CML Comments on FCC Notice of Inquiry : Empowering Parents and Protecting Children in an Evolving Media Landscape
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Washington, DC 20554
In the Matter of )
Empowering Parents and Protecting Children ) MB Docket No. 09-94
in an Evolving Media Landscape )
COMMENTS OF THE CENTER FOR MEDIA LITERACY
ON FCC NOTICE OF INQUIRY REGARDING
EMPOWERING PARENTS AND PROTECTING CHILDREN
IN AN EVOLVING MEDIA LANDSCAPE
The Center for Media Literacy (“CML”) hereby submits these Comments in response to FCC 09-94, Notice of Inquiry released October 23, 2009, in which the Commission sought comments on empowering parents and protecting children in an evolving media landscape.
The Center for Media Literacy respectfully files these Comments because the Center has, since its inception in 1989, unwaveringly supported media literacy education intended to help students gain “the critical thinking skills needed to make smart choices” (Notice of Inquiry, Section 51, at 20). Much has changed since 1989, and the need for schools to teach critical thinking and process skills has only increased. In an era where information is expanding exponentially, learning standards which primarily emphasize coverage of content no longer serve the needs of students. Students must be able to access, analyze, evaluate, create and interact with the information which is being delivered to them at ever-greater speeds on an ever-widening array of media platforms. Media literacy education helps students acquire key digital media and information management skills, and full integration of media and technology literacy into the core curricula of US schools would leave students immeasurably “better positioned to compete in today’s workplace” (Notice of Inquiry, Section 19, at 7).
The Center wishes to inform the Commission that a media literacy education which encourages the development of critical thinking skills does much more than help students assess the risks of using electronic media. They gain the critical autonomy they need to negotiate their lifelong relationship with media. CML believes that children should be empowered through education, as well as parents. By the same token, empowerment entails responsibility, and we believe that all stakeholders—the media and communications sector, parents, teachers, schools, and students themselves—need to fully engage in the enterprise of building communities of responsibility and care, online and off. Not only is this the best means of safeguarding children from the risks of electronic media, but it is also the best means for preparing students to become wise consumers of media and responsible media producers, as well as active and democratic participants in today’s global culture.
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