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Education, Politics, Take Action

Take action: Opportunity to make Media Literacy a budget priority

Dear Media Literacy Advocates, Friends and Supporters,

Now is the time for us to take action! Washington State Superintendent Chris Reykdal is asking for your opinion about new priorities for school funding. This is an opportunity to influence funding for years to come!

Superintendent Reykdal wants to hear from us — teachers, students, parents and interested taxpayers.

  • The online survey asks you to rank budget priorities that OSPI should put forward to the Legislature for 2019.
  • Media literacy is not listed on the survey; you can use the write-in section.
  • The more times we can get media literacy mentioned in this survey, the better chance we have to ensure the funding of media literacy education.

To take the survey, please visit the State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction website below:

You can take the survey here on the State of Washington OSPI website.

The survey is open now through Friday, June 8.

It is available in nine languages in addition to English: Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Somali, Traditional Chinese, Khmer, Korean, Punjabi, and Tagalog. It takes just five minutes to complete and is completely anonymous.

Let’s make sure Superintendent Reykdal knows that media literacy education must be included in his list of priorities!

Education, Fake News, News

The News Literacy Project: A resource for teachers

Teachers looking for tools to educate middle school and high school students about important news literacy skills can check out The News Literacy Project (NLP). This nonpartisan education nonprofit offers consulting services, professional development opportunities for educators, a virtual classroom experience and other resources.

Continue reading “The News Literacy Project: A resource for teachers”

Education, News

Report: Washington high-school requirements not enough for college admissions

A new national study says Washington is one of 46 states whose high-school graduation requirements don’t line up with admission requirements for public universities.

But the study doesn’t capture major changes that are on the horizon here.

The audit of state high-school graduation requirements, by the Center for American Progress, looks at coursework requirements in the major subjects and asks whether the requirements to earn a basic diploma also qualify a student for enrollment at a public college.

The report found just four states — Louisiana, Michigan, South Dakota and Tennessee — matched high-school diploma requirements with public-college requirements.

In Washington, however, things are about to change.  Continue reading “Report: Washington high-school requirements not enough for college admissions”

Entertainment, News, People

Kendrick Lamar and the shell game of ‘Respect’

Here’s one among the many provocative questions raised by Kendrick Lamar’s Damn winning the Pulitzer Prize for Music: Is Damn the best work of rap or pop ever made? The Pulitzers, whose only stated criteria is “for distinguished musical composition by an American” in the eligible timeframe, have previously only awarded classical and jazz artists. By making an exception for Lamar, the Pulitzers could be seen as saying that he is, well, the exception. That only Lamar’s blazingly intricate 14-track reckoning with vice and Geraldo Rivera can compete with rarefied types like Caroline Shaw (winner in 2013), Wynton Marsalis (1997), or Aaron Copland (1945). That the rest of pop—not to mention the rest of hip-hop—remains of an unmentionable tier, except maybe for Bob Dylan, who won a special citation from the Pulitzers in 2008.

This is a dubious and snobbish thought, yes—but it’s a result of the inevitably thorny logic that always goes along with artistic awards-giving. That it took until 2018 for the Pulitzers to award a work of rap or pop might say something about the evolution of those genres, and Damn really is a work of staggering, arguably historic, sophistication. I look forward to reading the sure-to-come articles positioning it as the greatest pop work ever (even above Migos, who are Better Than the Beatles™). But that discussion will be a sideshow. The rapper’s win is probably more significant to the reputation of the prize itself than to the prizewinner; it almost feels as though the Pulitzers won a Kendrick Lamar, and not the other way around.  Continue reading “Kendrick Lamar and the shell game of ‘Respect’”

Fake News, News, Take Action

Take action: Prevent Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media merger

You may have seen a viral video of friendly local news anchors across the nation reading from a frighteningly Orwellian script. The video is making millions sit up and ask:

What the hell is happening to local news? The answer is Sinclair.

Sinclair Broadcast Group is the nation’s largest broadcaster. It mandated that all its news stations read a statement from the same script, one that seemed to denounce independent, unbiased reporting in favor of an oddly pro-Trump sounding, fake news agenda. It’s even created turmoil in our local KOMO News station, owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Sinclair’s latest project is a mega-merger with Tribune Media, a move that would allow biased, inaccurate, sensational reporting to reach more than 70 percent of the U.S. population.

