In my short time as a student in the realm of children’s media, I’ve been exposed to some brilliant minds via their research and resources. I have a lot of admiration and respect for these media-awareness educators who have devoted an enormous amount of time to making media literacy and children’s media criticism a legitimate field of study.
One of my favorite media gurus is Dr. Susan Linn, the director and co-founder of the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood. She is the author of Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood (2004), the first book that I picked up on the topic of advertising to children. This approachable yet detailed analysis covers a ton of material and was a great entrance point that made me want to continue my research. I have yet to have the chance to pick up The Case for Make-Believe: Saving Play in a Commercialized World (2008), Linn’s newest book, but the reviews have been wonderful.
If you would rather watch than read, you should check out the documentary partially based off of Linn’s work on childhood and consumption created by Media Education Foundation. Watch the trailer, and while you’re there, browse the rest of the Commercialism section (and the rest of the site, MEF is one of the best resources for radical media!).
If this really sparks your interest, you can watch all of the Consuming Kids documentary on YouTube.