The media landscape is changing, along with what means to be a literate participant in it. It’s no longer enough to understand the media we read and watch. We must learn how to read and watch the media through which we understand the world.
That’s why the upcoming NAMLE conference matters.
Our best hope of engaging consciously and purposefully as media literacy educators is to engage consciously, purposefully, and in person with one another. At least once a year.
The NAMLE conference is a great opportunity for media literacy educators and advocates to ground ourselves in the latest research and thinking about the media. It’s an opportunity to engage one another in discussions and debates about the role of media in our lives and those of our students. And it is one of the richest learning opportunities for anyone who cares about the media and its impact on our society.
As I look forward to this year’s NAMLE conference, I’m struck by the issues that only media literacy can begin to address:
- The Twitter-enabled revolutions in the Middle East
- The choice of whether to release the photo of a dead terrorist
- The influence of Facebook on a teen’s decision to take his life
- The erosion of net neutrality
- The increase in television hours watched along with other media consumption reported in Kaiser’s latest study
My own Sunday morning keynote, “Program or Be Programmed,” will address the way our very definition of media literacy must change in a digital environment. It’s no longer a question of how consciously we consume our media, but how consciously we create it.
So I hope you’ll join me and the hundreds of other media literacy educators from around the country and around the world in Philadelphia this summer. Media literacy matters now more than ever, and this is one great way for us to rise to the occasion.
NAMLE National Advisory Council