We urge the FCC to listen to communities and block this despicable deal.

The FCC must deny the Sinclair-Tribune merger. Sinclair has consistently proven itself to be an unworthy steward of the public airwaves — promoting racist commentators, spreading Trump propaganda, slashing newsroom staff, and forcing bigoted must-run content on local stations — and should not be rewarded with a merger that will allow the company to double down on its bad behavior.

Take action to stop this merger and allow news reporting to be fair and accurate, with balanced media-ownership protection policies in place. Make your voice heard here.

help 1- take action

Fake News, News, People

Sinclair made dozens of local news anchors recite the same script

Image from fro nch via YouTube

On local news stations across the United States last month, dozens of anchors gave the same speech to their combined millions of viewers.

It included a warning about fake news, a promise to report fairly and accurately and a request that viewers go to the station’s website and comment “if you believe our coverage is unfair.”

It may not have seemed strange to individual viewers. But Timothy Burke, the video director at Deadspin, had read a report last monthfrom CNN, which quoted local station anchors who were uncomfortable with the speech. Continue reading “Sinclair made dozens of local news anchors recite the same script”

Education, News, Politics

Teachers are marching ahead of their unions, from Oklahoma to Arizona

Image courtesy of NPR

“I’m 54 years old and my paycheck is $1,980 [a month]. I can’t afford f****** health insurance.”

That’s one of the first things Larry Cagle says on the phone. He is spitting nails. The Tulsa English teacher is one of the leaders of a grassroots organizing group, Oklahoma Teachers United, that they say represents thousands of public school teachers around the state. His group, and both of Oklahoma’s teachers unions, support the walkout and rally happening across the state Monday in support of higher wages and more state revenue.

Teachers are striking even though state legislators passed a pay raise of about $6,000 last week. That vote followed earlier walkouts. The bill, if signed, would bring Oklahoma’s teacher salaries from among the lowest in the nation, to the middle of the pack.

The Oklahoma teachers are not the only ones unhappy.
Continue reading “Teachers are marching ahead of their unions, from Oklahoma to Arizona”

News, Politics, Privacy, Social Media, Technology

Facebook gave data about 57bn friendships

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Before Facebook suspended Aleksandr Kogan from its platform for the data harvesting “scam” at the centre of the unfolding Cambridge Analytica scandal, the social media company enjoyed a close enough relationship with the researcher that it provided him with an anonymised, aggregate dataset of 57bn Facebook friendships.

Facebook provided the dataset of “every friendship formed in 2011 in every country in the world at the national aggregate level” to Kogan’s University of Cambridge laboratory for a study on international friendships published in Personality and Individual Differences in 2015. Two Facebook employees were named as co-authors of the study, alongside researchers from Cambridge, Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley. Kogan was publishing under the name Aleksandr Spectre at the time.

Read more from The Guardian. Image courtesy of The Guardian.

Bill Update, Net Neutrality, News

Washington becomes first state to pass law protecting net neutrality

Washington state has a new law to protect net neutrality at a time when the feds are getting rid of it.

In a bipartisan effort, the state’s legislators passed House Bill 2282. which was signed into law Monday by Gov. Jay Inslee.

“Washington will be the first state in the nation to preserve the open internet,” Inslee said at the bill signing.

Read more at CNN. Image courtesy of The New York Times.

Events, News, People

AME’s Marilyn Cohen honored with National Telemedia Council award

mcohenMarilyn Cohen, Action for Media Education (AME) Executive Director, has been honored with the 2018 Jessie McCanse Award, deemed the “Nobel Prize” of media literacy.

The National Telemedia Council (NTC) recognizes individuals whose longtime contributions to media literacy exemplify the high principles and dedication of the NTC founder. The NTC, a national non-profit founded in 1953, is the oldest ongoing media literacy organization in the United States.

AME congratulates the four recipients: Marilyn Cohen of Seattle, Washington, Henry Jenkins of Los Angeles, California, Bill Siemering of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Carolyn Wilson of Ontario, Canada.

