Rod Gustafson

AAMA Director; Former AAMA President
Journalist/Family Media Reviewer

Focusing on issues and topics of interest to parents and educators, Rod Gustafson brings real-life examples from over 25 years of media experience to professional development days, parent nights, and any other meetings where media and families are of interest.

  • Big Screen Bullies. If you think only violent movies teach bullying behaviours, look again. This session looks at how various media can subtly suggest bullying attitudes to young viewers.
  • Movie Rating Confusion. Can’t keep your PG-13’s straight from your 14A’s? This session helps people of all ages better understand their local and national rating systems and how they compare to the prevalent U.S. system.
  • New Ways To Watch (And Read) News. It used to be that Dad sat down with a pipe and read the daily paper. Now “news” is available every minute from television, the Internet, and yes… the good ol’ newspaper. But is everything the way it appears? Find out what you and your family are missing in the news, and be better equipped to see the real story.

Rod Gustafson
Parent Previews — Family Movie Reviews

A child who loved pushing buttons, it was no surprise when Rod Gustafson began his broadcast career at the age of 15. Since then, he has filled a variety of positions in television, radio, independent film and print media production, and continues to work as a freelance journalist covering news stories for the CTV Television Network in his remote corner of Southeastern Alberta.

But it wasn’t until reading a Readers Digest excerpt from Michael Medved’s book Hollywood vs. America that he happened upon a unique idea. Medved, a nationally syndicated U.S. critic and talk show host, brought to light the many ways in which media was having a negative influence on our society. Having had similar feelings over the previous few years, Rod desired to do something positive to help parents enjoy entertainment and be able to find items that would meet their family’s standards.

His resolve became Parent Previews, one of the first movie review columns to analyze the content of movies thereby helping parents know what a film contains before they show it to their children. In 1993, when a small British Columbia newspaper signed up, the fledgling column became official. Parent Previews debuted on the internet in January 2000.

When not watching, writing, and webbing, Rod takes his over 25 years of media expertise into classrooms, teachers conferences, and community and church groups where he provides informative sessions on everything from advertising to movie ratings.

Rod’s sensitivity to family concerns comes from home, where he and his wife are actively involved in rearing two daughters, two sons, and two guinea pigs.

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