Media Literacy For The Future: The Real Solution For The Challenges Of The Digital Era

Liang Hong, Blessing Adewale, Dandong Zeng, Xin Lin, Thu Phuong Luu, Tugce Akkoyun, Domenica Simoneth Torres Vaca, Gülsen Güler, Alejandro Maya Toro

The Importance Of A Media-Literate Society

Nowadays, our society is characterised by elements that were unimaginable only twenty years ago. Our routines include things such as online shopping, posting on social media on a daily basis, and reading the news from electronic versions of newspapers and news channels. Such routines create more and more data while feeding digital systems. It is said that by the end of 2025, 163 zettabytes of data will be created globally. Surely, this much amount of data in our daily lives brings about many questions: what do we do with this amount of data? How could we prevent its misuse? How could we understand and use it? It is not necessary for every person to be a data scientist nor to have knowledge of programming algorithms. However, it is definitely relevant to have a rational and critical understanding of what is being done with all the data we put out there, as well as its possible effects in our personal lives and our society. Hence, it is not the intention of becoming a media expert but somehow a bit of a media literate.

Moreover, what does it mean to be media literate? In the Digital Single Market policy of the European Union, media literacy is defined as “the capacity to access, have a critical understanding and interact with the media. It is a tool that empowers citizens as well as raises their awareness and helps them counter the effects of disinformation campaigns and fake news spreading through digital media”.

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Towards a Digital and Media-Literate Europe: a Long and Winding Road?

Lorin Akbiyik, Rovena Carvalho Ferreira, Rodelio Concepcion, Andira Figueroa Vargas, Sasha Miller, Sara Teklay

In the core of today’s digital society, social media reigns supreme. It combines social interactions, entertainment and source of news, not to mention that it created a shift from users as mere spectators to users also as creators of content. On your timelines you see not only posts from the friends, groups and pages that you follow (which normally already include a large amount of clickbait, but also, due to the work of algorithms, suggested posts come around often. To be able to comb through this sea of information floating around – which may include hate speech, fake news and other harmful content – and distinguish what are reliable sources or not, being a digital and media literate is paramount.

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Digital and media illiterates are easier prey to online fake news, senior citizens are considered more vulnerable in this scenario.

Continue reading “Towards a Digital and Media-Literate Europe: a Long and Winding Road?”