Continue reading “AME’s Marilyn Cohen honored with National Telemedia Council award”

News, Social Media, Technology

Seattle Town Hall event: How to fix the future, with Andrew Keen and Alex Stonehill

The Internet has morphed from a tool providing efficiencies for consumers and businesses to an elemental force that is profoundly reshaping our societies and our world.

Former Internet entrepreneur Andrew Keen was among the earliest to write about the potential dangers that the Internet poses to our culture and society. Now he takes our stage with his new book How to Fix the Future, looking to the past to learn how we might change our future. Keen discusses how societies tamed the excesses of the Industrial Revolution, which—like its digital counterpart—demolished long-standing models of living, ruined harmonious environments, and altered the business world beyond recognition. Keen is joined onstage by Alex Stonehill, Head of Creative Strategy at University of Washington’s Communication and Leadership Program.

This event will be held Thursday, February 8 at 7:30 p.m. at University Lutheran Church.
Address is1604 NE 50th St, Seattle, WA 98105 in the Ravenna neighborhood.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $5.

For more information and to buy tickets visit the Town Hall website.

Bill Update, News, Take Action

Take Action: Increase school library IT resources for students in WA

You can help increase school library IT resources for students in Washington State.

Two bills, one in the House (HB 2695) and one in the Senate (SB 6460), have been introduced that will increase accountability and help provide more resources for school library information technology programs across the state.

Please call your legislators. You can find them here: http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

  • State senators — urge them to pass SB 6460
  • State representatives — urge them to pass HB 2695

You can share these points:

  • School library information technology programs–with certified teacher-librarians and the resources necessary to run them effectively–can increase student achievement on tests in all subject areas, and improve graduation rates.
  • We owe it to all our students to provide greater access to the current technology and instruction they need to be ready for future jobs and for lifelong learning.
Education, News

Spotlight: NAMLE highlights Newseum

This month NAMLE’s Rachell Arteaga interviewed Barbara McCormack, Vice President of Education for Newseum.

When did your organization launch and why?

In 1997, the Newseum opened in Rosslyn, Va., with education a part of its mission. Over the years, which included a move to our new site on Pennsylvania Avenue, the museum’s education department has supplemented its on-site offerings with a strong digital component to make the Newseum’s content and collections available to all. In fall 2015, we debuted our new website and rebranded ourselves NewseumED. NewseumED.org gives students, teachers and lifelong learners who can’t visit Washington free access to the Newseum’s vast collections. The site’s content is copyright-cleared for use in the classroom, giving teachers worry-free access to quality, non-partisan resources for teaching media literacy, history, and the First Amendment.  Since the website’s launch in October 2015, nearly 500,000 unique visitors – from all 50 states and 175 countries – have explored our resources and interactives.

Read more at NAMLE.

Net Neutrality, News, Take Action

Burger King video illustrates impacts of recent FCC repeal of net neutrality rules using Whopper hamburgers

The repeal of Net Neutrality is a hot topic in America, but it can be very difficult to understand. That’s why the BURGER KING® brand created WHOPPER® Neutrality, a social experiment that explains the effects of the repeal of Net Neutrality by putting it in terms anyone can understand: A WHOPPER® sandwich.

This effort aims to help people understand how the repeal of Net Neutrality will impact their lives. The BURGER KING® brand believes the Internet should be like the WHOPPER® sandwich: the same for everyone.

Help keep Net Neutrality safe by signing the petition at www.Change.org/SavetheNet.

Net Neutrality, News

Some states want to save Net Neutrality, but can they?

Since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealed net neutrality rules last month, some governors and lawmakers have taken steps to restore those regulations in their states.

On Monday, Montana became the first to make it official: Gov. Steve Bullock signed an executive order requiring internet service providers (ISPs) with state contracts to abide by the FCC’s old rules requiring providers to treat all internet content equally with regards to access and download speeds.

Lawmakers in California, New York, Rhode Island, Nebraska, Washington and Massachusetts have also introduced similar bills to varying degrees of reach.

Read more at Governing magazine.

 

Education, Entertainment, News, Technology

This app may be the future of bedtime stories

The other day, I was reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar to my daughter. When I got to the part where the caterpillar ate through one apple, I paused, surprised by an unmistakable munching sound coming from my coffee table.

