Information about Ofcom’s media literacy activities
What is media literacy?
Media literacy enables people to have the skills, knowledge and understanding to make full use of the opportunities presented by both traditional and new communications services. Media literacy also helps people to manage content and communications, and protect themselves and their families from the potential risks associated with using these services.
Why is media literacy important today?
In an online environment where the possibility for direct content regulation diminishes, the need for a media literate public increases. Consumers and citizens need to be aware of the risks and opportunities offered across an array of online and mobile service activities, while stakeholders need to understand and monitor how much people are aware of changes and developments.
What are Ofcom’s duties in relation to media literacy?
Ofcom has a statutory duty to promote media literacy under Section 11 of the Communications Act 2003. Under Section 14 (6a) of the Act we have a duty to make arrangements for the carrying out of research into the matters mentioned in Section 11 (1).
What is Ofcom’s definition of media literacy?
Ofcom’s definition of media literacy is: ‘the ability to use, understand and create media and communications’.
What are Ofcom’s media literacy activities?
Ofcom’s media literacy activity focuses on two elements
- Providing an evidence base of UK adults’ and children’s understanding and use of electronic media;
- Sharing the evidence base with a wide range of stakeholders internally and externally and support their work via research.
Ofcom’s robust research into people’s media literacy needs plays a vital role in the formulation of public policy, as well as providing organisations and agencies with the evidence they need to best target their initiatives on the ground.
What research does Ofcom carry out in relation to media literacy?
- Annual survey and report of adults’ media literacy, with trends over time since 2005
- Annual survey and report of children aged 5-15 and their media literacy, with trends over time since 2005
- Annual small-scale qualitative tracking research Media Lives (PDF) monitoring c.15 people and their media habits, with trends over time since 2005
- Annual Internet use and attitudes bulletin (PDF) providing a summary of media literacy and other Ofcom data by age and other demographics
Where can this research be found?
On our Media Literacy Research site
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Information and educational resources on Ofcom's promotion of Media Literacy.
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