Friday, October 05, 2007

Media Literacy

I have just been pulling together a few links and definitions of media literacy, so I will drop them in here too.
Some associations and organisations
Action Coalition for Media Education: http://www.acmecoalition.org/home
Alliance for Media Literate America: http://www.amlainfo.org/
Association for Media Literacy: http://www.aml.ca/home/
Charter for Media Literacy & the Media Literacy Task Force (UK): http://www.medialiteracy.org.uk/
Media Awareness Network (Canada) http://www.media-awareness.ca/
OfCom : Media Literacy (UK communications watchdog): http://www.ofcom.org.uk/advice/media_literacy/
UNESCO Media Education Programme http://portal.unesco.org/ci/
en/ev.php-URL_ID=1653&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&
URL_SECTION=201.html


Also particularly worth mentioning is:
Media@LSE: website of the Department of Media and Communication at the London School of Economics: http://www.lse.ac.uk/
collections/media@lse/Default.htm


A few definitions are:

“The ability to access, analyse, evaluate and create messages across a variety of contexts” Livingstone, S. (2003) The Changing Nature and Uses of Media Literacy. London: LSE http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/
media@lse/mediaWorkingPapers/ewpNumber4.htm


“the ability to encode and decode the symbols transmitted via media and the ability to synthesize, analyze and produce mediated messages.” Alliance for Media Literate America: http://www.amlainfo.org/
what-is-media-literacy

“Media Literacy may be defined as the ability to access, analyse and evaluate the power of images, sounds and messages which we are now being confronted with on a daily basis and are an important part of our contemporary culture, as well as to communicate competently in media available on a personal basis.” European Commission. (2007) Report on the results of the public consultation on media literacy. (p6) http://ec.europa.eu/avpolicy/
media_literacy/index_en.htm

You see a lot of overlap there with the "pillars" mentioned in information literacy frameworks (access, aanalyse, synthesise, evaluate), but a difference is the prime focus on the communications medium (rather than the underlying information need), I think.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Hassocks, St Edmunds Church, Peak District, August 2007.

3 comments:

Christine Irving said...

Would agree with you Sheila that there is a lot of overlap between information literacy and media literacy. From discussions organised by Ofcom Scotland concerns raised included people's access to information through the different media / communication meduims as many areas within Scotland have communication blackspots. The other discussion point similar to information literacy was the importance of evaluating information.

Christine Irving
The Scottish Information Literacy Project

Miss Margaret Aurelia said...

Great post!
The Just Think Foundation also has many resources as well as curricula and interactive experience teaching the methods.

Renee Hobbs is also a wonderful resource on the subject.

AND a new study has shown that media literacy education improves test scores and academic performance among other benefits:
http://www.justthink.org/about/meal-release

understandmedia said...

I'm a media literacy advocate in Los Angeles, and I just wanted to add my two cents to this.

I think it's hugely important to recognize that, although the term "media literacy" is relatively new, understanding its concepts can help people excel in all areas of life.

The ability to understand messages, not just media messages, and create your own messages is cornerstone to success in everything that we do.

I write about media literacy at my blog and website: www.understandmedia.com/blog. Check it out and maybe you'll consider linking to it if you enjoy it.