Just fresh from a conversation with the amazing Amy Jussel, my head is spinning with ideas. The feeling reminds me of my graduate student days when I’d reel from the thrill rush of being around smart people who are good at exploring and rapidly juxtaposing ideas to examine the connections between them. Amy is the founder of Shaping Youth, one of the best blogs out there about the media and marketing’s influence on kids.

As I explain in my new book, Digital and Media Literacy: Connecting Culture and Classroom, Amy offers us a moral compass by celebrating media that honors children and respects families while simultaneously offering her powerful critique of all manner of problematic media content, marketing gamesmanship and those PR spin games that take advantage of children or exploit young people. She has written about the sexploitation of children to sell swimsuits, Rhianna’s revenge fantasy videos, and Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood’s campaign against sponsored curriculum materials created by the American Coal Foundation.

Amy asked me to give a blow-by-blow commentary on the highlights of the NAMLE conference, and of course, I enjoyed re-reading the program again to talk about the many amazing topics and programs that were featured at the conference. One of the best features of the conference is the confluence of classroom teachers, educational practitioners, scholars, media professionals and young people – the conference features people who are implementing and putting ideas into action, not just pontificating. Because she embodies this ideal as an activist herself, I’m going to try to make sure that Amy Jussel comes to the 2013 National Media Literacy Education Conference in Los Angeles to share her special brand of advocacy and independent voice on behalf of children and young people.

Talking with her on the phone, I can’t help but think about how inspiring she would be on the college circuit, offering her insight on marketing and kids and media and technology to undergraduates in a Jean-Kilbourne-like program. But she says she’s a writer/producer more than a performer. When you read the blog, it’s evident that she’s a natural researcher, too. Amy doesn’t do ANYTHING in a one-over lightly fashion, which is why she has such a vast audience and influence as a blogger. Her posts are rich with information and ideas and connections and her clever writing, compelling prose and amazing hyperlinks all make for great online reading!

2 thoughts on “Amy Jussel is Amazing

  1. Great post and fabulous way to learn about the amazing Amy Jussel and your work! Thank you! As mom to 3 little girls and founder of the grassroots movement “I Believe She’s Amazing” a celebration of amazing women around the world – I whole-heartedly agree that “problematic media content” needs to be more strongly scrutinized. It takes constant to work to try to both shield and discuss disturbing media with our children – and it is EVERYWHERE. I commend your efforts and thank you! Warm regards, Kim, founder the grassroots movement http://www.IBelieveShesAmazing.com

  2. And Renee, I realize I’ve been reticent to ‘comment’ on this post as I’m still ‘amazed’ by the accolades coming from a media literacy rock star like you…Humble pie.

    Eager to post about your new book Digital & Media Literacy Connecting Culture and the Classroom on http://www.ShapingYouth.org as I love the teaching tools and examples you’ve included and have been deploying them myself to be able to add ‘first hand feedback’ in my post…(also have your quotes/content from our phone chat w/your global deconstruction of NAMLE which will probably be apropos for NEXT season’s academic session with the lag length of time in my digital deluge, le sigh)

    Meanwhile, being that it’s October, awareness month about deconstructing media literacy messages around domestic violence/DV, abusive relationships, etc, I thought I’d ask if you’ve seen the new docu film The Bro Code from Media Education Foundation? I wrote a new piece to ‘connect the dots’ about objectification/violence/gender as it’s a timely topic in this ‘wear purple’ month of awareness raising on bullying/aggression/abuse.

    It’s called “Media, Masculinity & Misogynistic Misfires” >>>>http://www.shapingyouth.org/?p=16790 about the ‘permissions’ we’re seeing in media messaging landing on males sideways, and the impact it’s having on teen girls and young women in terms of unfair ‘social norming’ and stereotypes of predator/prey, unhealthy for both genders.

    Disturbingly surreal…Lemme know what you think…
    p.s. I’ve been working on the ‘TEDx for media literacy’ concept we chatted about…have some ideas I want to share to deploy our M-power hands-on games, getting closer to ‘how to scale it’ đŸ˜‰ Stay tuned…

    Thanks again for the kudos, you refueled my ‘passionista’ meter to keep on keepin on!

    Amy Jussel

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