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New Book From Member of Eurasia Review Editorial Board Sabahudin Hadžialić

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A book that consists of 368 pages titled “Media Literacy And Media Ethics, The Only Way Out’‘ was published by Eurasia Review on October 24 and can be purchased as print edition or e-edition. Why the book? The answers are within a series of essays by Sabahudin Hadžialić published since February 2018 until today on the pages of Eurasia Review.

Words and reviews about the book from colleague professors and publicists from Poland, Serbia and USA (the full reviews can be read on this page).

"Media Literacy And Media Ethics, The Only Way Out'', by Assoc. Prof. Dr. & Dr. Honoris Causa Sabahudin Hadžialić
“Media Literacy And Media Ethics, The Only Way Out”, by Assoc. Prof. Dr. & Dr. Honoris Causa Sabahudin Hadžialić

Dr. hab. Dorota Siemieniecka, prof. FoE, UMK, Poland:

“…According to the author, preparation for participation in the media requires critical thinking.

However, this problem is even deeper. Today’s algorithms are so complex that they analyze our preferences, choices made (e.g., browsed websites on the Internet), content and by adapting to them suggest other related ones. 

The accuracy of these choices is perfect, that sometimes you get the impression that artificial intelligence predicts choices that we haven’t made yet. Personalization of information makes it increasingly difficult to assess the situation, get to the “truth”. This state of uncertainty raises many questions about the ethical side of the media and how to use data posted on the Internet and other information systems. 

Are organizing groups in the Internet space (as Professor writes: “power of citizens in creation of democratic environment with understanding and avoiding manipulations which are tend to politicians, regardless of the level of government from which they come” p.7) is enough?

In his book manifests deeply humanistic faith in humans, emphasizing the power of individuality and responsibility of the individual (‘responsible journalism starts with each of the individual journalists because the first – journalist is responsible to himself/herself, to the people around him, and then to all who may read what he / she writes and then to profession itself “(p.24).). The collection of essays forms a coherent whole, they are written with a knack for the written word. The content is readable and makes you reflect. The content of the essays not only postulate of the theoretical change but the author indicates the directions of change in it. In the book, we find answers to the question of how to put into practice the ideas of ethics that require responsibility (leaders, government), another element extremely important for building an ethical society is the transparency of all stages of work and decision making. Therefore, ethical standards should be based on intellect, experience – as the author writes -and wisdom. I recommend the book to everyone who is close to the issues of ethics and problems of society contemporary immersed in technology. Content refers to problems but also to possibilities…”

Prof. Dr. Dragan Nikodijević, Dean of FoCaM, MU, Serbia;

“…If for no other reason, it is certainly due to the technological conditionality of the media – which makes it difficult to determine the development flows and the limits of change or progress. The claim that ” knowing what the future holds, it means tat we are not looking far enough” (Tim Berners Li, inventor of the hypertext), just comes from the media context and suggests our inability to understand the role and position of communications media in the future. In other words, the biggest trouble about this issue lies in the illusion of its simplicity, behind which lies the incredible complexity that references as well on complex media technologies as well on politics, economics, psychology … and many other aspects that have been enveloped by media practice. That is why in today’s world, and we believe it will be the determinant of the future, in a way as Baudrillard said, ” there is nothing outside the media ”.

Deeply aware of these circumstances, Professor Hadzialic, in his extensive study of MEDIA LITERACY AND MEDIA ETHICS, THE ONLY WAY OUT, without pleading towards final solutions, points to two key directions in which efforts must be made unconditionally and what we need to do when it comes to ours facing with the media future.

The first, and possibly the main corridor of engagement, which the author advocates is the continuous strengthening of social capacities in the field of media literacy. It would seem that there is nothing new and special about this and that it is just another in a series of reminders of the importance of this topic in our efforts to eliminate or minimize the consequences of various forms of media abuse. However, in his study Professor Hadzialic makes a step towards identifying the main problems that make today’s media literacy contentious and insufficient, and what and how changes should be made in this field.

Being literate used to mean being able to express your thoughts and feelings through graphic signs or letters. Today, the concept of literacy is significantly expanded and has a completely different meaning from the one it had in the times that followed. In modern times, this term refers not to traditional but primarily to media literacy. For a reason, because in terms of mass, traditional, that is, spoken and written communication, have long ago given primacy to the new media. Regardless of the massed user domain, given the technological and specific expressive characteristics of new age media, it is more than obvious that the use, knowledge and understanding of media content is coupled with skills and knowledge that are inherently expert. Therefore, media content created in a technologically and technologically complex process is usually not accessible to a full understanding and correct interpretation of the intended masses. This gives space and opens opportunities for various misuse and manipulative use of the media, or, at best, makes the communication process insufficient and burdened with noise and interference.

Since, from a user perspective, the process of acquiring expert knowledge in the field of heterogeneous mass media is very complicated and extremely uncertain, then what does Professor Hadzialic propose to us in his considerations as a more reliable solution? His thinking is moving in a rather interesting direction, which, while respecting the basic rules of communication processes, primarily pleads for the more responsible behavior of those who are the main actors of media processes, ie, media employees. This will say that if the reception of any media content implies inevitable interaction or reciprocity in the trinity of media-content-user, then accepting and adopting media content presupposes only one condition, simply called – trust. Only by gaining trust, which is a guarantee of the reliability of media employees, does the precondition for acceptance of media content by those for whom it is intended to be realized…”

Prof. Dr. Miloš Babić, prof. FoM, Serbia & prof. AoA, BLU, Bosnia and Herzegovina:

“…A textbook – a collection of 40 scientific essays, published from February 2018 to October 2019 in the (Think Tank & Journal) Eurasia Review, USA, collectively “Media Literacy and Media Ethics, the only way out” is an example of the theoretical of extremely rich background of Sabahudin Hadžialić, who has recently (since 2014) been analyzing various processes of understanding media literacy within the aspect of interaction of media literacy, as well as political manipulation within social processes, which the common denominator is a fragmented cultural, social and political space in the world. (Reference to his book “World as Global Sin” – January 2018, Eurasia Review, USA).

