Recent reports from Common Sense Media revealed that American teens spend an average of nine hours per day using media, excluding time during school or for homework. If you think that's a lot, additional reports state that parents, too, spend about the same time. When generations young and old are spending more than one-third of their day using media, it's no wonder that Steve Barrett, Editor-in-Chief of trade magazine PR Week, called media literacy "the social issue of our time." In the wake of the 2016 Presidential Election and the controversy surrounding "fake news," media literacy has become a buzzword for educators and journalists alike, who now see the need for media consumers to be able to understand not only what "fake news" is, but also the importance of knowing where they're getting their news, what biases are possible in the news they're consuming, and what message this piece of news is trying to send.
So, in case you missed it, here are a few places where we can see media literacy gaining traction around the country:
- CNN's Brian Stelter sits down with Michelle Ciulla Lupkin, Executive Director of the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE), to discuss what media literacy is, the need for media literacy in the classroom and the newsroom, and whether Donald Trump is media literate.
- Facebook teamed up with the News Literacy Project to combat fake news by increasing collaboration with journalists and working with third-parties to fact-check stories and promote news literacy among Facebook users.
- Libraries in Chicago are launching media literacy events to help library patrons do what they've always helped them to do: access and interpret information.
- In California, State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson introduced legislation that would require media literacy lessons in state public schools.
- And in Pennsylvania, Representative Tim Briggs has introduced a similar bill.
Are any media literacy initiatives occurring at your school, in your state, or in other communities? Leave a comment below!