Rereading an old book of Umberto Eco I find an essay ‘Voor een semiotische guerrilla’ (To a semiotic guerrilla).
In this essay Umberto Eco writes about mass media and decoding.
Eco gives a short semiotic lecture about messages: The source of a message uses a code to assemble a message.
The message is transported via a channel. The reader uses code to translate, decode or read the message. (Some do not use the channel bur they use “medium”. I prefer channel)
Umberto Eco stresses the importance of decoding or reading the message with a code that is chosen by the reader. The reader should not uncritically use the code of the source.
The guerrilla is the struggle to make this critical decoding happen when someone is reading mass communication messages, newspaper or television.
In my opinion this ‘guerrilla’ should be used in education. An educational guerrilla to make the student-reader use his own codes to read mass media, books, blogs or whatever. This decoding by the student is linked to the student as producer.
Essay is in Dutch, translation in “de alledaagse onwerkelijkheid”, 1985, uitg. Bert Bakker, Amsterdam, no mention of title of source for translation. Essay was a contribution to the Congres ‘Vision ’67′ in New York oktober 1967, of Internat. Center for Communications. Art and Sciences.