On May 23, 2023, the U.S. Surgeon General issued an advisory that calls for policymakers to support media literacy in schools, a significantly increased emphasis over a 2021 advisory.
Also this month, a key panel of the American Psychological Association strongly recommended adolescents have training in social media literacy before using social media, to give young people the best chance for a safe and positive experience.
These are the strongest statements yet in favor of media literacy education for young people from important national voices. “We are thrilled that the U.S. Surgeon General – the country’s leading public health advisor – has recognized that media literacy and digital wellness education are fundamental to addressing youth mental health, and especially that he has called on policymakers to take action,” said Erin McNeill, founder and president of Media Literacy Now. “The American Psychological Association emphasis on media literacy education first is a loud and clear message to families, educators, and policymakers at all levels. These recommendations can help move the needle on health and education policy. MLN will leverage these and other policy recommendations into action toward increasing access for educators and implementation for students.”