20 August 2009

EU - Commission sets new information society challenge: Becoming literate in new media

The way we use media is changing, the volume of information enormous, demanding more of us than being able to read, write or use a computer. The European Commission today warned that Europeans young and old could miss out on the benefits of today's high-tech information society unless more is done to make them 'media literate' enough to access, analyse and evaluate images, sounds and texts and use traditional and new media to communicate and create media content. The Commission said EU countries and the media industry need to increase awareness of the many media messages people encounter, be they advertisements, movies or online content. The European Commission has adopted policy guidelines calling on EU countries and industry to promote media literacy across Europe through activities that help people access, understand and critically evaluate all media they are exposed to, like TV and film, radio, music, print media, the internet and digital communication technologies. Education is a national competence, but the Commission invited EU countries to open a debate on how to give media literacy a prominent place in schools. Commission Recommendation C(2009)6464 on media literacy in the digital environment for a more competitive audiovisual and content industry and an inclusive knowledge society.