Media Essay

577 Words3 Pages
Why Media Literacy is Important The skills acquired through media literacy include critical thinking, problem solving, personal autonomy, and social and communicative skills.5 These are all skills crucial for building an informed and active citizenry. In fact, research on media literacy in Western societies suggests that “an individual who has knowledge of the media will more easily acquire a well-founded opinion on societal issues/events and, thereby, will be better equipped to express his/her opinion, individually as well as collectively, in public and other social contexts.”6 Furthermore, many proponents see media literacy as a contributing factor to “participation, active citizenship, competence development and lifelong learning.”7 While media literacy is deemed crucial for the development and sustainability of a healthy democratic public sphere, it is often forgotten as a precondition when discussing democracy and development.8 Living in a digital era, it is important to stress that media literacy involves all media, including traditional means, such as television, radio, fi lm, music, and print.9 On a daily basis, we are surrounded by messages pushed from one or several mediums that shape our opinions and knowledge about public affairs and the world we live in. As discussed by Jenkins,10 we live in a convergence culture “where old and new media collide, where grassroots and corporate media intersect, where the power of the media producer and the power of the media consumer interact in unpredictable ways.” Today, we witness a fast global progression of popular social networking tools, promoting usergenerated content, including uploading videos; blogging about interests and current affairs; and engaging in citizen journalism, online discussions, and collaborative projects. Introduction A fundamental principle of the
Open Document