Our History

Media Literacy Now was founded by our president, Erin McNeill, in 2013. As a parent of two boys, now young men, she had a lot of questions about the cartoons and commercials her children were watching and the kinds of messages they were sending to her sons.

She started a blog, Marketing, Media, & Childhood, exploring her questions about media and its profound role in children’s lives, and it provided her with an opportunity to connect with people across the country who were also asking important questions about media’s influence on children. Erin spoke with teachers, librarians, nurses, advocacy groups, researchers, and other concerned parents and discovered that lack of media literacy was a problem that many people were concerned about, even if they weren’t familiar with the term.

In 2011, Erin worked with then-State Senator Katherine Clark of Massachusetts to introduce a bill that called for Department of Elementary and Secondary Education support to provide media literacy standards, resources, and training for K-12 teachers. During this process, she learned that people around the country were interested in doing the same, but unsure where to begin, which is what prompted her to launch Media Literacy Now, a national organization, to help passionate advocates in every state get a running start by sharing the experience and tools developed in Massachusetts.

Nearly ten years later, Media Literacy Now continues to leverage the passion and resources of the media literacy community and advocates around the country to address the urgent need for media literacy education.

Media Literacy is literacy in the 21st century. – Erin McNeill