This book offers a detailed approach to studying media influences and presents readers with a clear vision of what it means to operate at a higher level of media literacy. W. James Potter argues that the media have a profound influence on the way we perceive the world by shaping our beliefs and expectations. By becoming more media literate, we can avoid the potentially negative effects of those media messages as well as amplify the potentially positive effects. With substantial discussion of media content, audiences, and the media industries, the book tackles key issues related to media ownership, invasion of privacy, piracy of media messages, violence, and sports. Readers will gain a clearer perspective on the borders between the real world and the simulated media world and will become more informed and literate media consumers.