Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Communication and Education

Media Literacy

Media literacy is a newer communications strategy aimed at teaching young people critical-viewing skills. Media literacy programs teach kids how to analyze and understand the media messages they encounter so they can better understand what they’re really being asked to do and think. Students also learn to create messages that de-glamorize unhealthy activities like drinking alcohol and smoking. They produce their own messages and advertisements and thus demonstrate mastery of media literacy skills and ideas.

Some evidence suggests that media advocacy and media literacy are effective communications strategies. However, more research is needed, in part because of the current lack of sophisticated evaluation tools to measure outcomes for these two strategies.


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