Bill Update, Media Literacy, News

Grant Money: A Media Literacy First

The 2019 Washington State legislature has allocated $150,000 in state funds for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to establish a K-12 media literacy grant program in 2019–2020. Action for Media Literacy Education is pleased to announce this news as another media literacy first for Washington State and the nation.

These funds will be awarded in September through a competitive grant process. Six to ten school teams will receive grants to develop and share openly-licensed curriculum units focused on three subject areas: social studies, English language arts, or health classes. A unique feature of these units is that they will be designed using a media literacy lens to address content commonly covered in one of these three subject areas.  

Examples of ideas for curriculum units designed from a media literacy lens:

  • Exploring media influence on teen perspectives concerning a particular health issue (e.g. teen pregnancy prevention)
  • Analyzing and evaluating media sources that describe an important historical event
  • Examining issues of copyright, fair use, and intellectual property as they apply to materials produced for an English language arts class

Submissions may come from a public school, district office, ESD, or a partnership between multiple educational partners. Only one proposal may be submitted per organization. Grant requests may not exceed $25,000; most awards are anticipated to be in the $15,000 range.

Grant application details and information will be available from OSPI in late August, 2019. For more information, contact Dennis Small: or (360) 725-6384.

Bill Update, News, Take Action

Your Comments Needed: 
New Media Literacy Bill for WA Schools

Exciting news! WA State Senate Bill 5594 provides funding for media literacy curriculum and professional development for teachers.

YOUR COMMENTS ARE NEEDED NOW. Please share this link with as many people as possible across the state. It’s easy! Just type in your zip code and with a few words you can let our lawmakers know your position.

This bill, sponsored and introduced by Senator Marko Liias, creates a grant process for developing new curriculum units that embed media literacy into content area lessons. The new curriculum units will be available for classrooms across the state. The bill also provides for two Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship professional development conferences for educators

The proposed bill is a follow up to ESSB 5449 from 2017, which supported media literacy and digital citizenship. That bill called for reviewing and revising of district policies and procedures to better support digital citizenship, media literacy and internet safety, and the creation of a repository of best practices and resources. It also mandated an Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) survey that examined how digital citizenship and media literacy were being integrated into Washington’s schools’ curriculum.

Action for Media Literacy (AME) board members Marilyn Cohen, Michael Danielson, and Barbara Johnson met with Senator Liias to propose this new bill, SB 5594. He responded immediately with interest and took action. Thank you to Senator Marko Liias and the bill’s co-sponsors: Senators Judy Warnick, Claire Wilson, Lisa Wellman, Patty Kuderer, Joe Nguyen, Rebecca Saldaña, and Hans Zeiger.

Spread the word, and comment today to support media literacy education!

Bill Update

Quick update on OSPI Survey conducted after passage of ESSB 5449

Following the passage of ESSB 5449, in May 2018, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) conducted a survey involving all 295 school districts across Washington to explore what’s currently taking place in terms of policies and procedures regarding media literacy education, digital citizenship and internet safety.

Results of this survey will be shared in December 2018.

OSPI has also been creating a web-based resource base. More information about this will be available later. Stay tuned.

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.

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:

  • 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.
Bill Update, Education, Fake News, News

Bill would help California schools teach about ‘fake news,’ media literacy

Spurred by the rise of so-called “fake news” and its impact on elections, a Santa Barbara state senator has introduced a bill that would encourage California’s K-12 schools to teach students to be skeptical, informed news consumers.

Authored by State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), SB 203, known as the digital citizenship and media literacy bill, would require the state superintendent of public instruction to convene a committee of educators, librarians, parents, students and media experts to draw up guidelines on how best to recognize fake news.

Popularized in the 2016 presidential election, the term “fake news” refers to Internet hoaxes or intentionally fabricated stories presented as news and intended to sway public opinion. Cyber bullying, privacy, copyright infringement, digital footprints, sexting and general Internet safety would also be included in the guidelines.

Read more at Ed Source.

Image courtesy of Ed Source.

medialit cali bill

Bill Update, News

Press Release: New Bill, ESSB 5449, Targets Internet Safety and Media Literacy Education in Washington Schools



Official Press Release

4616 25th Ave NE,
#310, Seattle, WA 98105

April 27, 2017

Michael Danielson, President, Action for Media Education
Email:  |  Phone: (206) 683-7277

New bill targets internet safety and media literacy education in Washington schools

Olympia, WA – Governor Jay Inslee has signed into law a new bill requiring Washington schools to develop a model policy to better support internet safety, digital citizenship and media literacy education. The Governor called this piece of legislation “extremely timely. “  He added, “We’re really excited about this bill.” The bill introduced by Senator Marko Liias, 21st District, Lynnwood comes at an important time of heightened scrutiny of information coming from the media and from government sources.

