What is Scanning Television?
51 Short Videos for Media Literacy Studies

Scanning Television, Second Edition emerges from a long standing collaboration between educators, media producers and broadcasters which began in 1996. The  Scanning Television project was initiated in 1996 by the Jesuit  Communication project and is produced by Face toFace Media.  A group of twenty media educators from Canada and the US participated in the screening and selection of the video excerpts for this edition, ensuring another classroom-friendl ycollection.

The teacher’s guide introduces each video excerpt with a brief description and some background information on the issues.   Questions, activities, and discussion and research topics are loosely grouped into Before Viewing, Foci for Viewing and After Viewing sections.  The front sections of the guide provide a concise overview and definition of media literacy, and a broad assortment of media resources, websites and media literacy contacts around the world.

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 do 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.

For teachers just getting started in media studies Mass Media and Popular Culture by Barry Duncan, published by Harcourt Canada  and distributed in the US by the Center for Media Literacy  uses the same five  thematic categories to explore media literacy.

Is Scanning Television Second Edition entirely new material?

Yes, entirely. The new edition contains 51 videos and four copies of the 96 page teaching guide, all new and different from the first edition.

What is included in the kit?

The kit includes 51 short videos ranging from 1 to 20 minutes in length, with an average length of around 6 minutes. 

The videos are packaged on two DVDs.  The kit includes four copies of the 96 page teaching guide, to allow for multiple use. DVDs will play in all zones.  VHS NTSC or PAL format available by request.

How do I order Scanning Television?

US & International Orders

US Price is $249 USD plus $18 S&H includes expedited delivery.
International price is $249 USD plus $25 S&H includes airmail delivery.

Canadian Distributor
please contact Nelson Education at
or call Nelson Education Customer Support (416) 752 9448 or 1 800-268-2222

Available on DVD (plays in all regions).
Also available on request in VHS NTSC and VHS PAL format.

2 DVD set plus four copies of the teaching guide.

Method of payment
Payment to Face to Face Media can be made by personal cheque or bank cheque in USD or the equivalent in EU and most major currencies. 
Purchase orders are accepted from institutions or pre-payment by money order or bank transfer. We regret that we do not process VISA or Mastercard.

Currency conversions
All major currencies including USD and EUROs are accepted.
Conversions can be calculated at

Wire payment
Please notify Betsy Carson by fax or email when paying by wire transfer
Carson@smartt.com   Fax 604 251 9149

Wire transfer information.
Company:     Face to Face Media
Contact:     Gary Marcuse Tel 604 251 0770
Bank:     Royal Bank of Canada
             Commercial Drive and First Avenue Branch
             1715 Commercial Drive
             Vancouver BC V5N 4A4
             Tel 604-665 8067 Fax 665 8370
Account:     003-05920-4001277
Comment:     Note to Royal Bank staff:
Please notify Betsy Carson at 604 251 0770 when funds are received.

Send orders to 
Gary Marcuse
Face to Face Media
1818 Grant Street
Vancouver BC Canada V5L 2Y8
email: marcuse@smartt.com
Tel 604 251 0770
Fax 604 251 9149

What rights are included?
These videos are cleared for classroom use. Audiovisual, public performance, circulation within a single school district and building closed-circuit use are rights granted.

Are there closed captions or English subtitles?
Both DVD and VHS versions include closed captioning for the hearing impaired. A decoder is required. The DVDs also include English subtitles which can be toggled on or off.

What is your returns policy?

If you are not completely satisfied, return the kit within 30 days for a complete refund. Your only cost will be the return postage.

Will the DVD play in my region?

Yes, the DVDs will play in all regions.

Who selected the videos and wrote the guide?
The teaching guide was written by media educators Neil Andersen, and Kathleen Tyner and John J. Pungente SJ. The videos were selected and tested with assistance from twenty additional teachers with elementary, secondary and university experience. The project was conceived and directed by John J. Pungente and produced by Gary Marcuse.  The project was made possible by support from CHUM Television and Citytv Vancouver with additional support from foundations and producers. For a complete list of the writers and reviewers please see the credit list at the end of the videos or in the teaching guide.

What are the titles and subjects of the 51 videos?
Please see the List Videos page for information.

What Is Media Literacy?

Both the video excerpts and the activities are intended to help your students learn to watch carefully and think critically, and thus improve their media literacy. Ontario is the first jurisdiction in North America to mandate media education, and it defines media literacy as follows:

 Media literacy is concerned with the process of understanding and using the mass media. It is also concerned with helping students develop an informed and critical understanding of the nature of the mass media, the techniques used by them, and the impact of these techniques. More specifically, it is education that aims to increase students' understanding and enjoyment of how the media work, how they produce meaning, how they are organized, and how they construct reality. Media literacy also aims to provide students with the ability to create media products. (Ontario Ministry of Education, Media Literacy Resource Guide, 1989, page 7)

Key concepts   Please see Key Concepts

How can I contact other media educators?
Contact the Media Awareness Network.  View links with media literacy organizations are maintained at the University of Oregon where you will also find the home page of the Jesuit Communication Project and reviews and information about Scanning Television.  http://interact.uoregon.edu/MediaLit/mlr/home/index.html

Are these videos subject to copyright?

Yes, the copyright for most videos in Scanning Television are held by the original producers. In most cases, therefore we cannot extend the right to broadcast these videos or use them for other purposes, such as stock shots. Some archives, notably the Prelinger Archives, do offer access to non-copyrighted materials.

Some trademarks are also copyright protected. MediaTelevision and MuchMusic are registered trademarks owned by CHUM Ltd. All rights reserved. Scanning Television is designed for the critical study and review of the media in an educational setting. Materials in this kit may not be copied or used for other purposes without permission. The video collection is copyright 2003 Face to Face Media. Print materials are copyright 2003 Harcourt Canada.

Do the proceeds from sales support media education?

Yes, thanks for asking. The majority of the net proceeds from this project are directed to the non-profit Jesuit Communication Project based in Toronto, Canada for use in media literacy education. For more information on the activities of the JCP please see http://interact.uoregon.edu/MediaLit/JCP/