The Cronkite School building.

Cronkite School, Arizona PBS to celebrate Media Literacy Week with events, programs, outreach

Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021


The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Arizona PBS will join colleges and universities across the country to celebrate U.S. Media Literacy Week beginning Oct. 25.

Media Literacy Week is an annual event sponsored by the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) to promote understanding on how to critically evaluate information. The Cronkite School and Arizona PBS will host a range of events including programming, PBS education outreach and a panel discussion with international journalists to understand media literacy from a global perspective. The lineup will also include a conversation with Amanda Knox, who was wrongly convicted of murder and who will talk about how her personal life became a news story. 

“The health of our communities depends largely on the quality of information they receive and share, so media literacy —that is, applying critical thinking to media, and using media to create their own messages — helps ensure that our economic, civic and personal decision-making is rooted in accuracy, trust and transparency,” said Jessica Pucci, senior associate dean of the Cronkite School. 

The celebration also complements the launch of the Cronkite School’s new online bachelor’s degree in digital media literacy. It is the first four-year undergraduate program in the country for media literacy, and its curriculum includes courses on misinformation, freedom of expression, media research and content creation.

Kristy Roschke, managing director of the News/Co Lab, who also serves on NAMLE’s board, helped create the events for the week.  

“The Cronkite School has made it a priority to educate students about media literacy and misinformation. The News Co/Lab has been working with key stakeholders on this issue since 2017 and we are really excited to get the whole school involved in the programming for this week,” Roschke said. “The events we have planned explore various facets of media literacy, including representation, education and the importance of having access to credible health information.” 

Here is the lineup of events:


When YOU are the story: A conversation with Amanda Knox and Michelle Ciulla Lipkin

Both Amanda Knox and Michelle Ciulla Lipkin know all too well what happens when your personal life becomes a news story.

Knox, an American author and journalist, was wrongfully convicted in the murder of her roommate in Italy in 2009. Lipkin, executive director of NAMLE, lost her father in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. 

Knox and Lipkin will give their insights on how media narratives are shaped and why it’s important for both news and entertainment media to remember that they are writing about the lives of real people. 

When: Oct. 25, 4 to 5 p.m. Phoenix Time

Where: Zoom. Register here

Arizona Horizon

Kristy Roschke will join Ted Simons on Arizona PBS’ nightly public affairs program to talk about the importance of media literacy and why the Cronkite School is invested in it.

When: Oct 25, 5 to 6 p.m. Phoenix Time



Mediactive Conversations: Tackling Health Misinformation

Join the Cronkite School’s News Co/Lab and its guests from Arizona State University’s disinformation working group in an hour-long conversation and Q&A about the misinformation crisis and what we can do about it. The Zoom event, which invites audience participation, features Jamie Winterton, director of strategy for the university’s Global Security Initiative; Anna Muldoon, co-author of “Covid-19 Conspiracy Theories” and a research professional at the ASU Biodesign Institute; and News Co/Lab co-founder Dan Gillmor, who teaches media literacy at the Cronkite School.

When: Tues, Oct 26, 9 to 10 a.m. Phoenix Time 

Where: Zoom. Register here.

Everyone is invited to participate in Mediactive, a free, self-paced course that is designed to help the public better understand and participate in today’s information environment. It offers a series of live webinars with experts in journalism and media, public health and technology. It is offered both in English and Spanish, and takes about six hours to complete.


Programming Day

Check out Cronkite News’ website and YouTube channel for media literacy “explainer” videos throughout the week on topics such as fake news, misinformation spread, and how algorithms and echo chambers work. More information will be provided on the following Cronkite News’ social media platforms: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


Global Day

The Humphrey Fellows, media professionals from around the world who are hosted by the Cronkite School during their 10-month program, will lead a conversation on the meaning of media literacy in countries across the globe. Students can send their questions to Dawn Gilpin, assistant dean for research, at or Juan Mundel, director of Global Initiatives and associate professor, at The conversation will be recorded and available here. Also, more information will be posted on the Humphrey Fellows’ Instagram page throughout the week.


Family & Educator Media Literacy Day

Arizona PBS is providing at-home learning resources for students of all ages to learn more about media literacy, as well as an email newsletter dedicated to media literacy topics. PBS LearningMedia (free for parents and educators) has a news and media literacy collection that includes videos, blogs, lessons and tip sheets for more information on fact-checking and navigating media misinformation.

By Tirzah Christopher