Continue reading “Press Release: New Bill, ESSB 5449, Targets Internet Safety and Media Literacy Education in Washington Schools”

Bill Update, News, Places, Politics, Privacy

House Bill 2200: A bill to create internet privacy protections

magnifying glass

Washington State is trying to pass a bill that would create internet privacy protections.

Check out this bill here!

The bill would create new internet privacy protections enforceable under the Washington Consumer Protection Act, including:

  • Compelling transparency by making ISP privacy policies available to customers so they know what to expect.
  • Protecting privacy by prohibiting ISPs from selling or using private information (such as a person’s browsing history) without consent.
  • Requiring ISPs to report to customers when they have been hacked and personal data has been breached so customers can protect themselves.
Please consider supporting this bill. It is important that consumers should have the option to keep their personal browser history private!
Bill Update, Events, News, Politics

New 2017 Law Promotes Media Literacy for students in WA Schools

On Thursday, April 20, our bill became a law! Governor Jay Inslee signed it with AME representatives Barbara Johnson, Nick Pernisco and Marilyn Cohen present. The law will go into effect on July 23.

This bill, ESSB 5449, is a follow up to SSB 6273.  That bill made us the first state in the country to pass media literacy legislation, making Washington the model state. Read more about our success passing SSB 6273 here.

Now media literacy legislation has moved still another step forward in Washington with the passage of a second bill ESSB 5449 in 2017.

In speaking with the group, Governor Inslee noted how this bill was addressing an important subject.

Multiple news articles have come out to coverage the passing of this bill:

View images from the bill signing below.

Bill Update, News

Great accomplishment passing Digital Citizenship/Media Literacy Bill ESSB 5449

Dear Friends of Action for Media Education,

The 2017 Digital Citizenship/Media Literacy Bill ESSB 5449 has passed both the Senate and the House. It’s now on its way to the Governor’s desk where it will soon be signed!  We want to thank you for all of your support in helping to make this possible.

Here is a link to the 2017 Digital Citizenship/Media Literacy Bill ESSB 5449.

Our state has truly become a model for others across the country. Right now media literacy groups in 20 states are trying to convince their legislative bodies to follow our lead.

AME members Linda Kennedy, Marilyn Cohen, Claire Beach and Barbara Johnson meet with Senator Marko Liias (center) in Olympia.

Continue reading “Great accomplishment passing Digital Citizenship/Media Literacy Bill ESSB 5449”

Bill Update, News, Politics

Step 8 of 9, how a bill becomes a law

We thought some of you might be interested in seeing where our bill is in the legislative process. The information below is taken from the Washington State Legislature about how a bill becomes a law. Our bill is at step 8. Almost there!

  1. A bill may be introduced in either the Senate or House of Representatives by a member.
  2. It is referred to a committee for a hearing. The committee studies the bill and may hold public hearings on it. It can then pass, reject, or take no action on the bill.
  3. The committee report on the passed bill is read in open session of the House or Senate, and the bill is then referred to the Rules Committee.
  4. The Rules Committee can either place the bill on the second reading calendar for debate before the entire body, or take no action.
  5. At the second reading, a bill is subject to debate and amendment before being placed on the third reading calendar for final passage.
  6. After passing one house, the bill goes through the same procedure in the other house.
  7. If amendments are made in the other house, the first house must approve the changes.
  8. When the bill is accepted in both houses, it is signed by the respective leaders and sent to the governor.
  9. The governor signs the bill into law or may veto all or part of it. If the governor fails to act on the bill, it may become law without a signature.

For those of us old enough to remember, this whole thing is very Schoolhouse Rocky.

Bill Update, News

Bill update: Great news!

Yay! Our bill has passed the House and is now on it’s way to the Governor’s office for signing. We are ecstatic it has passed and we now have a second bill addressing this important subject.

Thank you everyone for your support in commenting on this bill and sharing just how much we need digital citizenship/media literacy education in our schools.

We’ll keep you posted with additional information as it becomes available so stay tuned! As legendary anchorman Ron Burgundy would say…


Bill Update, Education, News, People, Politics

AME featured in News Tribune article regarding media literacy

An article about media literacy in the Tacoma News Tribune features several AME members discussing our impact within the education field and work on the Digitial Citizenship/Media Literacy bill. Linda Kennedy, Claire Beach and Marilyn Cohen are mentioned, as well as Senator Marko Liias, who has championed the bill since the very beginning.

The article quotes AME members and Senator Liias:

“Screens wake us up in the morning. They send us off to school,” says Linda Kennedy, a former Seattle television journalist who now offers media literacy education.

