2018 | NTC's 65th Anniversary–The Year of Media Literacy

The National Telemedia Council names 2018 as “The Year of Media Literacy” 

in celebration of its 65th Anniversary.


We will honor 4 individuals of distinction with the Jessie McCanse Award, 

which has been deemed the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in the field of media literacy.

To honor NTC’s long history of working to create a media-wise, literate, global society, we are planning a yearlong celebration which recognizes the contributions of so many talented individuals and the much needed organizations that work hand in hand to raise the level of awareness and deepen the field of media literacy. 

NTC established the Jessie McCanse Award on the occasion of our founder’s 90th birthday in 1987. The award recognizes individuals whose longtime contribution to media literacy exemplifies her high principles and dedication. We will have individual celebrations throughout the year to recognize our 2018 Jessie McCanse recipients: Marilyn Cohen of Seattle, Washington, Henry Jenkins of Los Angeles, California, Bill Siemering of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Carolyn Wilson of Ontario, Canada.


See the brief bios below for more information on each of them. The exact dates and locations of these award celebrations will be announced as they are finalized.

The Journal of Media Literacy, NTC’s flagship publication will go online this year, launching in spring with the help of Ryan Goble, the first guest editor to this new format, creating an issue around the theme of Eco Media Literacy. We will also have space dedicated to contributions from you, sharing what you are doing in the “Year of Media Literacy.” We would love to have you share your memories and connections to NTC over these many years, or any other thoughts you may wish to contribute, in celebration of our anniversary.

Without roots, there cannot be a tree. Without a history, there can be no field. NTC’s archives project is a vital part of this year’s deeper purpose for the future. Our goal is to support and create a collection of North American media literacy archives of significance to the field. In the future, we hope to raise the profile of historical research in the field through an annual symposium. 

We have been at this for over 65 years, and because of our partnerships with all of you, our passion for a media-wise, literate, global citizenry is alive and well. The need is as great as ever. 

“This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we
but know what to do with it.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

NTC’s 2018 Jessie McCanse Award Recipients

Marilyn A. Cohen is Director of the Northwest Center for Excellence in Media Literacy, College of Education, University of Washington (UW) and Executive Director of the Seattle-based 
nonprofit Action for Media Education. She is a Research Associate Professor and was chair for the first Research Summit for media literacy at the National Association for Media Literacy Education held in St. Louis in 2007. Her work at the UW has received major support throughout the years for its focus on health issues such as teen pregnancy prevention, substance abuse prevention, violence prevention, and nutrition education for parents and their children. 

Henry Jenkins is the Provost’s Professor of Communication, Journalism, Cinematic Art and Education at the University of Southern California and the founder and former director of the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program. He is the author/editor of more than 17 books on various aspects of media and popular culture, including most recently By Any Media Necessary: The New Youth Activism and Participatory Culture In a Networked Era.

William H. “Bill” Siemering is a pioneer radio innovator and advocate. He was a member of the founding board of NPR and the author of its original “mission statement,” the National Public Radio Purposes. As NPR’s first director of programming Siemering helped shape its flagship program All Things Considered into an influential and enduring fixture of American media. Later, he developed Fresh Air with Terry Gross from a local to a national program. After a decades-long career in public radio, Siemering embarked on a second career of nurturing independent radio in the developing world.

Carolyn Wilson is an award-winning educator, author and consultant who has worked in media and information literacy and global education for over 30 years at the K-12 and post-secondary levels, and for libraries, NGOs, media industries, and governments around the world. She is Chair of the Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy, a UNESCO-initiated alliance of over 600 organizations from 80 countries. She is currently the Program Coordinator in Teacher Education at the Faculty of Education, Western University, Canada. 


Contact us

Journal of Media Literacy

© 2019 National Telemedia Council

Madison, WIsconsin