The syndicate discussion on media literacy at the WJEC was chaired by Beate Josephi and the expert on hand was Susan Moeller. The operational definition of the term Media Literacy was pivotal to the discussion.
The group members were Zhang from Beijing, China; Ouianco from the Philippines; Joe from USA; Jayawera from Sri Lanka; Stephen from Salzburg and Yinka from Nigeria.
What does Media Literacy entail? Is it about information literacy or digital literacy? What theoretical frameworks should be favoured? Should media literacy be taught as a standalone course? Should it be mainstreamed into already existing courses? Who needs to know about media literacy? Should it be a form of mass education or it should be taught in classrooms to only students of communication? Do journalists require knowledge of media literacy? What is the relationship between critical thinking and media literacy? All these and more constituted the issues that were discussed in this session.
Some working definitions were provided by the expert; one of the definitions sees Media Literacy as
- The ability to access the media to understand and to critically evaluate different aspects of the media and media content and to create communications in a variety of contexts.
- The need for the consumer to understand how to handle the media, how to process information and to contribute to the media were emphasised.