Our Team of People
Who’s Talking About Us

Media Literacy Now is the leading national advocacy organization for media literacy education policy.

Media Literacy Now is changing the way people think about media and literacy through building public awareness and influencing policy.

MLN empowers grassroots groups of parents and concerned individuals in their push to bring classroom curriculum to local schools.

MLN provides policy and advocacy information, expertise, and resources to develop state laws, policies, and educational standards,.

The mission of Media Literacy Now is to drive policy change in every state and at the national level to ensure all K-12 students receive comprehensive media literacy education and skills, now and in the future.

We believe media literacy education is essential to the health and well-being of young people, and all of us. We are spreading the word that media literacy works, and that groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills are advocating on the issue. We share ideas and resources, encourage awareness and advocacy, and share best practices for activism from each state, to build a movement of people calling for change in the education systems across the United States. We use the vehicle of legislation to raise awareness, ignite passion, and generate action.

Our founder was instrumental in the introduction of media literacy legislation in Massachusetts in March 2011.  Policymakers in Massachusetts at all levels from the school districts to the State House are now talking about media literacy education.

To build on the momentum, Media Literacy Now was formed to spark policy action in other states. The strategy was successful when our partners in Washington state were able to bring a comprehensive bill to passage in 2016. The Washington state legislation became the basis for our model bill, a version of which has now become law in Connecticut and Rhode Island.  The common sense Washington bill – which would make media literacy a priority in our education system and empower professional educators to develop the best means to integrate media literacy within the current curriculum – has gained interest in many other states. Washington is leading the way with additional funding for research, curriculum dissemination, and professional development.

State Chapter Leaders

Mark Bordine
Mark BordineArizona chapter leader
Brooklyn Levine, PhD
Brooklyn Levine, PhD California chapter leader
Lisa Levine
Lisa Levine California chapter leader
Qur-an Webb
Qur-an WebbConnecticut chapter leader
Alicia Haywood
Alicia HaywoodIllinois chapter leader
Alan Berry
Alan Berry Maine chapter leader
Tamara Sobel
Tamara SobelMassachusetts chapter leader
Julie Smith
Julie SmithMissouri chapter leader
Pamela Pereyra
Pamela PereyraNew Mexico chapter leader
Jaclyn Kahn Siegel
Jaclyn Kahn SiegelNew York chapter leader
Jimmeka Anderson
Jimmeka AndersonNorth Carolina chapter leader
Pam Steager
Pam SteagerRhode Island chapter leader
Frank Baker
Frank BakerSouth Carolina chapter leader
Jamila McCoy
Jamila McCoyTennessee chapter leader
Jerone Roy
Jerone Roy Texas chapter leader

Board of Directors

Erin McNeillPresident, Founder
Erin is the founder of Media Literacy Now.
The story of my media literacy journey is here.
Mary Ann StewartDirector, Secretary
Parent representative to Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Andy Zucker, Ed. D.Director, Treasurer
Teacher, education research, program evaluation, and curriculum development (retired)
Claire BeachDirector
Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship Advocate and Educator
Anderson J. DuffDirector
Attorney, Revision Legal PLLC, New York
Juma InnissDirector
Hip hop artist, educator, entrepreneur
Douglas Lare, Ph.D.Director
Professor of Professional and Secondary Education
East Stroudsburg University
Katherine WalshDirector
Brand and Communications Professional & Expert

National Advisory Council

Members of the council provide advice to the organization in their areas of expertise, and extend our networking reach.

David Bickham
David BickhamResearch scientist at the Center on Media and Child Health at Boston Children’s Hospital and an instructor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School
Elizabeth Englander, Ph.D.
Elizabeth Englander, Ph.D.Director, Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center at Bridgewater State University
Rebecca Hains, Ph.D.
Rebecca Hains, Ph.D.Associate Professor at Salem State University
Renee Hobbs, Ed.D.
Renee Hobbs, Ed.D.Founder of the Media Education Lab
Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D.
Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D. Media literacy educator, author, activist
Lynette Owens
Lynette OwensFounder and Global Director of Trend Micro’s Internet Safety for Kids and Families program
Sharon Maxwell, Ph.D.
Sharon Maxwell, Ph.D.Clinical psychologist and author
Paul Mihailidis, Ph.D.
Paul Mihailidis, Ph.D.Assistant Professor at Emerson College
LaTierra Shauntel Piphus
LaTierra Shauntel Piphus Founder of rEVOLushunaryAx
Joni Siani
Joni SianiFilmmaker, author, radio personality, professor of psychology and communications

Media Literacy Now In the News

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Commentary: The Overlooked Front in the War on Misinformation: Science Class

education week“Science—with its accepted methods for verifying new claims and building common knowledge—provides an ideal domain for honing skills needed to be a critical consumer of information.”  By Andy Zucker, MLN Board

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National Science Teaching Association journal

NSTA Logo

Science Media Literacy special edition of National Science Teaching Association journal “The Science Teacher” featuring “Teaching Students to Resist Scientific Misinformation” by MLN Board member Andy Zucker.  Jan. 2020

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SC Lawmaker Wants to Expand Media Literacy Teaching

A South Carolina lawmaker wants education officials to develop plans to teach students to be more critical of what they read and post online. The bill would expand on current state curriculum on social studies, English and college readiness that teach media literacy, said state Rep. Seth Rose, a Democrat from Columbia.

