A European approach to media literacy in the digital environment
website: http://ec.europa.eu/avpolicy/media_literacy/docs/com/en.pdf 
Date:  20 December 2007
Typology: policy initiative - framework-model
Commission of the European Communities




Brussels, 20.12.2007

COM(2007) 833 final 

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions

A European approach to media literacy in the digital environment

2. A European definition of media literacy 
Media literacy is generally defined as the ability to access the media, to understand and to critically evaluate different aspects of the media and media contents and to create communications in a variety of contexts. This definition has been validated by a large majority of the respondents to the public consultation and by the members of the Media Literacy Expert Group.
A European approach to media literacy should relate to all media. The various levels of media literacy include:

  • feeling comfortable with all existing media from newspapers to virtual communities;

  • actively using media, through, inter alia, interactive television, use of Internet search engines or participation in virtual communities, and better exploiting the potential of media for entertainment, access to culture, intercultural dialogue, learning and daily-life applications (for instance, through libraries, podcasts);

  • having a critical approach to media as regards both quality and accuracy of content (for example, being able to assess information, dealing with advertising on various media, using search engines intelligently);

  • using media creatively, as the evolution of media technologies and the increasing presence of the Internet as a distribution channel allow an ever growing number of Europeans to create and disseminate images, information and content;

  • understanding the economy of media and the difference between pluralism and media ownership;

  • being aware of copyright issues which are essential for a "culture of legality", especially for the younger generation in its double capacity of consumers and producers of content." (p. 3-4)

4. initiatives to date 
A study on "Current trends and approaches to media literacy in Europe" was commissioned in May 2006. It maps current practices in implementing media literacy in Europe, confirms the tendencies which emerged in the public consultation and recommends some measures to be implemented at Community level to help foster and to increase the level of media literacy. Finally, it briefly outlined the possible economic and social impact of an EU intervention in this field." (p. 5)

Keywords: policy document - EU communication - media literacy - media literacy in Europe - critical use of media - critical use of information - digital environment - use of the Internet - Internet skills - search engines - European approach to media literacy

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