Education Letter to the Editor

Need for Media Literacy Is Underscored

December 06, 2010 1 min read

To the Editor:

Regarding a recent Digital Education blog item, “A Push for Digital and Media Literacy” (Nov. 10, 2010):

The policy statement on “Children, Adolescents, Substance Abuse, and the Media,” which was published in the October 2010 issue of the journal Pediatrics, supports the “push for digital and media literacy” covered in the blog item. The Pediatrics article expresses the need for media education in schools in order to help prevent substance abuse by children and teens.

One example of such a program is a media-literacy curriculum called Media Detective that is targeted toward 3rd to 5th grade students. The program was developed by Innovation Research & Training of Durham, N.C., where I work. Through the curriculum, students become “detectives” and, throughout the course of the program, become able to deconstruct advertisements to see their hidden messages and make informed decisions.

This article, and several others, suggest that, as the media continue to permeate our culture, media literacy becomes more and more important, and is a skill that needs training and practice.

Mary Pat Riddle

Public Relations Specialist Innovation Research & Training

Durham, N.C.