Assessing the state of media literacy policy in U.S. K-12 schools

Daniela Kruel DiGiacomo, Erica Hodgin, Joseph Kahne, Samia Alkam, Caitlin Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Warning signs for the health of the American democracy abound. These challenges have multiple manifestations and multiple roots, but media and the Internet, more broadly, are implicated in prominent ways. Schools, the institutions charged with educating current and future generations, have a role to play in supporting the preparation of an informed citizenry. This study examines the extent to which state level legislation supports the provision of civically oriented media literacy education. To do so, we first identify several critically needed media literacy education dimensions and then examine how well existing legislation from all 50 states responds to these identified needs. Findings reveal that not only is there an overall dearth of K-12 media literacy policy, but definitions and corresponding resources remain sparse and varied. For schools to fulfill their role of providing young people with the knowledge, skills, and commitments to participate and promote a vibrant and informed democracy, this study concludes that more must be done to support media literacy education within state level policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-352
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Children and Media
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Information literacy
  • K-12 education
  • democracy
  • media literacy
  • state policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication


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