Dear Friends, Thank You for Your Support
Over the past year, we’ve been reminded again and again just how important it is to slow down and think critically about the kinds of information we get from media. We’ve also been reminded how important it is for media education to move beyond narrow questions of “media literacy” in order to take on the fundamental relationship between media control, media systems, and power.
That’s why we’ve been honored over the years to collaborate with some of the nation’s leading progressive media scholars, cultural critics, and activists. Their insights into the political economy of media and the ideological dimensions of dominant media narratives have helped us make sense of the most urgent social issues and cultural debates of our time – including some of the biggest stories of 2018.
A number of recent MEF collaborations have proven to be especially timely.
The Great White Hoax, with acclaimed anti-racist educator and author Tim Wise, speaks directly to the racial fears and resentments that continue to roil the American political landscape. Digital Disconnect, with renowned media scholar Robert McChesney, clarifies current debates about fake news, filter bubbles, and the anti-democratic surveillance practices of internet monopolies like Facebook and Google. Advertising at the Edge of the Apocalypse, with MEF Executive Director Sut Jhally, argues that we’re not likely to avert the accelerating threats posed by climate change without first confronting the logic of consumer capitalism and the cultural power of the advertising industry. And in our most recent release, The Bystander Moment, pioneering anti-violence educator and author Jackson Katz weighs in on the epidemic of sexual harassment and abuse exposed by the #MeToo movement, showing how normative ideas about manhood have fed a culture of silence in the face of men’s sexual violence.
A number of other MEF titles have also resonated over the past year, including Constructing the Terrorist Threat, Deepa Kumar’s fact-based analysis of how US news media have cultivated irrational fears of Islamic terror while downplaying the statistically greater threat posed by home-grown right-wing extremist groups; Blood & Oil, energy expert Michael Klare’s dissection of the longstanding US-Saudi alliance that’s come under fire over the past couple of months; The Purity Myth, Jessica Valenti’s devastating investigation of ongoing right-wing attempts to roll back women’s reproductive rights; Tough Guise 2, which includes a sustained look at why men commit the overwhelming majority of mass shootings; and Not Just a Game, Dave Zirin’s riveting look at the cultural politics of sports and the long line of activist-athletes who paved the way for the likes of Colin Kaepernick.
Once again, we’ve only been able to produce videos like these because educators and community leaders like you believe in the need for media education that doesn’t shy away from tough contemporary issues. Your continued support will be absolutely vital to us over the coming year as we work on similarly provocative titles about the social, cultural, and political impact of American mass media. We can’t thank you enough for making our work possible.
In solidarity, and with the deepest of gratitude, we wish you the happiest new year!
The MEF Team