Statement on Media Literacy Week from The Global Critical Media Literacy Project (The Action Coalition for Media Education, Project Censored, and the graduate program in Media Literacy and Digital Culture at Sacred Heart University)
November 2–6, 2015, is Media Literacy Week in the United States and Canada. Across both nations, multiple campaigns will highlight the vital need for media education in the 21st century, not only in North America but around the world.
Media literacy is defined as the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and create media. Critical media literacy focuses on the ways in which those skills are essential to engaged citizenship: encouraging independent thinking in a culture that fosters consumerism and conformity; challenging power structures; and spreading social justice and democratic values.
The Global Critical Media Literacy Project was created by Project Censored and the Action Coalition for Media Education, in partnership with the Media Literacy and Digital Culture graduate program at Sacred Heart University. Our work—at the GCMLP and within each member of the alliance—is predicated on the idea that an action-focused approach to media literacy/education is the most effective path to creating truly media-literate citizens. The GCMLP is creating a coalition of educators, students, journalists, researchers, artists, authors, filmmakers, and activists committed to resisting the hyper-commercialism of corporate media while advancing the cause of critically informed media education.
We encourage you to join us in celebrating Media Literacy Week. Although media literacy is needed every day, this is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness and promote action: Share media literacy strategies with colleagues and bring them into your classroom. Question advertisers and toy manufacturers. Join a debate about media representation in political dialogue. Create alliances within schools and communities. In today’s always on, always connected, digital media environment it is crucial that children and adults alike learn to approach media with well-developed critical thinking skills and thorough understandings of the central role media industries play in shaping our social, cultural, and political worlds.
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• Read the latest work on media education in the digital age in the new anthology Media Education for a Digital Generation. Check out the author panel at the CEMP Summit at Emerson College, November 19–20.
• Follow the Global Critical Media Literacy Project. Watch the Facebook page for developments, including the release of GCMLP’s first resource guide especially for media educators.