Media literacy, if appropriately addressed to society through an appropriate educational period, can be helpful in defining opportunities for social development and immediate democratic awareness. This study, in a scientific sense, continues and broadens the debate about the roles and importance of media literacy within our time, as basic assumptions, the development of humanist societies, rather than the creation of obedient followers who run simple railroads, which are given – guided by the last thoughts of manipulation and the exploitation of societies for their own purposes. Simply, by avoiding mediators with the ability to make timely and argumentative conclusions for the benefit of society as a whole within critical observation, promotion, but also action, as the author himself underlines, considering, above all, ethical criteria aimed at shaping the necessary modern, professional, journalism.

Colleague Hadzialic emphasized that media literacy is a basic prerequisite for establishing a society of developed democratic consciousness. At the same time, the second hypothesis emerged as a logical sequence from the textbook’s title, referring to the political manipulation of the subject of political pluralism precisely on the basis of insufficient media literacy of the society itself. The third hypothesis concerns the professionalism of the mediators themselves, the journalists, one specific personality that lies between the public and the source of information with a focus on ethics, within all varieties and types.

The author also directs his work towards media education and / or education of the media, where he talks about developing skills that help to look below the surface of media messages; explain the same media messages per se; about the public and its interaction with the media text; the commercial implication of the media, about how the media contains, in addition to ideological also an valuable messages, but the media has a social and political thought & message & implication – where media literate people can recognize the appropriate positive as well as negative one orientations/directions realized through media messages and with the aim/goal of gaining upon of the audience for a specific question. In this textbook, author talks about the aesthetic as well as the ethical form of media appearance. Media education (pedagogy), which has recently established itself as a separate scientific discipline, is further discussed.

My colleague Sabahudin Hadžialić considers that mass media is an immanent cultural fact. It is difficult to imagine the cultural image of some country and not to have included the media in it and without valorization of media contribution to cultural assets. The cultural identity of some country is waved also from media attachments, and top media products are always recognizable in the wider cultural environment. The book also discusses the roots of mass cultures, folk and high cultures, commercial culture and the role of mass media within global economic relations. Market, income, readership, viewership and listening are the main criteria for not because of proving the quality but justifying the time to sell their ad to advert agencies. Also, in the book were named and responded to the modern shocks that enable the Internet (Network), as something that enables instant interaction within a society…”

Peter Tase, a publicist and research scholar, USA:

“…In his book “Media Literacy and Media Ethics, The Only Way Out”, Prof. Sabahudin Hadžialić states: “The essence and significance of media literacy is, primarily, reflected in the influence of the media on the major democratic processes. The media today influences the shaping of opinions, beliefs and attitudes. Although there are differences in the level of media influence, all researchers involved in the analysis of the media of the sui generis agree that the media have a tremendous impact on the society as a whole, and thus eo ipso on each individual and persons’ narrow circle. In the moment when we understand the influence of the media, with the help of media literacy, we are on the right path to prevent dependence on the media – apropos, to use them as a tool for making judgments and attitudes within the creation of a healthy society of direct democratic consciousness and not the main dish of manipulation on the table of bad individual, or narrow group ones, intentions and interests.”

As a South – East European intellectual with a rising global impact, Prof. Hadžialić, unlike his fellow peers, is cognizant of the persistent intersection that exists between Information Media networks and political groups; the latter have a tendency to always dominate the former.  In this scholarly work, Prof. Hadžialić is generating a European discussion that strives to improve Media Literacy and strengthen the independence, accuracy and efficiency of Information Media.  In this context, it is evident that in spite of his home country, Bosnia and Herzegovina, governed by some of the most politically ruthless Nazi-nationalists, there is a light of hope – represented by Sabahudin Hadžialić – inspired by a genuine desire to reach economic prosperity and a free market system through strong democratic institutions and ensure respect for human rights; the very same principles that Adam Smith elaborated across Europe, over two centuries ago.   

Professor Sabahudin Hadžialić’s book reinstates the importance of Innovation in tertiary education; the European Union Institutions focused on the promotion of Lifelong Learning must focus on embracing and adapting some of the interactive concepts and notions unveiled on the following pages…”

Editors are Robert Steven Duncan, Editor in chief, Eurasia Review, USA; Peter Tase, USA; and Dr. Hab. Dorota Siemieniecka, Prof. FoE, UMK, Poland; with Foreword by Dr. Hab. Dorota Siemieniecka, Prof. FoE, UMK, Poland

Book reviews included are by Prof. Dr. Dragan Nikodijević, Dean of FoCaM, MU, Serbia; Prof. dr. Miloš Babić, Prof. FoM, Serbia and Prof. AoA, BLU, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Dr. Hab. Dorota Siemieniecka, Prof. FoE, UMK, Poland; and Peter Tase, a publicist and research scholar, USA.

Translation in English: Sabahudin Hadžialić; Proofread English translation: Peter Tase; ISBN: 978-1-79470-048-2

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