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‘Media Literacy Is Literacy’: Here’s How Educators and Lawmakers Are Working to Set Students Up for Success Online


Education publication highlights MLN work in Colorado and nationally.
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Efforts grow to help students evaluate what they see online

“Lawmakers in several states have introduced or passed bills calling on public school systems to do more to teach media literacy skills that they say are critical to democracy. The effort has been bipartisan but has received little attention despite successful legislation in Washington state, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Mexico.

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National Press Club talks media literacy with MLN

On this episode of National Press Club podcast Update-1, Erin McNeill and Broadcast/Podcast Committee member Irv Chapman discuss her organization’s effort to make media literacy a part of K-12 curricula across the country to provide students with the skills necessary to tell the difference between fact and fiction.

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Facebook Pushes Digital Literacy With New Lesson Library for Teachers

Facebook digital literacy lessons: “McNeill encourages teachers to approach the resources with a critical eye. Educators can adopt parts that would work well in their classrooms, while still asking: Who made this and why, and what’s being left out? “It’s media,” said McNeill. “We can use our media literacy skills to evaluate it.”

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Washington law is now a model for a dozen other states

“Recognizing bias in news stories is one form of media literacy. Spotting when the news is totally fabricated is something else entirely. How can teachers help students tell fact from media fiction? Educators and media literacy advocates in Washington state are working together with legislators to address the problem.

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Media literacy teaches students to tell fact from fiction online

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Can Americans Become Media Literate

KALW logoErin McNeill of MLN, Lynn Walsh of Trusting News, and Neil Brown of Poynter, discuss media literacy and journalism with Renee Kemp on the KALW’s Your Call.

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Apple says it has 'always looked out for kids' after criticism

Erin McNeill, president of Media Literacy Now, said the letter “contains good suggestions” but parents need to address the negative effects of media use by children. “This is an all-hands-on-deck issue. This affects all of us. … Communications and tech companies do need to step up and take responsibility.”

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After Comet Ping Pong and Pizzagate, teachers tackle fake news

The Washington PostMLN founder Erin McNeill “argues that schools are not doing enough to prepare young adults for a digital information age that has spurred a cottage industry for fake news creators and has created a fertile space on social media for them to flourish.”

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Consider the Source

Mary Robb estimates about half the students at Andover High will take the Media Literacy and Democracy class before graduation. A bill is expected to be introduced in the Massachusetts legislature in January that would set up a guidelines for teaching media literacy in public schools statewide.

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Commentary: Digital Citizenship Matters for All Ages

education weekYoung people urgently need guidance on thoughtful, ethical, and responsible digital-media use. For the most part, we as a society are not providing educators—who are feeling the fallout from new media—with the resources and the support to take up the challenge. What’s needed is policy change to ensure that the resources are there.

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Op-Ed: Children learn to bully by watching TV as toddlers

Providence Journal logoErin McNeill and Renee Hobbs: “Policymakers in Rhode Island, and throughout the country, are joining a movement to elevate media literacy as a priority in schools, starting in kindergarten, where messages about bullying are already taking hold. Let’s see if we can create a culture where critical thinking about media is natural, just something you learn to do. Every child deserves a media literacy education.

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Teachable moments for future voters

HuffPost ParentsComedian John Oliver talks about media literacy in this video (at 9:55). At the end he issues a call to support non-profit organizations whose work is timely and critical. Here are two he missed: The National Association For Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) and Media Literacy Now. Both are headed by passionate leaders who work tirelessly advocating for lessons that teach students to be excellent media consumers and producers. Please help support their work.
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Corporate advertisers are hijacking girl power to sell products

The WeekThe Week asks: Why not use commercials as agents for positive social change? “Let’s call out the companies that are trying to make good choices when it comes to the content of their ad, and ask more from those who fall short.” Media Literacy Now founder Erin McNeill interviewed.

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Op-Ed: Gender bias in the toy aisle

metrowestdailynews_logoIf the United States needs a workforce skilled in science, technology, engineering and math – “STEM” – to compete globally, then Target’s decision to remove gender markers for toys is a significant move in support of the U.S. economy, and a giant step forward in helping to expose girls early on to STEM fields.

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Judging a Movie by its Trailer

Harvard biz“While promotional material for Catching Fire highlighted the central role of Katniss Everdeen in the series and leveraged the popularity of actress Jennifer Lawrence, Frozen was marketed with gender-neutral methods that de-emphasized its princess protagonists.” Comparing the marketing of these two highly successful, female-led movies, Harvard Political Review interviews Media Literacy Now founder Erin McNeill.

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Letter: Kids’ TV advocate saw ahead to challenges of online media

globeErin McNeill: “Increasingly, marketers are concocting ways to circumvent the principles set forth by the 1990 law. Media literacy education provides young media consumers with the means to resist manipulative messages and challenge the consumerism, as well as the gratuitous violence, sexualization, and stereotypes, perpetuated in the media today.”

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Media literacy has to be an essential skill for today’s students

globeErin McNeill: “Many schools are already teaching media literacy skills around a wide range of media messages — not just in news, but in video games, Instagram posts by friends and celebrities, YouTube videos, memes, and other sources. Many states are considering policies to ensure that students are getting the 21st-century literacy skills they need to participate in a global media environment.”

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Magazine: The problem with separate toys for girls and boys

globeRebecca Hains’ article on: “What started our obsession with assigning gender to playthings, and how can parents combat it?” quotes Erin McNeill, MLN president, on the need for media literacy education to help children recognize how and why gendered ads target them.
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