July 22, 2019

EDC Expert Testifies on Urgent Need for Media Literacy

“Media literacy moves students from passive to active learners, bystanders to change agents,” says EDC’s Wendy Rivenburgh.

On July 9, EDC Senior Research Associate Wendy Rivenburgh testified before the Massachusetts State Legislature’s Joint Education Committee on why it is vital to integrate media literacy skills into K–12 education. Two bills related to strengthening media literacy education in Massachusetts public schools, H.561 and S.259, were referred to the Committee for consideration in January 2019.


A photo of EDC’s Wendy Rivenburgh testifying
EDC’s Rivenburgh (left) testifies before the Mass. State Legislature

Across both the Commonwealth and the country, lawmakers, educators, and researchers have raised grave concerns about youth’s vulnerability to misleading and inaccurate media. At EDC, Rivenburgh and Tony Streit, president of the National Association for Media Literacy Education, have been helping educators build youth’s media literacy skills for almost 20 years, as young people’s use of mobile phones and their consumption of online media has soared.

During her testimony, Rivenburgh noted, “If we’re serious about developing the next generation of engaged, informed citizens and community leaders, we need to ensure media literacy is integrated throughout their educational program.”

At the State House, Rivenburgh testified alongside David Bickham, PhD, of the Center on Media and Child Health, Boston Children’s Hospital; Andrew Zucker, EdD, educator, author, and curriculum developer; Juma Inniss, founder and director of the Message; and Tamara Sobel, JD, of Media Literacy Now.