May 2020: M-Passioned Member Joy Amulya

What do you do?

I support evaluation and learning across IREX, including evaluation across our Learn to Discern media literacy programs. This includes working with program teams in more than 10 countries where we are implementing the program on adapting and carrying out assessments of skills, knowledge, and behavior. I also conduct analysis and meta-analysis of our evaluation results. We have also created a learning process aimed at elaborating our Learn to Discern theory of change and gaining insights from how we’ve adapted the program for many different cultural and information environments and a variety of audiences from youth to community members to school teachers.

Tell me about your latest work or project in media literacy.

Lots and lots of things, but three of my favorite are:

  1. The learning exchange process we have for sharing learning from across our many media literacy programs, most recently focusing on what we know and wish we could know about how skills are applied after training and generally behavior change related to media literacy.
  2. The work on our theory of change to follow the ripple effects from building skills and awareness through our training programs to the population-level systems change that is needed to inoculate against misinformation.
  3. Our efforts to think out of the box on youth media literacy training and evaluating the impact of our training on youth in a way that is empowering and youth-led, and also appropriately rigorous. 

Why is media literacy important to you?

It involves everything from our brain function to understanding the way technology has been developed to capture our attention (especially developing teenage brains) to the social issues of how misinformation is often aimed at disempowering marginalized groups and deepening social divides. It’s a perfect storm but I am hopeful that the human mind and lots of collective action can prevail.

What are you most excited about in the media literacy field?

I’m excited to get to learn from my colleagues in eastern Europe, for whom disinformation isn’t new and who are determined to learn and adapt and grow media literacy until they win the disinformation war. Another area that excites me is how media literacy can be blended with socio-emotional learning.

Why did you become a NAMLE member, what benefits do you see to membership, and how will it support your work?

As a practice-based researcher, it’s a great way to meet people both implementing and researching the practice of media engagement. There’s a feeling of being comrades in a social change effort, not just a bunch of academics and program implementers who happen to be involved in the same kind of work. 

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