"What kind of people do we want to be?" 
 - Newton Minow
 
Over a decade ago, when I was in graduate school, I was assigned Newton Minow's book Abandoned in the Wasteland: Children, Television, and The First Amendment. I had just surrendered to putting my career in children's television production in my past. I was in the process of discovering a real passion for media criticism and impact. Abandoned in the Wasteland bridged the world I was leaving behind and the one I so desperately wanted to enter. It made me think. It made me question. It led me to media literacy.
 
As I prepare for the upcoming NAMLE conference at which Newton Minow will be our luncheon guest on Tuesday, June 27, I find myself picking up that dog-eared, highlighted book. His words take me back to a moment that may not have seemed as significant at the time but now feels life changing: 
 
If television could show the worst in life, it could also show the best. If it could show children death and destruction, it can also show them truth and beauty, art and culture.
 
Our children are the public interest, living and breathing, flesh and blood.
 
We confuse the right to do something with whether it is the right thing to do.
 
I often return to his question, "What kind of people do we want to be?"  In many ways, this question correlates with how we are planning the conference program and thinking about its theme, Engaging Citizens, Building CommunityThere is a lot happening in our world today. There is so much innovation and inspiration. There are also so many happenings that give us pause. How do we actively engage in this complex and exhilarating world? How do we build community in such a fractured and polarized time?
 
I hope you will join me (and Newton Minow!) in Chicago June 26-28 to explore these questions and work together to find answers. 

For more information, go to our conference website. To register, click here

This month's student blog post comes from one of my students' at Brooklyn College,  Dylan Johnson . Dylan shares his thoughts on how having his phone stolen taught him a lesson about paying attention. Read the blog post here. P lease reach out to me if you would like your students to contribue to our student blog.

For the Journal of Media Literacy Education Author Profile piece this month, Student Leadership Council Member Catherine Burgess 
interviewed Sruti Kanthan (College of New Jersey), Dr. James Graham (College of New Jersey) and Dr. Lynn Azarchi (Kidsbridge Tolerance Center) who studied the efficacy of a media literacy activity that examines laugh tracks (or "canned laughter") as a means of increasing empathy among fifth grade students. Read the profile here


For more great writing, check out these new books out now.

The International Handbook of Media Literacy Education examines the theoretical, conceptual, pedagogical and methodological development of media literacy education and research around the world.  A global perspective rather than a Western-centric point of view is explicitly highlighted. Belinha S. De Abreu Paul Mihailidis Alice Y.L. Lee Jad Melki and  Julian McDougall are editors of this handbook. To learn more and/or purchase, click here

Television on Demand: Curatorial Culture and the Transformation of TV by MJ Robinson  examines what happens when curation becomes the primary way in which media users or viewers engage with mass media such as journalism, music, cinema, and, most specifically, television. To learn more/or purchase, click here.

As always, reach out to me with questions or comments. Hope to see you June 26 in Chicago!
Michelle Ciulla Lipkin's signature   Michelle Ciulla Lipkin
Executive Director  mciullalipkin@namle.net @ciullalipkin @medialiteracyed


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