Media Literacy Week Calls on Canadians to Explore Gender Representation in Media and its Influence on Young People

November 01, 2010
Ottawa – Media Awareness Network (MNet) and the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) marked the launch of Canada’s Media Literacy Week today by highlighting the need for parents, educators and youth to talk about the ways that gender is portrayed in media and how this can influence young people’s perceptions of themselves and others.

“Teachers see first-hand how media and information technology influence the manner in which students interact with each other and how they view the world around them. Media Literacy Week is an opportunity for teachers to discuss with and engage young people so they can become literate in the understanding of visual images and media messages,” says CTF President Mary-Lou Donnelly.

Media Literacy Week has been promoting the integration of media literacy activities in communities, schools and families across Canada for the past five years. The week underscores the importance of nurturing critical thinking skills in youth that will help them understand and effectively navigate their media-rich world.

“Media play a powerful role in the lives of youth,” said MNet Co-Executive Director, Cathy Wing. “We need to make sure young people have the skills and knowledge to ensure that their interactions with media are positive and enriching. Media Literacy Week reminds us how important these skills are for our kids.”

Over 40 organizations are collaborating in the week this year, promoting media and digital literacy and hosting a wide range of activities – from film screenings and contests, to discussion panels and workshops – to provide opportunities for adults and youth to think about and discuss media.

In recognition of this year’s theme – Gender and Media – Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax is hosting Breaking the Mold, Breaking the Silence, a national body image conference held November 4 and 5. For information on other events happening across the country, visit the Media Literacy Week Web site.

Media Literacy Week 2010 would not be possible without the generous support of Gold Sponsor YouTube, and Silver Sponsor, Bell, in addition to numerous provincial teacher associations and companies who believe in the importance of media and digital literacy.

-30-

Media Awareness Network (MNet) is a Canadian not-for-profit centre of expertise in media and digital literacy. MNet's programs are funded by its public and private sector sponsors and partners, who include: CTV • Canwest • TELUS • Canadian Internet Registration Authority • National Film Board of Canada • BELL.

Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) represents nearly 200,000 teachers as their national voice on education and related social issues. CTF would like to thank the following CTF Member organizations who believe in the importance of media and digital literacy:

Contacts:  Ann Marie Paquet, Communications Officer, MNet, 613-224-7721, ext. 231,
apaquet@media-awareness.ca

Francine Filion, Director of Communications, CTF, 613-688-4314, ffili@ctf-fce.ca