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Assessing the media literacy of UK adults: a review of the academic literature

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Broadcasting Standards Commission
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  • Hv Social Pathology. Social And Public Welfare. Criminology
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  • Design

Abstract

ASSESSING THE MEDIA LITERACY OF UK ADULTS A REVIEW OF THE ACADEMIC LITERATURE Produced for: Broadcasting Standards Commission Independent Television Commission NIACE By Sonia Livingstone, with Nancy Thumim March 2003 Contact Details Professor Sonia Livingstone London School of Economics and Political Science [email protected] +44 (0)207 955 7710 http://www.lse.ac.uk/depts/media/people/slivingstone/index.html ASSESSING THE MEDIA LITERACY OF UK ADULTS A REVIEW OF THE ACADEMIC LITERATURE Produced for: Broadcasting Standards Commission Independent Television Commission NIACE By Sonia Livingstone, with Nancy Thumim March 2003 Researching media literacy � The Government’s 2002 Communications Bill (Draft) promises for the first time to ‘promote media literacy’ among the population of the UK, improving public awareness and understanding of contents and services provided through electronic media. � In order to establish the present level of media literacy among the UK population, and in order to set the benchmark against which future initiatives or interventions designed to ‘secure increased public awareness and understanding’ can be assessed, this review of the academic literature asks: How media literate is the adult population in the UK? � Definitions of media literacy abound, though consensus is less forthcoming. This review adopts a working definition, first examining the question of access as a prerequisite to developing media literacy skills, and then reviewing research on media literacy in terms of three stages: (1) technical competencies; (2) critical reception practices; and (3) content production. � It should be noted from the outset that this review identified little empirical research on adult media literacy funded and conducted in the UK. Hence, it draws on diverse sources that more-or-less indirectly reveal the nature and extent of adult media literacy. These sources largely concentrate on audiovisual media and on computer-based media/interne

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