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Media Literacy Education in a Global Society: What We’re Learning and What We Still Need to Know

ESPM/Columbia Journalism School International Seminar on Journalism in São Paulo, Brazil

September 22, 2022


Media Literacy Education in a Global Society:

What We’re Learning and What We Still Need to Know

Renee Hobbs


Media literacy education has greatly increased in visibility as increasing political polarization continues to threaten democratic societies. Around the world, tech companies invest in media literacy education, hoping that it will stave off regulation of their digital platforms. Journalists and politicians hope media literacy education will increase the public’s appetite for quality journalism to improve civic education. Parents expect that media literacy will help protect their children against the harms and risks of growing up with social media. And educators at all levels are beginning to recognize that the 4 C’s of media literacy (critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication skills) are increasingly central to an emerging conceptualization of a “new liberal arts” education.  Which of these themes and areas of emphasis are privileged as media literacy education is implemented around the world? What are the most urgent needs still to be addressed? How can the many stakeholders for media literacy better coordinate their efforts to accelerate implementation?  


About the Presenter


Renee Hobbs is one of the world’s leading authorities on digital and media literacy education. As a teacher, researcher, activist, and media professional, she has offered programs for educators on four continents and produced some of the leading empirical research on the subject. She has published more than 150 scholarly and professional publications on digital and media literacy education, digital learning, contemporary propaganda, and copyright and fair use. Renee Hobbs is the author of 12 books on media literacy education. With Paul Mihailidis, she is the editor of The International Encyclopedia on Media Literacy (2019, Wiley and the International Communication Association). She is also the founding co-editor of the Journal of Media Literacy Education, the peer-reviewed, open access journal of the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE).


Renee Hobbs is the Founder of the Media Education Lab, an online community that reaches 20,000 users from 66 countries. At the University of Rhode Island, Hobbs serves as the Co-Director of the Graduate Certificate in Digital Literacy, a professional development program for educators that was officially recognized in the U.S. Office of Education’s National Education Technology Plan (2015). She won the 2021 PROSE Award for Excellence in Social Sciences for Mind Over Media: Propaganda Education in Digital Age from the American Association of Publishers. Hobbs has spoken at the United Nations and consulted extensively with educators, school leaders, and government officials in Belgium, Brazil, China, Croatia, Greece, Lebanon, Netherlands, and many other countries.


Renee Hobbs is a professor of communication studies at the University of Rhode Island’s Harrington School of Communication and Media. She received an M.A. (Communication) and B.A (English Literature; Film/Video Studies) from the University of Michigan and an Ed.D. (Human Development) from Harvard Graduate School of Education.