What do you do?
I teach media literacy and media production courses at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota.
Tell me about your latest work or project in media literacy.
I co-authored a study of political media literacy among college students with Mary Caton-Rosser. We showed groups of students video clips of national cable news coverage of the President, as well as magazine and news coverage of social issues, and asked them to discuss what they saw, heard, or read. We discovered that students were more media literate than we expected, overall. They did (incorrectly) assume that their classmates were less media literate then they themselves were. They also (incorrectly) assumed that their classmates were more politically liberal than they actually were.
Why is media literacy important to you?
Because I see a growing distrust of anything presented in the news among my students. They assume that all political information is biased, and not worth their time. They also want to live inside a media bubble, listening only to news that agrees with their own views.
What are you most excited about in the media literacy field?
A growing recognition by national news outlets that the American public needs to be educated about media, to develop media literacy skills, and to be able to discriminate between quality information and opinion.
Why did you become a NAMLE member, what benefits do you see to membership, and how will it support your work?
I became a NAMLE member because I am passionate about media literacy. I am pushing for a media literacy course at my university that would be required of all graduating students. I think NAMLE membership will give me the credentials I need to persuade administrators about the urgent need for media literacy. I have presented my work at NAMLE 2019 and learned about some of the latest media literacy tools at the conference.