Rachell Arteaga recently interviewed Karen Ambrosh of the National Telemedia Council, the oldest ongoing media literacy organization in the United States. Promoting the concept of media literacy since 1953 the National Telemedia Council prides itself on its positive stance. non-judgmental attitude, and has embraced a philosophy that values reflective judgment and cooperation rather than confrontation with the media industry.
When did your organization launch and why?
The oldest ongoing media literacy organization in the United States, the National Telemedia Council [NTC] is a national non-profit organization that has been promoting the concept of media literacy since 1953. From the beginning, we have taken a positive, non-judgmental attitude and embraced a philosophy that values reflective judgment and cooperation rather than confrontation with the media industry.
What does your organization do? What are your main goals and projects?
We have two major projects underway at NTC. The archives of NTC reach back to the days of Edward R. Murrow and Eric Sevareid when the world was engulfed in World War II. These memorable journalists were highlighted in monthly listings of “Some Good Listening,” published by what was then known as the Wisconsin Joint Committee for Better Radio Listening. In 1951, television was added and in 1953, the newly born “American Council for Better Broadcasts” set out to coordinate and provide leadership, inspired by the idea of a “Better World through Better Broadcasts,” to work “Toward a Media Wise Society.” Our organization has accumulated a large collection of projects, conferences, publications, awards, and innovative ideas through the generous efforts of a diverse collaboration of individuals and organizations across the globe. NTC is engaged in the on-going project of documenting and making available all of these historic resources. We hope to collaborate with other organizations to build a connected North American media literacy archive, laying the foundation for the history of our field.
The Journal of Media Literacy, which began as an organizational newsletter, evolved into the oldest, ongoing, in-depth North American print journal in media education. Today, the journal brings together the thinking and experiences of the major pioneers, the current practitioners, and the future thinkers in media literacy. For the theme of each issue, the editorial board invites an expert guest co-editor and outstanding contributors in their field. We are in the process of re-designing the journal to go online in the next year, as well as still maintain a print-on-demand version.
What are recent projects or new resources that your organization would like to share with other NAMLE members?
For our 65th Anniversary, we will make 2018 a yearlong celebration of media literacy. We will launch our new online journal. We will present several special Jessie McCanse Awards to outstanding individuals working in the field of media literacy at different events throughout the year. We will invite everyone in the media literacy community to join us for “The Year of Media Literacy.”