Online talk addresses youth media literacy

BELLOWS FALLS — The Rockingham Free Public Library presents Media Educator Ben Boyington, a contributor to The Media and Me: A Guide to Critical Media Literacy for Young People on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 1 p.m.

During the recent presidential election, media literacy became a phrase that signified the threat media manipulation posed to democratic processes, states a news release. Meanwhile, statistical research has shown that 8- to 18-year-olds pack more than 11 hours with some form of media into each day by “media multitasking.”

“We live much of our lives immersed in media, and rather than simply complaining about it, we need to understand it,” Boyington said. “We need critical media literacy. How are we being used? Who is behind the screens? Who benefits from our attention? What messages are being burned into our brains? Critical media literacy is essential to exploring these questions and approaching the world–from news and politics to entertainment and social media.”

By covering topics like storytelling, building arguments and recognizing fallacies, surveillance and digital gatekeeping, advertising and consumerism, and global social problems through a critical media literacy lens, Boyington will explain how to grow from passive consumers of media to engaged critics and creators.

The Media and Me is a joint production of Project Censored and Triangle Square Books for Young Readers.

Boyington is an advocate for integrating critical media literacy into K-12 schools, a veteran high school teacher, and the father of two teenagers who are immersed in the worlds of video games, Discord, and Twitch, as well as anime and other visual storytelling. A member of the Media Freedom Foundation board, he designs and conducts teacher trainings with his partners at the nonprofit organization Mass Media Literacy.

In his daily life, he works with high school students on self-driven learning and builds student-centered programming at a rural high school. An avid media consumer with a particular interest in film and television, he says he also enjoys audiobooks, music, and podcasts but eschews video games “because they have too many buttons now.”

This program is free and open to the public. Copies of the book will be available for purchase through the Village Square Booksellers. For more information, contact the Library at 802-463-4270, [email protected], or go online to

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