California State Senator Bill Dodd (D-Napa) recently introduced a new bill to incorporate media literacy education into school curriculums. Media literacy is the ability
to analyze and evaluate information consumed from various media outlets such as websites, social networking sites. television, and radio. Adolescents can spend up to nine hours a day absorbing media from these various sources.
“The rise of fake and misleading news is deeply concerning. Even more concerning is the lack of education provided to ensure people can distinguish what is fact and what’s not,” said Senator Bill Dodd.
“Through new technology news has never been more readily available. However, the quality of that information varies widely. By giving students the proper tools to analyze the media they consume, we can empower them to make informed decisions.”
The prevalence of fake news garnered national attention in the recent election, where in the final months of the Presidential campaign, false and misleading
stories from hoax websites outperformed actual news stories in terms of social media engagement. This flood of information can make it difficult for the public to differentiate between reputable news sources and false or misleading claims. The practice of advertisements masquerading as news has also seen an increase in recent years. A recent Stanford study found that 82 percent of middle school students struggled to distinguish advertisements from news stories.
Under Dodd’s legislation, the California Board of Education’s Instructional Quality Commission will be responsible for developing the framework for incorporating
media literacy into school curriculums. The legislation will also see that media literacy training opportunities are made available for teachers in California.
The bill should receive its first committee hearing within the next couple of months.
Elected in November of 2016 to represent California’s 3rd Senate District, Senator Bill Dodd is a fifth generation Californian and lifelong resident of the district, where he grew up on a small family farm in Napa County. California’s 5th State Senate District includes portions of Sacramento, Yolo, Napa, Sonoma, Solano and Contra Costa Counties.
Prior to his election to the State Senate, Bill represented the 4th Assembly District. In the Assembly, Bill worked to help small businesses, protect the environment, and support seniors and working families. He advanced a balanced, sustainable budget that invests in our education system from preschool through higher education. Bill helped establish the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit, promote career technical education, and create the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument – preserving over 330,000 acres of the California Coast Ranges in Napa, Yolo, Solano, Lake, Colusa, Glenn and Mendocino counties.
Prior to his election to the Assembly, Senator Dodd served on the Napa County Board of Supervisors for thirteen years. His accomplishments include the completion of Napa’s flood control project, which protects thousands of properties from flooding, restored 900 acres of environmental wetlands and produced $1 billion of investment in local businesses.
Prior to his time in elected office, Bill was a successful small business owner. He owned and operated one of the largest full-service Culligan Water operations in California, and served as president of the water quality industry’s state and national trade associations. Senator Dodd is a graduate of California State University, Chico.
Bill and his wife Mary live in Napa and have five grown children and five grandchildren. The Napa Valley Chamber of Commerce recognized their philanthropic efforts by awarding Bill its 2014 “Citizen of the Year” for raising over $3 million for local charities. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.