“It was something we needed to tackle, and we could do it in a way that does not put a burden on districts.” -Sen. Marko Liias, D-Lynnwood

“How do students interpret information they find online? That goes to the heart of media literacy…. We’re seeing thousands of devices being delivered into our schools,” Marilyn Cohen said. “We are in a revolution.”

Read more at The News Tribune.

Bill Update, Fake News, News, Take Action

Update: Digital Citizenship/Media Literacy bill, we need your support!

Yesterday, members of AME went to Olympia, WA to testify in support of the Digital Citizenship/Media Literacy bill. This is when we need your help to comment in support this bill!

Please be sure to go the link for our bill and leave a comment in the comment box. It’s very easy to do and only takes a few minutes. You don’t need to know your district representatives, you only need to give your zip code and your comment will be sent to your district’s representatives.

You can leave your comments here.

Thank you for your continued support!

Bill Update, News

Update: Washington State Senate Bill 5449 Concerning digital citizenship, media literacy and internet safety in schools

HURRAY!!! On March 2, 2017 Bill 5449 passed the Senate floor yeas, 40; nays, 9; with only 2 small substitute word changes.

Now it’s on the way to the House.

Its next public hearing at the House Education Committee is Thursday, March 16 at 8 a.m.

We continue to encourage you and any others you may know to show your support as the bill moves to the House.

If you haven’t already done so, please visit this link.

You’ll see the box Comment on this Bill to the right of the box labeled Bill Status at a Glance.

It’s very easy to indicate your support and only takes a very few minutes.

We’ll keep you updated on the bill’s progress. So far, so good! In the meantime, please feel free to contact us.

Bill Update, News

AME goes to Olympia to support SB5449

Here’s several photos from our recent trip to Olympia, WA in support of Senate Bill 5449.

Bill Update, News

Update: Digital citizenship/media literacy Senate Bill 5449

The first public hearing for Senate Bill 5449 was held Monday, February 13 at 1:30 p.m. at the Cherberg Building in Olympia, WA. The proposed bill included three of the five recommendations made in the OSPI legislative report.

View the powerful statements made in support of the bill, discussed starting around 52:08 in the video below.

Additionally, today the bill is scheduled for executive session in the Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education at 1:30 p.m. Stand by to hear more about how this hearing will go, or watch it live here.

Please consider showing your show support for bill SB 5449, especially in a time when media literacy education is more important than ever. To do so, visit this linkAt the top of the page on the right are the words “Comment on this bill” OR “Get Email Notification” OR “RSS Notifications.” Please consider following the bill updates, or leave a comment to provide feedback.

Bill Update, News

NAMLE spotlights NW Center for Media Literacy and Action for Media Education ground-breaking literacy bill

Recently the National Association for Media Literacy (NAMLE) sat down with AME’s own Marilyn Cohen, focusing on her work as Director of the Northwest Center for Excellence in Media Literacy based in the College of Education at the University of Washington.

While their conversation covered the many facets of the NW Center, it also focused on Action for Media Education’s amazing work in its 25 years, and triumph earlier in 2016 as it successfully lobbied for media literacy legislation.

The article states:

As Washington becomes the first state to pass this ground-breaking legislation, Marilyn and her AME colleagues look forward to helping and supporting others in the media literacy community across the U.S. in their quest to pass similar legislation in their respective states.

Read more in the NAMLE August bulletin.

Bill Update, News

Washington Becomes First State to Pass Media Literacy Education Law in 2016

We’re pleased to announce that Media Literacy is law in Washington State! Yesterday at 3:30pm, Governor Jay Inslee signed Substitute Senate Bill No. 6273 into law!

Washington passed the first bill in the country to address media literacy, digital citizenship and internet safety education in its schools! The bill represented a major milestone for media literacy education!

This bill has made us the first state in the country to pass media literacy legislation and has made Washington the model state.

The bill requires that all stakeholders “engage in an ongoing discussion on safe technology use, internet use, digital citizenship, and media literacy as part of implementing the state’s basic education goal” and requires that the government “must convene and consult with an advisory committee when developing best practices and recommendations for instruction in digital citizenship, internet safety, and media literacy.”

The bill was first proposed late last year by Action for Media Education to State Senator Marko Liias, who sponsored the bill. The bill was then written by AME board members in consultation with Liias’ staff.

Those involved in helping form the bill were AME directors Marilyn Cohen and Barbara Johnson, AME president Claire Beach, media literacy educators Nick Pernisco, Michael Danielson, Ethan Delavan,and Lilia Cabello Drain, and media literacy activists Linda Kennedy Franklin, Lynn Ziegler, Cheryl Hidalgo, John Engerman, and Dalia Mendoza.

