Module 1: Introduction to Media & Information Literacy and Key Concepts (2024)

The intersection of news media and information and communication technologies (ICTs) and the attendant convergence of content and systems means that people are increasingly living in a mediated world. This is a world where person to person communication and the transmission of content occurs increasingly via technological platforms. This reality brings with it many opportunities as well as challenges making media and information literacy (MIL) vital to empower people. The opportunities include more access to information and avenues for self-expression, lifelong learning, participation, creativity, dialogue, cultural exchange and transparency, which when put together contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The challenges include privacy and data infringement concerns, rising misinformation, surveillance, mounting online hatespeech and violent extremist content, frequent attacks on women and further exclusion of marginalized groups.

The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the changes in flows of information, digital technology, mediating institutional providers and media development. On one hand, many of the prospects and efforts to tackle the virus exist in the overall ecology. Yet, the efforts are also hindered by the ‘disinfodemic’, which is the confusing content mix, often overshadowing information with misinformation – and enabled by digital communications.

MIL as an umbrella term that encompasses various competencies that enable individuals and groups to navigate the turbulent seas of today’s information and communications environment. It covers a large spectrum of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values. MIL enables citizens, including youth, to acquire competencies to understand their information needs, better search, find, critically evaluate, use, and contribute to information and media content wisely. Thereby, MIL enables the purposeful and creative use of digital technology and empowers all users through enhancing their knowledge of their online and digital rights, as well of the ethical issues surrounding access to and use of information. Media and information literate citizens are equipped to engage more effectively in dialogue, freedom of expression, access to information, gender equality, diversity, peace, and sustainable development.

MIL is an important prerequisite for balancing citizens’ power against that of content providers, and for harnessing ICTs for education and fostering equitable access to information and freedom of expression. For people to effectively participate and succeed throughout all stages of life, it is urgent that MIL is integrated at all levels of society and in formal, non- formal and in-formal education.

According to the recent statistics of the ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database, 2019, 1.3 billion (3/4) of the world’s 1.7 billion households, representing 4.9 billion people, have a television; and 0.6 billion (1/3) of all households, representing 1.9 billion people, have access to a computer; As of January 2021, 59.6 percent of the world’s population or 4.66 billion people are using the Internet30; inthe middle of 2020, there were an estimated 105 mobile- cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitants. Added to this there are over 2.5 billion radio receivers. The World Association of Newspapers reports 640 million users worldwide paid for print and digital news each day in 2018. The UNESCO Institute of Statistics estimates that close to 1 million new books are published annually in the world. At the end of 2019, over 69 per cent of the world youth population (aged 15-24 years) was using the Internet. According to a UNICEF- ITU joint report in 2020, 1.1 billion - or 1 in 3 children and young people aged 25 years or less - have Internet access at home. The number of businesses adopting artificial intelligence grew by 270% in four years, between 2015 and 2019 (Gartner, 2019).

When put together, the number of television and radio stations, newspapers, cell phones, access to and use of the Internet, books, libraries, billboards, and video games determine much of what we learn about ourselves, our country, our cultures and the world around us. In this connected world, being media and information literate means that we can rethink what is called citizenship and lifelong learning, and consider concepts such as global citizenship education, education for sustainable development, and digital citizenship.

Content providers such as libraries, archives, museums, media, digital communications companies are central to sustainable development, democracy and good governance, both as a platform for democratic discourse and enablers of digital creativity and entrepreneurship. If the content providers and digital tools are going to support democracy and sustainable development, citizens need to understand how to use them critically, know how to interpret the messages they receive, create and share. Equally, if the ecosystem is to reinforce digital creativity and entrepreneurship, in addition to the competencies mentioned above, people should also understand how to identify opportunities for entrepreneurship in this arena, and grasp the benefits of the intersection of critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration for social change.

While the importance of fundamental numeracy and literacy skills cannot be underestimated, the inclusion of MIL in curricula and development programmes means that young people must also understand the functions of content providers and have the skills to seek, evaluate, use and create content to achieve their personal, social, occupational and educational goals. They must also possess basic skills for critical thinking, to analyse and use them for self-expression, for becoming independent learners, producers, informed citizens, professionals, and participants in the governance and democratic and economic processes of their societies (cf. Report of National Forum on Information Literacy, 2005).

This module is built on four pillars: critical thinking, self- expression, participation, and creativity. It will consider MIL as relevant to and overlapping with a variety of disciplines/ fields, and will explore such questions as:

  • What is information within the wider mix of content?
  • What are the media and the digital communication companies?
  • What are digital technologies?
  • Why teach about all of these?
  • Why are they important?
  • What is media literacy?
  • What is information literacy?
  • What is digital literacy?
  • Why media and information literacy?