The sound was actually emitted by an app called Novel Effect that uses voice-recognition technology to insert sound effects and music to books as you read them aloud—ideally, to make the experience of reading aloud more engaging for kids at home or in the classroom.

“You still get engagement, you still get interactivity,” says Matt Hammersley, Novel Effect’s CEO and one of its four cofounders. “But they’re not staring at a screen and you’re actually encouraging face-to-face personal communication.”

Read more at the MIT Technology Review.

Image courtesy of the MIT Technology Review.

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Net Neutrality, News, Take Action

The top-rated post ever in r/Nascar is about net neutrality

NASCAR fans really hate it when you take away their net neutrality. After Federal Communication Commission chairman Ajit Pai announced on Nov. 21 his plans to reverse away Obama-era open-internet rules, a post on net neutrality raced to the the top of Reddit’s NASCAR forum becoming the subreddit’s most popular post ever—by a long shot.

The post, headlined “American Racing Fans, Net Neutrality effects [sic] us all, Ajit Pai is worse than Brian France, call your local representatives,” compares NASCAR’s oft-derided CEO Brian France (who tenure has seen declining ratings and attendance for the sport) with the FCC chairman.

The post had received 60,000 net upvotes and 460 comments by Nov. 27 before being closed for commenting. That compares to just 6,836 upvotes for the next-most upvoted post in r/Nascar.

Read more at Quartz.

Image courtesy of Quartz.

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Net Neutrality, News, Take Action

Net Neutrality: Join a protest December 7, at Verizon stores nationwide

The new chairman of the FCC was a top lawyer at Verizon. Now he’s calling for a vote to kill net neutrality. We’re protesting at retail stores across the U.S. to demand that Congress stop Verizon’s puppet FCC from destroying the Internet as we know it.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to vote on its plan to kill net neutrality on December 14. People from across the political spectrum are outraged, so we’re planning to protest at Verizon retail stores across the country on December 7, one week before the vote and at the peak of the busy Holiday shopping season. We’ll demand that our members of Congress take action to stop Verizon’s puppet FCC from killing net neutrality.

Net neutrality is the basic principle that has made the Internet into what it is today. It prevents big Internet Service Providers (like Verizon) from charging extra fees, engaging in censorship, or controlling what we see and do on the web by throttling websites, apps, and online services.

Read more and find a protest near you.

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Education, News, People

Her family tragedy was breaking news. Now she makes students into better media consumers.

michelle lipkinEach semester, Michelle Ciulla Lipkin struggles with the right time to share a very personal story with her media studies students at Brooklyn College. She hopes it will help explain her desire for a more media-literate society. She also hopes it will explain how the media’s coverage of a news story forever changes the experiences of those individuals who become part of the story.

The lesson usually follows a terrorist attack, she says, and in this case, the recent attack in Lower Manhattan, which killed eight people on Oct. 31, 2017.

The story she shares starts out in 1988, just before Christmas. Then-17-year-old Ciulla Lipkin had dropped off poinsettias at her home in Park Ridge, New Jersey, in preparation for the holidays when the family would be together again. At around 3 o’clock in the afternoon, Michelle’s mother, Mary Lou, had the TV on when her soap opera was interrupted with breaking news.

“It was true breaking news. Not breaking news like it is today,” said Ciulla Lipkin.

Read more at PBS News Hour.

Image courtesy of PBS News Hour.

News, People, Social Media, Technology

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs raised their kids tech-free — and it should’ve been a red flag

Psychologists are quickly learning how dangerous smartphones can be for teenage brains.

Research has found that an eighth-grader’s risk for depression jumps 27% when he or she frequently uses social media. Kids who use their phones for at least three hours a day are much more likely to be suicidal. And recent research has found the teen suicide rate in the US now eclipses the homicide rate, with smartphones as the driving force.

But the writing about smartphone risk may have been on the wall for roughly a decade, according to educators Joe Clement and Matt Miles, coauthors of the recent book “Screen Schooled: Two Veteran Teachers Expose How Technology Overuse is Making Our Kids Dumber.”

It should be telling, Clement and Miles argue, that the two biggest tech figures in recent history — Bill Gates and Steve Jobs — seldom let their kids play with the very products they helped create.