Thank you to all who have contributed so much time and energy to this effort!

Olympia Bill Signing 3-29-16 (1)
Members of AME with Senator Liias and Governor Jay Inslee at the signing of Bill 6273.

Bill Update, News

New Washington State media literacy law plays key role in national movement

Crossposted from Media Literacy Now.

State Will Lead in Educational Best Practices & Research

Washington State’s new, progressive media literacy law provides leadership for a growing number of states advocating for digital citizenship and media literacy education. Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is now empowered to develop best practices and recommendations for teaching literacy that encompasses both new media and new technologies.

Continue reading “New Washington State media literacy law plays key role in national movement”

Bill Update, News

We did it! Final passage of Washington state bill, just one more step before it becomes law

Crossposted from Media Literacy Now.


The Washington state Senate concurred with the House-passed media literacy bill by a vote of 47-0 last week. We are very pleased with the outcome of the legislative process in Washington, which has been a positive and collaborative effort among policymakers, educators and advocates.

Media Literacy Now has been working with Action for Media Education president Claire Beach for several years on policy strategies, and we are delighted to have helped Beach and her team to see this process through.

There is, however, one more hurdle. The bill requires the governor’s signature to become law. Currently, due to budgetary battles, the governor is holding off on signing bills and has vetoed some that have a financial impact. We expect that the bill will ultimately go into effect.

Read more at Media Literacy Now

Bill Update, News

Press Release: Digital citizenship/media literacy bill awaits Governor’s signature


4616 25th Ave NE,
#310, Seattle, WA 98105

March 11, 2016

Linda Kennedy 206-799-4321
Lynn Ziegler 360-930-3044/ 360-204-8674

Digital Citizenship/Media Literacy Bill Awaits Governor’s Signature

The Digital Citizenship /Media Literacy bill address the growing public concern regarding the way our children use media screens and what the screens teach children about the world.

Sponsored by Senator Marko Liias (D, Lynnwood), the bill establishes a process to ensure ongoing discussion and action at both the state and local school district levels. It stresses that our children must learn how to safely, ethically, responsibly, and effectively use technology.

“Our schools can and must play a leading role in teaching students to become safe, principled users of digital resources in an increasingly complex communications environment,” said Senator Liias.

Washington’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) will work with an advisory group to identify best instructional practices and develop a set of recommendations on digital citizenship, Internet safety, and media literacy. Beginning in 2017-18, school districts will be required to annually review their policies and procedures on electronic resources and Internet safety and to consider OSPI recommendations.

Seattle-based nonprofit Action for Media Education (AME) proposed the bill. AME’s mission throughout its 25 year history has been to foster and promote digital and media literacy for children and the citizenry at large. AME president, Claire Beach, says the need for this bill has never been greater. According to a recent study, teenagers use an average of nine hours of entertainment media per day and tweens (ages 8-12) use an average of six hours a day, not including time spent using media for school or homework. (Common Sense Media, 2015). Many of our children spend more time in front of screens than with any other activity besides, perhaps, sleeping.

“In this 21st century, our definition of literacy must be expanded to include digital and media literacy education,” said Marilyn Cohen, Director of the NW Center for Excellence in Media Literacy at the University of Washington.

Though digital communications have had many positive influences on the world, parents and educators have expressed concerns. Cyberbullying and sub-tweeting, for example, occur at alarming rates and can have devastating results. Media can create false realities. Children do not have the years or the sophistication to understand and process all the material exposed to them. Digital and media literacy are essential 21st century skills which help students navigate the world. Media literacy teaches them to recognize stereotypes and bias; it teaches them to look for what is left out of the message; and to ethically and responsibly use the tools given to them.

Stay tuned…

View the official AME press release.

Bill Update, News

Washington State bill clears another major hurdle

Crossposted from Media Literacy Now.

On Tuesday, the Washington state House of Representatives approved by a vote of 94 to 3 the media literacy bill being shepherded through the legislative process by Action for Media Education in partnership with Media Literacy Now.

Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos (D), chair of the House Education Committee, said to her colleagues on the House floor, “Recognizing that this is a new age, our children are using [media] in a way that we never before could have imagined. It is about time our policies evolved to meet this new reality that our students engage every day.”

The ranking minority member of the House Education Committee, Rep. Chad Magendanz (R) said, “There’s a whole bunch of dangers out there in social media and kids learning by the school of hard knocks. There’s not adequate support from teachers, because we adults know even less. This bill is a great step forward to ensure we have good professional development in place to train teachers, so that we can follow thru with the next step, which is to have informed teachers train kids about how to behave responsibly online.”

The House-passed bill must now be reconciled with the Senate-passed bill before the legislation can go to the governor’s desk.

For more information, see Washington state legislative page.