"Media is an important part of the ecosystem that influences (both positively and negatively) whether and how young people participate in civic life. News in print, podcasts, on television, in social media, and cultural work shared online inform youth about the world and shape their understanding of how they can contribute to it — or whether they try.

--- Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement

We are especially interested in how to explore mass media, popular culture and digital media with children, helping children access information, analyze media messages, create messages, reflect on our experiences with and through media, and use media and technology to make our voices heard in the world. 

In 2018 the EU established the European Media Literacy Week in order to raise awareness of the importance of media literacy across the EU and to highlight different existing initiatives, in particular those at regional and national level


  • Common Sense Education curated Tips and Resources for News Literacy, Media Balance, and Healthy Communication.
  • Facing History created this teaching idea around Protecting Against COVID-19 and Standing Against Racism to provide students with factually correct information and opportunities to reflect on the consequences of discrimination in order to make them less likely to participate in coronavirus-inspired racism. It also encourages them to challenge such othering if or when they encounter it.
  • Infodemic is a self-paced quick news literacy exercise that students can use linked to misinformation about the COVID-19 virus. It assists students in applying the SIFT method that the News LIteracy Project also employs.
  • KQED has created a curriculum around Misinformation, Data Literacy, and the Novel Coronavirus to teach students how to identify misinformation and stop its spread.Your students might reach out to you with questions about COVID-19.
  • ​In Dangerous Numbers? Teaching About Data and Statistics Using the Coronavirus Outbreak from the New York Times, a math teacher helps students critically analyze data that is in the news.
  • NewsGuard’s new Coronavirus Misinformation Tracking Center ranks and lists news and information sites in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany that published false information about the virus.
  • With many schools closing and teaching moving online, PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs created a special unit that covers the basics of local community journalism, storytelling, scripting, and video editing. These are tough times for everyone, and student stories will add a uniquely-critical perspective to coronavirus coverage.

Why Is Media Literacy Important?

A thorough understanding of the role of media helps you to assess the trustworthiness of the information you encounter.

Media literacy is essential for several reasons:

  • It helps you comprehend a creator's objective. In order to develop your own perspective on the subject matter, it's essential to understand whether a piece of mass media is attempting to entertain, inform, or persuade.
  • It develops you as a critical thinker. Media literacy builds critical thinking skills by teaching you to thoroughly evaluate the different types of media you consume. Essential skills of inquiry are especially important in media environments where misinformation and fake news are common.
  • It allows you to create responsibly. Media literacy teaches ethical methods for creating your own media so that you can become a more effective communicator.
  • It encourages self-expression. Media literacy teaches you to form your own opinions rather than just accepting a media message at face value.
  • It enables you to recognize an author's point of view. Every creator makes content with a specific point of view. Knowing this helps you open your mind to different perspectives while also keeping you alert to bias.

The word "literacy" usually describes the ability to read and write. Reading literacy and media literacy have a lot in common. Reading starts with recognizing letters. Pretty soon, readers can identify words -- and, most importantly, understand what those words mean. Readers then become writers. With more experience, readers and writers develop strong literacy skills. 

Media literacy is the ability to identify different types of media and understand the messages they're sending. There are text messages, memes, viral videos, social media, video games, advertising, and more. Media literacy, put simply, is the ability to identify different types of media and the messages they are sending. When we speak of media, it encompasses print media, such as newspapers, magazines and posters, and theatrical presentations, tweets, radio broadcasts, etc. Digital and media literacy is an expanded conceptualization of literacy to include not only reading and writing, but speaking, listening, viewing, creating, and sharing through all of the media in our lives.  But all media shares one thing: Someone created it. And it was created for a reason. Understanding that reason is the basis of media literacy.  

The digital age has made it easy for anyone to create media. We don't always know who created something, why they made it, and whether it's credible. This makes media literacy tricky to learn and teach. 

Media literacy is an essential skill in the digital age. Specifically, it helps learners of all ages:

  • Learn to think critically. As learners evaluate media, they decide whether the messages make sense, why certain information was included, what wasn't included, and what the key ideas are. They learn to use examples to support their opinions. Then they can make up their own minds about the information based on knowledge they already have.
  • Become a smart consumer of products and information. Media literacy helps people learn how to determine whether something is credible. It also helps them determine the "persuasive intent" of advertising and resist the techniques marketers use to sell products.
  • Recognize point of view. Every creator has a perspective. Identifying an author's point of view helps learners appreciate different perspectives. It also helps put information in the context of what they already know -- or think they know.
  • Create media responsibly. Recognizing your own point of view, saying what you want to say how you want to say it, and understanding that your messages have an impact is key to effective communication.
  • Identify the role of media in our culture. From celebrity gossip to magazine covers to memes, media is telling us something, shaping our understanding of the world, and even compelling us to act or think in certain ways.
  • Understand the author's goal. What does the author want you to take away from a piece of media? Is it purely informative, is it trying to change your mind, or is it introducing you to new ideas you've never heard of? When learners understand what type of influence something has, they can make informed choices.

Media literacy includes asking specific questions and backing up your opinions with examples. Following media-literacy steps allows you to learn for yourself what a given piece of media is, why it was made, and what you want to think about it.

Media types:

  • 1.PRINT MEDIA - media consisting of paper and ink, reproduced in a printing process that is traditionally mechanical - newsppaer, books, magazines, comixes, brochures.
  • 2.BROADCAST MEDIA -  media such as radio and television that reach target audiences using airwaves as the transmission medium -  television, radio, satelites, mobiles, movies.
  • 3.DIGITAL OR NEW MEDIA - contents are organized and distributed on digital platforms. Digital refers to something using digits, particularly binary digits: Internet, social media, computers.