-Americans, and he starts a simple campaign to save lives.

14. Is Suicide Too Much for MuchMusic? 19:50 min.

Singer Bobby Gaylor's music video addressing youth suicide generates a dialogue between experts, youth and the artist about what is helpful, effective, safe and appropriate to show on television.

Selling Images and Values

15. MADD Dolls PSA 2:47 min.
This PSA appears to be an ad for toy dolls, until it turns into a drama about drunk driving.

16. Ground Zero Ads: Blast from Past 9:37 min.

A small ad agency with a flare for some deeply nutty and compelling

17. Date Rape Ad Campaign 4:00 min.
This print campaign for Toronto's Rape Crisis Centre sprang from a belief that a controversial campaign grabs more attention that straight-up.

18. Meet King Joe 4:46 min.
A 1949 cartoon character learns that he and his fellow workers are the world's most privileged consumers.

19. Religion in Advertising 8:54 min.
A look at some bizarre and controversial ads that employ religious imagery in marketing campaigns.

20. Culture Jammers 5:58 min.
MediaTelevision's 10th anniversary program examines social activism in the Information Age.

21. Culture Jam: Hijacking Commercial Culture 15:34 min.

Culture Jammers attack commercial ads with spray paint, felt pens and sarcasm.  Is this civil disobedience in the name of self-defence?

22. PSAs Aimed at Youth: Rehab 1:07 min.

A plea to teens to take action and provide support when friends use drugs.

23. PSAs Aimed at Youth: Brain 0:37 min.

A bundle of wires short circuits and catches fire when exposed to the ravages of drugs.

24. Chosen 10:31 min.

This BMW advertisement doubles as a short Internet film.  Director Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) creates a gem about innocence in the midst of a car chase.

Our Constructed Worlds: Media Environments

25. The Spaghetti Story 2:33 min.
In 1957 the very proper BBC informed viewers that spaghetti grew on trees.

26.  PSAs Aimed at Children: House Hippo 1:06 min.

The North American House Hippo nests in closets, lives on peanut butter and toast, and is a metaphor for inactive children.

27. PSAs Aimed at Children: Smart as You 1:06 min.

A talking TV explains that kids are smarter than the television.

28. Advertisers Make Use of History 3:07 min.

Alcatel, a French telecommunications company, creates a controversial ad using footage from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1962 "I Have a Dream" speech.

29. POP! Goes the Product 6:05 min.

Companies buy access to teen audiences by paying pop artists to promote their products in video and print campaigns, on stage and on tour.

30. Urban Monkey 4:14 min.

This city-loving Internet filmmaker has created an online alter-ego called "Urban Monkey".  His character, an homage to the 1970s, is hip, happening, and just a little bit hopeless.

31. Hollywood Electronic Press Kits
The Matrix: Action Scenes 7:08 min.

The interviews with the starts, action clips, and glimpses behind-the-scenes that appear whenever a major movie is released are provided free to broadcasters as part of a sophisticated promotional tool called an Electronic Press Kit.

32. The Matrix: On the Set 5:50 min.

Television stations can combine "making of" footage such as this with voice-over interviews or narration.  This excerpt focuses on the use of the "green screen" for special effects.

33. The Matrix: Interviews 4:19 min.

Keanu Reeves and Carrie Anne Moss discuss their characters, Laurence Fishburne talks about the science fiction genre and producer Joel Silver refers to the martial arts sequences.

34. Rev. Bill Project 6:20 min.

The self-described Minister of the Church of Stop Shopping uses performance art to question consumer habits and corporate advertising.

35. The Awful Truth: The Voice Box Choir 8:31 min.
Host Michael Moore visits the offices of a tobacco company at Christmas, accompanied by a quartet of throat cancer sufferers who sign Christmas carols through their electronic voice boxes.

36. Channel One Network 5:38 min.
Channel One's in-class broadcasts provide news and advertising to a captive audience of eight million American students.

The Global Citizen

37. Branding 5:48 min.
Branding and media expert Jack Myers discusses the financial clout of the youth audience, the changing shape of advertising and the emergence of branding as the ultimate marketing exercise.

38. Radical Transmission Syndicate: News Unlimited 5:52 min.
The Radical Transmission Syndicate's independent reports provide opinions rarely explored on mainstream media, including stories critical of logging, nuclear industries, and the domination of cities by cars.

39. The Kennedy - Nixon Debate 3:01 min.
In the first-ever televised American presidential debate, Nixon did not shave or wear makeup -- Kennedy had a great tan.  The rest as they say, is history.

40. The Zapruder Film of the Kennedy Assassination 3:12 min.
A silent 8mm amateur movie of the Kennedy visit to Dallas became one of the best-known films of the 20th century when Abraham Zapruder filmed the assassination of the President.

41. Coverage of Media Coverage on 9-11 8:44 min.
When the World Trade Centre attacks began, MediaTelevision observed the newsmakers as they scrambled to cover the still-unfolding events.

42. Media, War and Censorship 6:47 min.
When governments request restraint in war reporting, should media outlets be critical or compliant?  What happens to reporting when the media are also targets?

43. Al-Jazeera Television 5:04 min.

Widely misunderstood in the west, Qatar-base al-Jazeera is a highly respected news network with more than 35 million viewers.

44. Radio Havana 7:00 min.
Radio Havana struggles to get its message to its listeners despite being underfunded, understaffed and challenged by sophisticated anti-Castro broadcasters.

New and Converging Technologies

45. The Internet 5:40 min.
MediaTelevision's 10th anniversary program asks whether the Internet is a great leveler, bringing democracy back to the free world, or if it is an efficient way for corporations to target potential consumers?

46. 5:43 min.
Can fans participate in a media phenomenon on an equal footing with official sites?

47. Sacred Noise: Audio Landscaping 5:05 min.
This New York company collects sounds from temple bells to bird songs and weaves them into the soundtracks of major ads.

48. Forensic Technology Inc. 5:13 min.
When hi-tech forensic science is combined with instant networking, high-powered crime fighting is the result.

49. Marketing Digital Television 8:45 min.

Viewers with satellite dishes or digital converters can sample over 200 channels, but broadcasters are struggling to attract audiences and advertisers.

50. Back of the Mike 5:02 min.
Manufacturing illusions of rain, thunder, fire, and galloping horses, the artists behind the mike created fantasy worlds for radio dramas and westerns.  This 1939 film reveals some of their secrets.

51. Track Stars 7:30 min.
Two wild and crazy Foley artists demonstrate the creation of sound effects for a cops and robbers sequence.  Filmed in 1979, many of the same techniques are still in use today.