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Reports from Policy Analysts

Media Literacy Bill

Submitted On: Friday, February 20, 2015

Analyst: Doiley, Pamela

Massachusetts is one of a growing list of states attempting to pass a media literacy bill. Senator Dan Wolf and Representative Dave Rogers are sponsoring legislation initiated by Media Literacy Now, a national advocacy organization for media literacy education policy.” The 2015-2016 Legislative session includes HD 1142, refiled in the Senate as SD 99, An Act Concerning Media Literacy in Schools is

The latest amendment of the original bill, reads: "The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall encourage school districts to implement instruction in media literacy skills at all grade levels, and in any of the core subjects or other subjects, to equip students with the knowledge and skills for accessing, evaluating, and creating all types of media."

This legislation requires the Department of Education to promote the integration of media literacy skills in every subject at all grade levels. Literacy is no longer simply the ability to read and write. Similarly, technology has and continues to expand the definition of genres and text types. College and career readiness must include the ability to navigate the various types of media impacting society.

The implications of the bill would extend outside classroom walls by empowering students to read closely and think critically about media images they encounter daily. Television, music, videos, magazines and countless other communicative mechanisms and techniques influence students of all ages. Cognizance of this media influx enable students to not only comprehend negative messages, but also to counter them with positive messages of their own.


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