A Media Literacy Presentation at COD Educates Students on The Importance of Being Media Literate


Eva Koureta, Staff Writer

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect that the State Department officials attended the presentation but did not present.

From commercials, to shows and even in the news, media literacy is essential to everyday life. Being media literate means being able to know that the news update part of Saturday Night Live is satire and not real news. 

The importance of literacy is supported at COD by significant news stating that COD students are now able to receive a certificate from the mass communication program.

Two Mass Communication professors from COD, Joseph Goldberg, Sandy Fries, and MPTV professor Tony Venezia, talked about College of DuPage’s Media Literacy program on Jan. 13. Four officials from the U.S. State Department including Deputy Assistant Secretary Ethan Rosenzweig and Director of the State Department Office of Global Educational Programs Anthony Koliha attended the meeting alongside them. Additionally, international students from the CCI program took part in the presentation. 

The CCI program (Community College Initiative), welcomed 18 international students from all over the world, to participate and enroll in COD classes. Most of the international students are enrolled in mass communication classes. 

“COD was selected as one of the participating community colleges on the State Department’s program on media literacy with foreign students coming from various colleges to focus on mass communications and media literacy. I and the two other professors were representing COD,” said Goldberg.

Having a unique career background, Goldberg was an interesting part of the presentation. From marketing, to the CIA to  a political consultant for Motorola, Goldberg shared how media literacy and mass communication were important in different aspects of his career. For example, being able to understand the messages he was receiving and how to communicate with clients.

Din Hodzic, an international student from Bosnia and Herzegovina, who participated in the presentation, believes it is important for people to distinguish what is true or false.

“Media literacy is connected to all aspects of communication, from social media to TV and newspaper, so being able to distinguish and strain the messages that you are receiving can only happen through media literacy,” said Hodzic.

When it comes to social media, Hodzic believes social media and its different platforms aren’t fully affected by media literacy.  

“You are media literate if you can distinguish good and bad news,” said Hodzic. “Social media is only a part of media literacy where either you know how to comprehend the social platforms or you don’t.” 

One of the important topics discussed in the media literacy presentation was the fact that because of the CCI program, students from COD will receive a diploma in mass communication.

“The mass communication classes offer students a wide variety of experiences and issues which can make it a viable platform to offer a certificate in the knowledge that has gained from this program,” said Goldberg.

“Being able to receive a certificate is extraordinary,” said Hodzic, “I am not aware of every detail, but what I do know is that not only are we able to receive a certificate from COD, which is an important achievement in our early career, but now for the first time every student at COD can receive a certificate in mass communication. This is a great accomplishment, and I am grateful that our program achieved that.”

The presentation on media literacy was originally scheduled to take place in Washington. Because of COVID-19 cases rising, the presentation was relocated to three different states, Washington, Texas and Illinois. Unfortunately, the presentation was rescheduled to a Zoom meeting where the participants would be safer from the pandemic.

“It was an interesting, helpful and entertaining presentation,” said Hodzic.Unfortunately, not being able to travel to Washington was not an exciting update but these are the new circumstances, so we all must accept and settle with them. After all, it was a noteworthy event.”

College of DuPage now gives students the ability to understand, communicate and comprehend media using media literacy and its aspects through its mass communication classes and new degree. 

For more information on the Mass Communication program at COD visit: https://www.cod.edu/academics/programs/mass_communication/

 Additional information on CCI Program: https://www.cod.edu/student_life/resources/intl_student_services/community-college-initiative/