Twenty-first century life is saturated by mass media — every day, people are bombarded with advertisements on their phones, computers and tablets, exposed to so many images and messages that they might not even notice.
Over the past few years, organizations throughout the world have joined forces to teach people media literacy. Media literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and create media in a variety of forms.
This is the second annual National Media literacy week. Proud2Bme, a community engagement partner at California State University, Northridge, is participating in the media literacy activities Monday, Oct. 31, through Friday, Nov. 4.
The organization’s mission is to build a nation where confidence rules and people feel comfortable in their own skin. In 2013, Proud2Bme on campus launched on campus.
Journalism professor Bobbie Eisenstock has been working with CSUN faculty and staff to raise awareness about media literacy through campus and social media events.
“My students are collaborating with their community engagement partner, Proud2Bme, on campus in a national Facebook challenge to analyze the meaning behind the message of images posted in advertisements every day,” said Eisenstock.
Every year, Proud2Bme on campus does a celebrity “shout out” to a celebrity who promotes positive body image. This year, the group recognized musician Alicia Keys for her no makeup campaign. Keys’ campaign encourages girls and women to embrace their natural beauty without wearing makeup.
As part of the week’s events, CSUN’s Delmar T. Oviatt Library also is providing resources to educate students on how to be media literate.
“This is our first time being involved, and we want to make people aware of the sources the library offers,” said Isabelle Ramos, reference and instruction librarian.
The library offers encyclopedias, online sources and video collections on the topic.
“I am happy to contribute to Media Literacy Week, especially during this day and age where media is everywhere,” said Mary Wahl, digital services librarian. “It is important to learn how to be better consumers of media.”
The week’s events also will include activities to teach people how to avoid internet scams.
Media Literacy Week was first launched in Canada in 2006 by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation. Today, they have partners in places such as Rome, S֘ao Paulo, Brazil, and throughout the United States. This year, events in Rome and Brazil will be live streamed throughout the week.
For more information about Media Literacy Week at CSUN, contact Bobbie Eisenstock at (818) 677-7240 or visit Bemedialiterate.com.