Media literacy is the ability to access, analyse, evaluate, create, and act using all forms of communication.
It is the way to enable one to view the content on media critically.
Why is it needed?
Today, there is the spread of fake news and harmful games in seconds. Examples of such would be the recent “blue whale”. With the increase in cases where one was harmed in any way through media or the wrong usage of media gives the first and most important reason why we need to help people learn about the media in the vastest way possible.
No one is spared of the touch of media in today’s techno world. We need it in everyday life. It is present everywhere and no one is untouched of its presence today. If we live in a world where we need media in everyday life, we must educate ourselves and the younger generation to grow up with the proper sense of media and its right usage.
Students are the most avid users of media in today’s time. They use it vehemently. It is the lack of proper media literacy that makes them suffer the cons of it. Therefore, there must be proper education and separate classes on media literacy held in every school. Many countries including USA, Australia, Canada and other countries in Europe have taken “Media literacy” into their school curriculum.
Apart from educational institutes, it is also the responsibility of the parent to be aware of what their child is being exposed to. There must be a proper guidance from home as well about the media to all the children.
For every generation
It is not only the students who come under the web of media. The older generation who are also new to the usage of it, sometimes fall for the wrong word. Hence, this education is required everywhere.
The Ontario Association of media literacy (AML), which was formed in 1978 has provided with eight key concepts for media literacy programmes.
1 All media are constructions.
2 The media construct reality.
3 Audiences negotiate meaning in media.
4 Media have commercial implications.
5 Media contain ideological and value messages.
6 Media have social and political implications.
7 Form and content are closely related in the media.
8 Each medium has a unique aesthetic form.
(Content source: https://www.aml.ca/eight-key-concepts-of-media-literacy/)
We must be informed citizens and must make our upcoming generations the same. The education of media must be a must for every citizen. It is the education that is a priority.
“We need a lot more critical thinking and media criticism taught in schools at a very early age.”
John Stauber author of “The Best War Ever”.
“Media literacy empowers people to be both critical thinkers and creative producers
of an increasingly wide range of messages using image, language, and sound. It is
the skillful application of literacy skills to media and technology messages. As
communication technologies transform society, they impact our understanding
of ourselves, our communities, and our diverse cultures, making media literacy
an essential life skill for the 21st century.”
(The Alliance for A Media Literate America, 2000)