When did your organization launch and why?
The Center for Media and Information Literacy (CMIL) launched at Temple University in 2012. CMIL noticed that many schools in Philadelphia were not including media literacy in their curriculum and after-school programs, and needed assistance in accessing quality resources and professional development.
What does your organization do? What are its main goals? Main projects?
The CMIL is a hub for research, outreach, education, and professional development on issues involving media literacy and information literacy, locally, nationally, and internationally.
The organization’s work focuses on three areas:
Scholarship: CMIL develops projects and partnerships that examine the impact of media and technology, with a focus on media literacy education and a focus on children’s media content.
Media industry: CMIL encourages the integration of media literacy and information literacy principles in content developed for television, online, gaming, and digital media.
Community service: CMIL provides community outreach and public programs with a focus on media literacy education and a focus on children’s media content. Educational services are targeted to the needs of youth and local school and after-school educators.
What makes your organization stand out? What would you say is the most unique thing about your organization?
A unique aspect of the CMIL is an affiliation with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and their University Twinning and Networking (UNITWIN) university collaborative network in Media & Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID). Through the MILID network, CMIL shares best practice, collaborate on research, and network to broaden the reach of media literacy.
What are recent projects or new resources that your organization would like to share with other NAMLE members?
CMIL produces a television series called “Media Inside Out.” The series uses a talk show format to explore a wide range of issues and concerns relating to media and media literacy. In April 2023, CMIL produced the 65th episode! All episodes are available for streaming.
Also, in April, the organization held the 5th annual Children’s Media Symposium. The Symposium brings together industry professionals and researchers to share information about trends in the children’s media industry and career development for students and the public.
What are the connections between the work of your organization and media literacy?
CMIL’s work IS media literacy! Every project, every blog post, and every resource is focused on media literacy, with special attention to media literacy for children and youth. CMIL’s Director, Sherri Hope Culver, served as vice-chair of the UNESCO Global Media & Information Literacy Alliance from 2019-2023.
Why is media literacy important to your organization?
CMIL believes that media literacy is the most important educational need of our time. Media is the conduit for our news, our civic information; it’s how we entertain ourselves, how we shop, even how we connect and build relationships. We all must strengthen our media literacy skills to engage effectively, creatively, and responsibly with media.
The views and opinions expressed in the Organizational Spotlight blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of NAMLE or its members. The purpose of the Organizational Spotlight blog is to highlight our Organizational Partners and give them a place to share their reflections, opinions, and ideas.