On December 2016, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland launched its Media Literacy Policy, which sets out a range of skills to help people to navigate current, new and emerging content platforms. The Policy was launched in the Marker Hotel, attended by a wide range of stakeholders from the media, education and regulatory fields.
The policy has been developed by the BAI as part of its statutory obligation to undertake, encourage and foster research and activities to promote media literacy. In launching the policy, a key objective for the BAI is to provide leadership and to facilitate a coordinated approach to the promotion of media literacy in Ireland. The BAI’s policy approach also aims to describe and promote media literacy in a way that is meaningful and relevant; to foster research in the area; and, to complement educational initiatives already in existence.
Commenting on the launch, Chief Executive of the BAI, Michael O’Keeffe said: “Technology is rapidly changing how we consume media. The BAI’s Media Literacy Policy aims to give users the skills to understand how media works in this evolving environment, to enable them to determine the accuracy of the information they are viewing, to be able to identify what may be unfair and inaccurate representation, to challenge extremist views and, ultimately, to make better informed media choices.”
The framework for the BAI’s Media Literacy Policy is based on three core competencies and a set of associated skills and success indicators. These competencies are centred on issues regarding:
- the ability to recognise different content types;
- making informed choices in relation to valuing and protecting personal data;
- the creation of media content for private and public use and the ability to engage in online learning opportunities.
A key area of work for the BAI in the following years is to facilitate the development of an Irish Media Literacy Network. Interested parties, such as educators, broadcasters and public bodies will be invited to share their skills and knowledge on the subject.
BAI Chairperson, Prof Pauric Travers added: “Media literacy is incredibly important in this day and age and competency can result in a more engaged and inclusive society. Media literacy can also help people develop problem-solving skills in technology-rich environments, an area in which, surprisingly, Ireland scores below average, according to the recent OECD PIAAC adult skills survey.
We strongly believe that collaboration, involving all interested stakeholders, will be critical to the success of the Policy. It is for this reason that the BAI will facilitate the development of an Irish Media Literacy Network, which will launch next year. It hopes to bring expert and interested groups together and will encourage cross-sector communication, collaboration and knowledge-sharing on media literacy topics. Membership will be open to all media literacy stakeholders and we strongly encourage groups working in this sphere to get involved.”
The BAI’s Media Literacy Policy is available for download here.