What is Media Literacy?


Media literacy is a set of competencies that enable people to analyze, evaluate, and create messages in a wide variety of media modes, genres, and formats.

Media literate youth and adults are better able to understand the complex messages we receive from television, radio, Internet, newspapers, magazines, books, billboards, video games, music, and all other forms of media. 

According to the most popular P21 framework, media Literacy has two angles to it:

Analyze Media - the ability to

  • Understand both how and why media messages are constructed, and for what purposes
  • Examine how individuals interpret messages differently, how values and points of view are included or excluded, and how media can influence beliefs and behaviors
  • Apply a fundamental understanding of the ethical/legal issues surrounding the access and use of media

Create Media Products - the ability to

  • Understand and utilize the most appropriate media creation tools, characteristics and conventions
  • Understand and effectively utilize the most appropriate expressions and interpretations in diverse, multi-cultural environments

Watch these videos to understand the media literacy definition better.

Learn more on how media literacy skills can help youth and adults.

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