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The Missing Link: Media Literacy Strategies for Counteracting Cyberbullying

When/Where: Friday, 9:00-1:00pm in Ballroom E1.

Presenters: Bobbie Eisenstock, California State University, Northridge. Presider: Ethan Delavan

Objectives: How can media literacy help counteract the cyberbullying epidemic encircling the globe? Media literacy is a missing link that can empower anti-bullying efforts to break the cyberbully cycle. Participants learn about cyber victimization and bullycides, and apply media literacy strategies to problem-solve case studies to prevent cyberbullying before it starts.

Audience: PK-12 Schooling, Higher Education, Educational Administration & Policy, Media Industry, Health Professions, Non-Profit Sector, Faith-based Organizations, Law Enforcement


Cyberbullying has become a global epidemic – anyone who uses interactive and digital technologies may become the target of a bully. Countries around the world – from the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America – have launched anti-bullying programs to reduce and prevent cyberbullying. The recent high-profile bullycide cases have elicited an urgent call to action to schools, mental health professionals, law enforcement, and youth advocates to increase their anti-bullying efforts. Last summer in the United States, the government organized the first Federal Bullying Prevention Summit to promote a safer online environment. The ongoing dialogue tends to overlook media literacy as a recommendation in counteracting electronic harassment and aggression. Considering the effectiveness of media literacy education in violence prevention, media literacy is a missing link that can be a building block in helping to protect potential victims and prevent cyberbullying before it starts.

The purpose of this pre-conference workshop is to demonstrate how media literacy strategies can help empower youth against online harassment and victimization. Components of this workshop were developed as presentations for educators, health practitioners, law enforcement, parents and youth to advance Internet safety and digital citizenship. (The presentations include numerous teacher in-service trainings, parent education and youth workshops, a keynote address to The Los Angeles Pediatric Society about children and adolescent online health indicators, and a panel presentation at the SMILE Conference (Social Media and Internet and Law Enforcement) about counteracting cyberbullying.) This workshop brings together these elements in a streamlined presentation intended for teachers, administrators, health professionals, law enforcement, civic leaders, and parents.

This workshop is an interactive powerpoint-based presentation featuring narrative storytelling to illustrate specific media literacy skills that can help recognize and prevent cyberbullying via digital technology hot spots, such as text, IM, e-mail, chat, blog, social network, twitter, interactive games, video and photo file sharing. Workshop participants will learn about the nature of cyberbullying and its effects on bullies, victims and bully-victims, share personal experiences related to cyberbullying, apply media literacy strategies to real-life cyberbullying situations, and brainstorm ways to promote media literacy in anti-bullying school policies and curricula, parent education, and legislation.

Participant Involvement

The workshop is divided into three parts. The first third features an interactive powerpoint presentation with narrative storytelling to provide an overview of the pervasiveness and nature of cyberbullying and its effects. The second segment is a break-out session in which participants share their personal experiences dealing with cyberbullying and actively engage in collaborative problem-solving that applies media literacy strategies to real-life cyberbullying situations. The workshop culminates with a brainstorming session to explore ways to implement media literacy core principles into anti-bullying programs in their communities.


  • Bobbie Eisenstock, California State University, Northridge: Bobbie Eisenstock, Ph.D. is a national expert on the social-psychological effects of interactive media on children, teens and families. She facilitates media literacy-based parent workshops, teacher in-services, and professional trainings for health practitioners and law enforcement to help manage kids’ digital footprints, counteract cyberbullying, and preempt technology addiction. Her recent publications include Cyber Harm for Teen Line, a youth crisis hotline at Cedars-Sinai Medical-Center. Dr. Eisenstock teaches at California State University, Northridge where she is a Faculty Fellow at The Institute for Community Health and Wellbeing and directs The Body Media Image (BMI) Project about media literacy, body image and eating disorders.
2 Comments - Leave a comment
  1. Stacy Moss says:

    Good stuff! I will bookmark this. Thank you

  2. [...] The Missing Link: Media Literacy Strategies for Counteracting Cyberbullying [...]

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Welcome , today is Wednesday, 04/01/2015