“What is it these wealthy tech executives know about their own products that their consumers don’t?” the authors wrote. The answer, according to a growing body of evidence, is the addictive power of digital technology.

Read more at Business Insider.

Net Neutrality, News, Take Action

What to know about the FCC’s upcoming plan to undo net neutrality rules

With its final meeting of the year less than a month away, the Federal Communications Commission is expected to reveal the latest details of a plan to roll back the government’s net neutrality regulations this week. The result could reshape the entire digital ecosystem by giving internet providers more control over what their customers can see and access online and how quickly they can do it.

Under current rules, broadband companies such as Verizon and Comcast must treat all websites and online services equally. Verizon, for instance, isn’t allowed to deliver content from Yahoo, which it owns, to consumers any faster than it delivers competing content from Google. It also isn’t permitted to actively slow down or block Google services.

But the FCC is likely to change all that, analysts say, relaxing the Obama-era rules that required providers to behave like legacy telecom companies who must carry all phone calls on a nondiscriminatory basis. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai “will try to shrink the footprint of the rules,” said Daniel Berninger, a telecom engineer who has opposed the regulations. The FCC declined to comment.

Read more in The Seattle Times.

Take action! We can save net neutrality. Contact Congress today to keep the internet available to all!

Visit www.battleforthenet.com to make your voice heard.

Net Neutrality, News, Places, Take Action

FCC should listen to tech-savvy Seattle and preserve open Internet

This article is relevant now as the FCC considers repealing Net Neutrality laws. It first appeared in the last big discussion on Net Neutrality, back in August 2014.

Well, Seattle residents have spoken. Many of them, anyway, in favor of preserving net neutrality and against creating a two-lane Internet highway in which Internet providers could charge some users more for faster access and connectivity.

The Federal Communications Commission recently released about 1.1 million comments from its first comment period.  TechCrunch’s initial analysis found the most-used word by citizens was “Comcast” followed by “Verizon” — and the bulk of what they had to say was not very nice. A second comment period ends on Sept. 10, so go to this FCC link to make your voice heard.

As The Seattle Times editorial board wrote on July 19, May 16, May 11, April 27 and Jan. 15, the open Internet should be preserved and providers should be reclassified as “common carriers” like most other public telecommunication services.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy called on the FCC to leave its echo chamber in the Beltway and hold public meetings around the country. “Most of (those who had commented on the proposed rules online) will not be able to come to Washington to participate in the roundtables that have been scheduled, but their voices are more important than industry lobbyists and members of Congress,” Leahy reportedly wrote in a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

Great idea. FCC, please come to Seattle.

Read more in this great piece at The Seattle Times, a big supporter of keeping net neutrality and a strong voice about this issue.

Take action! We can save net neutrality. Contact Congress today to keep the internet available to all!

Visit www.battleforthenet.com to make your voice heard.

Net Neutrality, News, Take Action

John Oliver explains how you’re going to get gouged by the end of net neutrality

So you’ve probably heard by now that, in a victory for big telecoms, the Trump administration’s pick to run the FCC wants to scrap so-called “net neutrality” rules that keep the internet free and open to everyone.

So why should you care? It’s got a lot to do with the fact that you’ll more than likely end up paying more to connect to the web. And if you consume a lot of data heavy services (like streaming music, video and games), you’ll pay even more than that.

Read more at Penn Live.

help 1- take actionTake action! We can save net neutrality. Contact Congress today to keep the internet available to all!

Visit www.battleforthenet.com to make your voice heard.

Net Neutrality, News, Take Action

Take action! Net Neutrality is on the line

As you may know, we have very little time to contest how the FCC is about take action on the critical issue of Net Neutrality! A decision will be made by December 15 that will change how and when internet is available to all.

AME fought hard in 2015 to preserve Net Neutrality when it was on the chopping block, and now is another time for AME and our supporters to make our voices heard.

Here are the list of people we most need to contact on the FCC. The more email they receive the better, only a line or two is needed. The intent is to inundate them with our emails about the importance of Net Neutrality.

Take action to get involved in saving Net Neutrality and preserving internet access for all!

help 1- take action