Archive of European Projects

Understanding Media for Active Citizeship
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Media Literacy has been recognised as an important component of adult education as far as 2009, when the European Commission asked EU member states to include media education in their compulsory curricula to help EU citizens become more active users of new media and increase their awareness of potential risks, such as privacy breeches or hidden advertisements. The Commission considers media illiteracy as a new form of social exclusion and therefore is pushing member states to narrow the gaps that the development of new technologies are creating between generations and between people with different economic or social background. The links between community media and media literacy were recognised by the European Parliament in its resolution of 25 September 2008 on Community Media in Europe (2008/2011(INI)), where in point 4 of the resolution is pointed out that “community media can play a significant role in training programmes involving external organisations, including universities, and unskilled community members, and act as a valuable hub for work experience; points out that training people in digital, web and editorial skills through their participation in community media activities provides useful and transferable skills”; while point number 6 “considers that community media contribute to the goal of improving citizens" media literacy through their direct involvement in the creation and distribution of content and encourages school-based community outlets to develop a civic attitude among the young, to increase media literacy, as well as to build up a set of skills that could be further used for community media participation”. The project wants to examine the concept of Media Literacy in Europe, how it has been defined at European institutional level and academia and the experience of community radio, and explore how it has been -or could be- embedded in the content of the training curriculum being delivered by community media as to promote better understanding of how to 'read' the media among citizens, but also how to 'write' more informative and balance content in the shape of media literacy broadcasting products- as to promote equality, pluralism and diversity, and to increase active citizenship actions through media. We believe that media literacy is as important as literacy in today's information society. During the Understanding Media project, we found that there were different approaches to media literacy among the partners, which in our view creates a need for further investigation and an opportunity to enhance media literacy education in the participating stations with a few simple tools and didactical exemplifications. We would also like to initiate an exploration on how to produce media literacy media content.
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