Welcome to the CML website!

At Site Launch, 2002...

Over the decades, CML has built a reputation for providing clear explanations and relevant connections about media and technology and their impact on our culture, our schools and ourselves, especially children and young people.

Now with the power of the Internet, we are able to put together in a new dynamic way the puzzle pieces of the burgeoning field of media literacy education. Our plan was to make it more accessible and useful to teachers, researchers, parents, and all who seek an overview or a better understanding of the field. In developing the site, we kept the following three goals in mind:

  1. To provide a consistent definition of media literacy based on the twin pillars of intellectual inquiry and creative self-expression plus a consistent approach to the field anchored in CML's philosophy of empowerment through education and now available through the CML MediaLit Kit"! – a conceptual framework that summarizes and articulates the core concepts, key questions and basic principles of media literacy education as a critical new vision of literacy for the 21st century.
  2. To focus on the interconnections between teaching techniques and the educational resources, background information and research needed for successful implementation of inquiry-based media literacy education in preK-12 classrooms as well as after school programs, youth groups and religious education. All are woven together in a handy way, designed primarily for U.S. practitioners.  
  3. To pass on the legacy of CML's three decades of pioneering work in the field of media literacy education, beginning with an archive of 300 articles from Media&Values magazine (1977 - 1993) plus writings and speeches of Elizabeth Thoman, founder of Media&Values and later, the Center for Media Literacy, as well as Tessa Jolls, President and CEO. A collection of historical documents, conference reports, and cornerstone articles shared by colleagues in the field help to provide a chronicle of the development of media literacy in the United States.

     We are deeply grateful to a host of supporters, collaborators, volunteers and professionals who make our work possible:

    • The CML Board of Directors has provided steadfast support, while philanthropist Norman Felton has been our angel through recent years.
    • CML's core staff – Sarah Bordac, Andrea Tompkins, Jeff Share and Ricardo Mayen along with volunteer Cathy Bellordre – have contributed not just their time but endless energy and enthusiasm.
    • Steve Lenzen and Diana Fujan of our print and Internet distribution partner, Great Plains National (GPN), have not only shared the vision, but committed the resources to make this site a reality. Skip McWilliams and Rick Vess at Teacher's Discovery, Inc. have also invested in the future of the field through their K-12 distribution and promotion.
    • And certainly, we are indebted to the Jolls family and to the Sisters of Humility of Mary of Davenport, Iowa for their unwavering support of each of us and of the vision of media literacy that we share.

    Although it is a true pleasure to see that the early promise of the field is beginning to be realized, at CML we believe that media literacy, as an educational process, is still in its early stages of development. We hope the resources we've gathered on this site will advance the field another giant step forward and we invite your comments, questions and feedback to help us expand and develop each section and the site as a whole.

    Yours truly,

    Elizabeth Thoman, CHM
    Tessa Jolls
    President and CEO