I’ve noticed that people’s eyes tend to glaze over when I say “Healthy Media Choices” in response to a question about my non-profit. Once they hear that I don’t tell people what to do, that I simply relay the research and help people see what is possible and desirable -even enjoyable – for their own homes, things lighten up.
There is a growing sense that media’s influence on the young – especially the very young – needs to be addressed, though the avenues and forms for that response vary widely.
The entertainment media industry wants us to think that this is solely the concern of and responsibility of the parents. While it is true that the “off” button IS the most effective response in the home, what about the billions of dollars being spent by advertisers to navigate past the “gatekeepers” – those diligent parents and teachers? And, what about the formerly trusted organizations, like Scholastic, that are bringing things like Bratz dolls directly into the schools? The book distribution systems that put commercial logos, some of which are for junk food, onto library books?
Also, media outlets in all their forms are wonderful tools we all use as adults. We want to help the adults who care for young children learn how to model using those tools, not being manipulated by them. That’s what media literacy is all about: critical thinking about and integration of media.
Please join this important work. Contact us to volunteer or become an intern.