Bridging ecojustice and media education

Green design for media literacy education: NAMLE-2019 slideshow

Follow this link for the slideshow from my research presentation, “Ecomedia Literacy: Green design for media literacy education,” at the National Association for Media Literacy Education, American University in Washington, DC, June 26-28, 2019. This is a slightly longer version than what I presented.

Synopsis: In my research of media literacy educators I found that most do not perceive a relationship between media and the environment, so it is necessary to expose people to this fundamental relationship. I also found that many care about the environment, but they don’t really understand how it relates to media literacy. This presentation demonstrates how media and the environment are connected and suggest ways it can be incorporated into media literacy practice. My main approach is called ecomedia literacy, so the aim is familiarize people with this framework.

This result is the outcome of qualitative research (critical discourse analysis and ethnography) of North American media literacy organizations and practitioners, which identified the boundaries and opportunities for “greening” media literacy. The research findings resulted in a proposal for ecomedia literacy that has five goals. First, it encourages an awareness of how media are materially interconnected with living systems by affecting biodiversity loss, water and soil contamination, climate change, and the health of workers. Second, it is designed to help recognize media’s phenomenological influence on the perception of time, space, place and cognition. Third, it develops an understanding of how media systems and communications technology are interdependent with the global economy and development models, and how the current model of globalization impacts livings systems and social justice. Fourth, it leads students to analyze how media form symbolic associations and discourses that promote environmental ideologies. Finally, ecomedia literacy intends to raise consciousness for how media impacts our ability to engage in sustainable cultural practices and to encourage new and alternative uses of media.

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