Research & Evaluation

Media literacy is a subject of interest to researchers around the world, and the number of academic journals and media literacy research and evaluation projects are growing every year. 

CML's Role

CML has played an active role in the development of the media literacy field through its research, implementations, and leadership:

  • Connections, CML's free monthly e-letter, explores current themes of interest to media literacy practitioners globally.
  • CML's Reading Room contains an extensive, searchable archive of contemporary and historical articles, interviews, e-books, case studies and educational activities dating back to the 1980s.
  •  Early developments in the U.S.  field and CML's contributions are listed in a historical Timeline.
  • CML's Voices of Media Literacy Project has documented the development of the field through first-person interviews with leading pioneers who contributed to the growth of media literacy prior to 1990.  
  • "The Core Concepts: Fundamental to Media Literacy Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow," by Tessa Jolls and Carolyn Wilson, published in 2014 in the Journal of Media Literacy Education, presents research and development for the media literacy field from a Canadian and U.S. perspective.
  • Elizabeth Thoman, CML's founder, has donated her archives to the University of Rhode Island, where they are now available to scholars.


CML has piloted all of its curricular offerings in classroom settings,  insuring that educators have a practical, effective framework to incorporate in media literacy lessons, along with assessment strategies. These lessons incorporate media production as well as critical analysis, and are contained in CML's MediaLit Kit, a major research-based collection of teaching tools and resources designed to offer a consistent education philosophy, framework, and pedagogy.


CML helped conduct one of the largest longitudinal studies on media literacy education, with 21 middle schools, 32 teachers and 2, 209 students participating.  Funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and administered through UCLA's Southern California Injury Prevention Research Center, the goal of the study was to evaluate whether or not a comprehensive media literacy intervention could increase middle school students' knowledge levels and affect their attitudes and behaviors, as well as to mitigate the negative effects of exposure to media violence and reduce the risk for aggression.  

A notable feature of the study is that it not only examined results of teachers' using the CML curriculum, Beyond Blame: Challenging Violence in the Media, but also evaluated CML's framework for deconstruction, featuring CML's Five Core Concepts and Five Key Questions for media literacy and its Empowerment Spiral of Awareness, Analysis, Reflection and Action.  This framework can be applied to any media content. Classroom teachers, rather than researchers, implemented the curriculum, and the study also examined the impact of teacher training on the effectiveness of the curriculum.

The study is reported in the following peer-reviewed journals:

Research Organizations and Media Literacy Academic Journals

There are many organizations pursuing research related to media literacy throughout the world  The following organizations conduct and publish research in English:

Although many journals and education publications publish articles on media literacy, the following journals focus primarily on media literacy and publish in English, as well as other languages such as Spanish, Chinese, Swedish and Russian: