Today, as we live in a world immersed in media, it is very essential to have a basic knowledge of media. Media literacy is the ability that we need to think critically about what we see, read, and hear. It helps to analyse information from different perspectives. The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) unites a community of educators who provide resources to help people of all ages develop the vital skills of media literacy. It defines media literacy as the ability to access, analyse, evaluate, create, and act using all forms of communication.
Today, there are many sources of information around us to get the information we need. So, critical thinking skills can help people identify reliable sources and filter through the noise to understand the truth.
Nowadays, the use of social media is increasing, the news that is happening in any corner of the world reaches people quickly. The rise of technology and digital media makes more people able to consume news on a daily basis. However, more people are falling victim to information disseminated over the internet or social media as they have a very limited knowledge of media. They are unable to distinguish between fact and fiction or opinion. It is also necessary to check the truth of such news as we live in an age of fake news. There is a trend of people sharing fake propaganda that fills social media pages without fact checking. It is our responsibility to verify the truth in the news that reaches us. That’s why basic media knowledge is essential for the individual.
The ability to recognize media biases is essential for today’s man. Because the media have their own politics or views. So the news may hinge on it. If media literacy exists among people, it will help them to recognize how they may affect their perception of an event or issue. Media literacy is an essential skill in the digital age. Understanding media may help you perform better in school or at work.
Why media literacy is important
- To be a Digital Citizen : Media literacy is essential when it comes to being a digital citizen. Digital citizenship involves the responsible use of computers, the Internet, and digital devices to engage with society. Digital citizenship is an essential skill in today’s technology-dominated world and helps students develop good online behaviour.
- Learn to think critically : As children consume media, they decide whether the messages are meaningful, why certain information is included, what is not, and what the main ideas are. Not only that, they can understand the information and understand what is right or wrong.
- Recognize perspective : Every creator has a vision. Identifying an author’s point of view helps children appreciate different points of view. Otherwise, children may interpret information in the context of what they know or think they know.
- Handle the media responsibly : Social media is a platform where we share our thoughts, photos and videos widely instantly. Friends, family, and complete strangers can receive posts in seconds. So, one has to be very careful while posting photos, personal views or thoughts on such a platform. This is also an era where cybercrimes are on the rise.
- The role of media in our culture: From celebrity gossip to magazine covers to memes, the media tells us something, our perception of the world is shaped by the media, and media plays no small role in building our knowledge and ability to think more about many topics.
In this age of information technology taking over society, media literacy is as important as it is imparted in schools and society. Media literacy is essential to combat fake news. It is essential that media organisations collaborate with schools and other educational institutions to deliver media literacy programs.
Media literacy helps students develop the skills they need to evaluate and use media. This allows them to determine the credibility of the media and safely participate in online conversations. Additionally, it promotes strong digital citizenship and proactiveness.
The knowledge of media should be introduced to people at their young age as they grow up with digital things. With media literacy being taught at school, people will likely be more capable to interact on social media more responsibly. But, putting media literacy in education is an ambitious goal, yet achievable and more important in each society. Media is continually growing and advancing, so there’s a lot to keep up with. Platforms such as artificial intelligence devices and virtual reality headsets are now commonly owned in households despite being relatively new. The way you approach media will depend on the way that it is presented, so new media presents new opportunities and risks.