The week, which runs from November 19 to 24, 2006, encourages the
integration and the practice of media education in Canadian homes, schools and
communities. A new multi-media public service campaign to promote media
literacy will ask viewers, listeners and readers to consider what messages and
meaning they take out of media.

National Media Education Week ( features
awareness building activities taking place across the country – all in a
festive atmosphere, recognizing the enjoyment with which kids interact with
media. Throughout, the spotlight will be put on media education as a
forward-thinking strategy to help young people develop the critical thinking
skills necessary to understand the abundance of media messages they face

“Cumulatively and unconsciously, the media messages kids absorb help to
shape their perceptions of what they think is normal and important, cool and
fun, or scary and unappealing,” said Michelle Scarborough, MNet Executive
Director. “The ability to apply critical thinking skills to media by asking
the right questions to deconstruct media messages is at the heart of media
education,” she added.
“Our partnership to create National Media Education Week is a direct
follow-up to our landmark 2003 survey entitled Kids’ Take on Media, which
emphasized the importance of media in the lives of Canadian children,” said
Winston Carter, CTF President. “This study pointed to the need for young
people to develop media literacy skills to more effectively navigate
communication, information, entertainment and marketing environments.”

In partnership with CHUM Television and Rethink Advertising, the national
sponsors for the week, Media Awareness Network and the Canadian Teachers’
Federation worked with the Association for Media Literacy and various
collaborating organizations to celebrate a week of media literacy events and
awareness activities across the country. Workshops, conferences, contests and
media festivals are being organized by various groups across the country in
recognition of media education.

“We are pleased to help support media educators’ work as they help young
people learn about the media,” said Sarah Crawford, CHUM Limited
Vice-President, Public Affairs. “CHUM has supported and promoted media
literacy for over 20 years and we’re proud to work with Media Awareness
Network and the Canadian Teachers’ Federation on this important initiative.”
A national campaign comprised of English and French television, radio,
print and Web public service announcements was developed to promote critical
thinking about media. Focusing on deconstructing media, the campaign urges
viewers, listeners and readers to consider what goes into media creation, and
what meaning and messages can be taken out. The campaign will be featured
prominently on Canadian television, radio, on the Web, and in major newspapers
across the country thanks to the generous contribution of CanWest MediaWorks,
CBC / Radio-Canada, CHUM Television, CTV, The Globe and Mail, Rogers Cable and

A new program entitled Media Education: Make It Happen! was also launched
in conjunction with a new Web site for the week. The program includes a
comprehensive workshop designed for teachers’ professional development, a
handy accompanying guide and a booklet, all designed to offer free resources
to help educators understand and facilitate media education in their
In celebration of National Media Education Week, Media Awareness Network
is also launching MyMedia – a national video podcast contest for youth.
Students are asked to create a 2-minute video podcast on the theme of media
representation, and challenged to consider how certain members of society are
represented, misrepresented or absent from media. A teacher’s toolkit was
developed to help with the integration of this contest into the classroom.