The Importance Of Information Society And Media Literacy

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Since the rise of mass media set in motion a rollercoaster of technological changes to form what we today define as the information society, media and information have increasingly become an integral part of the daily lives of EU citizens. This has led to a wide array of sources that EU citizens can access and nearly limitless exposure to a diverse pallet of thoughts, opinions and ideas. But having access to media means little if EU citizens do not have the skills to use the technologies needed to gain this same access. And, even if access is taken out the equation and ceases to be a problem, there is still no guarantee that EU citizens can decipher and criticize the messages presented by the media. In light of this, there is
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Although there have been many attempts to define media literacy – most notably by Aufderheide in 1992, who defined it as “the ability of a citizen to access, analyze, and produce information for specific outcomes” - a universally accepted definition has yet to be formed. Even a definition used in regulation on a European level may not encompass all that some scholars wish to include. This is in part, because a variety of related concepts such as information literacy, digital literacy, library literacy, network literacy and computer literacy, are often used in the same breath as or even interchangeably with media literacy. As Bawden remarks, some scholars see media literacy as a part of the broader concept of information literacy and the relationships between and overlap with these different concepts should be taken into account when examining media literacy. With that in mind, Bawden describes media literacy as a term which implies “critical thinking in assessing information gained from the mass media: television, radio, newspapers and magazines, and increasingly the internet”. Ward, however, argues that distinctions made between these different concepts are only a matter of
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