“It’s clear from this survey that Americans are lacking key life skills they need to navigate an increasingly complex media environment,” said Erin McNeill, founder and president of Media Literacy Now. “Policy makers must take note and prioritize media literacy education for all students. It’s not just about solving political polarization. People need to understand media systems and have an opportunity to develop skills to analyze messages and think critically about the source and who benefits from messages shared so they can make decisions for themselves and their families, without undue influence and manipulation.”
While it’s encouraging that the majority of survey respondents (84%) said they supported required media literacy education in schools, media literacy remains under-taught in schools. We need to keep making progress on policy initiatives to introduce media literacy education into K-12 schools because it’s urgently needed.
These survey results can be used by media literacy advocates on the local and state levels to help make the case to policymakers that not only is media literacy education not happening in schools, but it’s something that has overwhelming support.
**Forty-three percent of our sample self-reported as female, 56 percent as male, and 1 percent as non-binary. Participants reported ages ranging from 19 to 81, with an average age of 41, and modal age of 31. Sixty-five percent of our participants had completed a bachelor’s degree or higher. All participants were located in the United States.
The survey was completed by 541 respondents. The complete set of questions for each survey is available upon request.