Media Literacy in Massachusetts
When the phrase 'Media Education' is used in the United States, most educators think of public television broadcasting, or else they think the reference is to video production classes at the secondary level, usually designed as nonacademic vocational-style coursework for students who are about to drop out of school, or at the very least, are "not college bound". Few spontaneously identify Media Education with the process of learning about media industries or actively analyzing media messages. When U. S. educators and advocates got together at a national leadership conference on media literacy sponsored by the Aspen Institute in 1992, much attention to definitional concerns was present. Because it did not restrict itself to audio-visual media, the phrase, 'Media Literacy' was recognized as superior to the concept of 'Critical Viewing Skills' that had been visible since the mid-1970s, when the first rush of interest in Media Literacy was fueled by increasing concerns about the impact of media violence on young people.