This issue highlights the close relationship of the fields of media literacy and information literacy. Although media literacy and information literacy are two separate fields of practice and research, the intersections and the overlaps between the fields continue to strengthen and grow as both fields evolve. UNESCO has long encouraged both fields to align and work together through support of its Media and Information Literacy (MIL) program, and has sponsored meetings and declarations, conferences and events that focus on the combined fields.
This issue pays tribute to the leadership and vision of Elizabeth Thoman, CML Founder and media literacy pioneer. Media literacy collegues expressed their gratitude for Thoman’s courage and commitment to the field of media literacy, and expressed optimism in building upon her vision and legacy. Included is an introduction by Ann McMullen on leadership, and reflections by Dr. Henry Jenkins, University of Southern California (USC), and Dr. Bobbie Eisenstock, California State University, Northridge (CSUN). MediaLit Moments activity is based upon Elizabeth Thoman's "feminist currency."
This month we continue to explore Education and The Creative Economy by featuring exciting initiatives being undertaken in Australia, where media literacy is now embedded in the national curriculum through media arts, and where the Australian government has prioritized supporting and growing the creative economy. CML interviewed two Australian education/media literacy leaders, one who works in higher education – Michael Dezuanni -- and the other in secondary education, Roger Dunscombe.
In 2010, CML published the Voices of Media Literacy, a collection of interviews with 20 media literacy pioneers who were active in the field prior to 1990. Their views not only shed light on the development of media literacy, but also on where they see the field evolving and their hopes for the future. In this issue, we add one more pioneer to the list. Dorothy G. Singer is a media literacy pioneer who studied the effect of television on young children and how they play.
In 2006 Henry Jenkins published a white paper identifying the challenges and opportunities for media literacy in our 21st century media culture. Since then, new ideas, new technologies, and new names have emerged bringing with them misunderstandings and rifts among educators. It’s time to reflect on where we’ve been and where we are now.
The Voices of Media Literacy project, sponsored by Tessa Jolls and Barbara Walkosz, features interviews of 20 early pioneers who shaped the field into what it is today. As Executive Editor Tessa Jolls comments, “These people know what media literacy is, and are able to articulate it and express it because they lived it and helped invent it.”
Last month’s discussion between Tessa Jolls (CML) and Henry Jenkins (USC) focused on What’s in a name? Now, the conversation turns to preparing students for a participatory culture, but what does that mean? This issue tackles Participation in What? We’re all in agreement that students need media literacy education to participate fully in our global media environment but there are a variety of opinions about the tools and methods for making this a reality.
In this issue of Connections, we examine the founding principles and ‘big ideas’ of media literacy which Len Masterman developed to prepare students for life in the 21st century. The Voices of Media Literacy project includes interviews from international pioneers in the field.
The Harrington School of Communication at the University of Rhode Island received the Elizabeth Thoman Media Literacy Archive, a collection of documents spanning three decades of media literacy history. Also includes an interview with Marieli Rowe and Karen Ambrosh from the NTC.