(Internews' media literacy programs are cited in this report from the Center for International Media Assistance)
In countries all over the world, whether democratic or one-party states, governments are promoting media literacy as a vital skill set. Media development organizations uniformly say that it is a vital part of their work. Both programming and spending patterns among funders suggest that media literacy programs are a still small but growing focus of overall media development work.
The Center for International Media Assistance published a trio of reports in 2009 that looked at the then emerging topic of media literacy. After hearing much discussion about media literacy among media development implementers since then, CIMA decided to take a second look at the topic.
This report aims to take another snapshot of the current state of media literacy programs and revisit some of the questions that this new area of media development is raising. Looking forward, the subject deserves much deeper research and examination. We need more data to understand how a country’s population gets access to information, understands it, and acts on it. We need more detailed spending figures to see how various donors are approaching this work and funding it. We also need more evaluations to see if this work has meaningful impact. So while Media Literacy 2.0 is still far from the final word on the topic, it does begin to surface some revealing examples of emerging approaches.