The module will present MIL as teaching/learning and social and economic engagement processes rather than solely as a discipline. Therefore, it will broadly introduce learners to key issues and concepts of the field which will be dealt with in more detail in other modules, offering them the opportunity to develop an understanding of the difference between ‘teaching about,’ ‘teaching through’, and engaging in society with MIL as a tool.

The aim is for educators, learners, community leaders, and peer educators themselves to become media and information literate, and to develop the competencies necessary for integrating MIL at all levels and for all types of education.

Module 1: Introduction to Media & Information Literacy and Key Concepts (2024)


Why is MIL subject offered in senior high? ›

MIL is an integral core subject for Grade 11 or 12 students. The subject aims to introduce the students to a basic understanding and preview of media and information as a platform or channel of communication (MIL Curriculum Guide, n.

What are the media literacy skills that can help people? ›

Media skills: the ability to search, find and navigate and use media content and services; Participation and civic engagement: active participation in the economic, social, creative, cultural aspects of society using media in ways that advance democratic participation and fundamental human rights.

Which of the following terms refers to the ability to effectively comprehend and use mass media content? ›

The US-based National Association for Media Literacy Education defines media literacy as: a series of communication competencies, including the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and communicate information in a variety of forms, including print and non-print messages.

What is mil in grade 12 students? ›

Media and Information Literacy (MIL) for Senior High School Students: Responsiveness to Social Media Information Disorder.

What is MIL Grade 11? ›

Media and Information Literacy - Grade 11 Module.

What is media information literacy in senior high school? ›

Core Subject Title: Media and Information Literacy. No. of Hours/ Semester: 80 hours/ semester. Pre-requisite: Core Subject Description: The course introduces the learners to basic understanding of media and information as channels of communication and tools for the development of individuals and societies.

What are the 5 key concepts of media literacy? ›

Young African Leaders Initiative
  • All media messages are constructed. ...
  • Media messages are constructed using a creative language with its own rules. ...
  • Different people experience the same media message differently. ...
  • Media have embedded values and points of view. ...
  • Most media messages are organized to gain profit and/or power.
May 21, 2015

What are the three main types of media? ›

There are three main types of news media: print media, broadcast media, and the Internet.

What is the concept of media and information literacy? ›

Information and media literacy (IML) enables people to show and make informed judgments as users of information and media, as well as to become skillful creators and producers of information and media messages.

How does social media affect literacy skills? ›

Theoretically, whereas vocabulary may be affected if media leads to reduced opportunities for adult–child interaction and conversation, literacy skills are more likely to be affected if media displaces shared book reading and other print-focused activities.

What are the effects of media literacy? ›

Media literacy training increases the individuals' doubt about the media content (23). After all, existence of the individuals with high media literacy leads to increase in the media quality because such individuals require more realistic messages of higher quality (5).

What is the role of social media literacy? ›

Social media literacy (SML) is widely regarded as the capacity to critically assess the information that audiences consume or produce, thereby safeguarding them against the dissemination of false information.

What describes media? ›

(usually used with a plural verb) the means of communication, as radio and television, newspapers, magazines, and the internet, that reach or influence people widely: The media are covering the speech tonight.

How do you think communication is affected by media and information? ›

Media and information significantly impact social life by influencing communication patterns, behaviors, and cultural norms. The accessibility of information through various media channels shapes how individuals interact, obtain knowledge, and perceive the world around them.

What is technology literacy in your own words? ›

Technology literacy refers to the knowledge and skills required to effectively and responsibly use technology tools and resources. It encompasses understanding basic computer operations, digital communication, software applications, and digital citizenship.

What is the purpose of specialized subjects in senior high school? ›

Specialized subjects are subjects that are unique to the career track or learning strand that the student chose. These are similar to the major subjects that college students take, although they're designed to be less complex than their college counterparts.

How significant is learning media and information languages? ›

How significant is learning media and information languages? For starters, the media make linguistic data widely accessible for study and educational purposes. Second, media outlets are significant language institutions.

What is media and information literacy communication? ›

Information and media literacy (IML) enables people to show and make informed judgments as users of information and media, as well as to become skillful creators and producers of information and media messages.

What is manipulative information and media? ›

Manipulative Information and Media

Refers to materials, programs, application and the like that teachers and students use to formulate new information to aid learning through the use, use, evaluation and production of interactive and hand-on media.

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