John Pungente, SJ

From Telemedium, The Journal of Media Literacy

Vol 41, No 2. Published Fall 1995

1995 McCanse Award Honors Father John Pungente

Father John Pungente, pioneering Canadian media educator and world leader in the field of media literacy, will be honored with the 1995 Jessie McCanse Award for In­dividual Contribution to Media Literacy at the National Media Lit­eracy Conference in Boone, North Carolina. Following the unani­mous decision by National Telemedia Council's Board of Di­rectors at its Spring meeting, the presentation will be made by Mar­tin Rayala, President of NTC, at a reception on Friday, September 22, 1995.

"It is an honor to be chosen when there are so many I hold in high regard in this field," responded Father Pungente to the announce­ment. "To be in the same category as those I respect is the real award."

Pungente's contributions to the field of media literacy span nearly 30 years and cover the globe. His tireless efforts for media literacy mark him as a master teacher and leader. Father Pungente is based in Toronto, Canada where he is the Director of the Jesuit Commu­nication Project and an active leader of the Association for Media Literacy. This year, as well, he has been elected president of the Canadian Association of Media Education Organizations (CAMEO).

Pungente has co-authored and published many works including the now classic Canadian "Media Literacy - Resource Guide", "Meet the Media" and "La Segunda Primavera" in "La Revolucion De Los Medios Audiovisuales". Pungente is co-producer for SCAN­NING TELEVISION, a four-hour collection of clips from television for use in the classroom along with teaching notes. He has also consulted for the Media Awareness Network, Alliance for Children and Television, TV Ontario and International Catholic Organiza­tion for Cinema and Audiovisuals. A sought-after speaker, he main­tains a vigorous schedule of media literacy presentations includ­ing his keynote address at the National Media Literacy Conference in Boone on Sunday, September 24, 1995.

A native of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Father John Pungente, SJ en­tered the Society of Jesus in 1957. His Master's degree in English was received from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. He also has a Master's degree in film from San Francisco State University and a Master of Theology degree from St. Mary's Uni­versity in Halifax. In his broad-based career as an educator he has been a teacher of media, English and Religion. In 1983 he was cho­sen by the Jesuit leadership in Rome to conduct a two-year research project on media literacy around the world at the Centre for the Study of Communication and Culture in London, England.