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Trends and models of Media literacy in Europe: Between digital competence and critical understanding

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This research focuses on models and strategies the EU has developed over the last decade in order to deal with these new and changing conditions. This is an important fact due to these strategies also have guided the actions of the European Union in promoting digital and media literacy. In order to understand how it has got to the current position in Europe, we identify and describe the models of literacy (digital and its gradual transformation in media literacy) that have emerged along more than a decade.
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Anàlisi 40, 2010 85-100
Trends and models of Media literacy in Europe:
Between digital competence and critical understanding
José Manuel Pérez-Tornero
Departament de Periodisme
Facultat Ciències de la Comunicació
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
08193. Bellaterra, Cerdanyola del Vallés, Barcelona
jmtornero@gammamedia.e.telefonica.net
Oralia Paredes
oralia.paredes@gmail.com
Glòria Baena
gloria.baena@uab.cat
Santiago Giraldo
Santiago.giraldo@uab.cat
Santiago Tejedor
santiago.tejedor@uab.cat
Nùria Fernàndez
nurfergar@gmail.com
Abstract
This research focuses on models and strategies the EU has developed over the last decade in
order to deal with these new and changing conditions. This is an important fact due to these
strategies also have guided the actions of the European Union in promoting digital and media
literacy. In order to understand how it has got to the current position in Europe, we identify
and describe the models of literacy (digital and its gradual transformation in media literacy) that
have emerged along more than a decade.
Keywords: Digital literacy, media literacy, critical understanding, citizen participation
Resumen. Tendencias y modelos de la alfabetización mediática en Europa: Entre las competencias
digitales y la comprensión crítica
El presente artículo se centra en el estudio y análisis de los diferentes modelos y estrategias que
la Unión Europea (UE) ha desarrollado en la última década con el objetivo de adaptarse a la
nueva y cambiante coyuntura comunicativa y social. Con el objetivo de establecer cómo la UE
se ha adaptado a este nuevo panorama, se identifican y describen los principales modelos de
alfabetización (desde la digital hasta la mediática) aplicados en los últimos diez años.
86 Anàlisi 40, 2010 J. M. Pérez-Tornero, O. Paredes, G. Baena, S. Giraldo, S. Tejedor i N. Fernàndez
Palabras clave: Alfabetización digital, Lectura crítica, educación en medios, participación ciu-
dadana
Summary
Introduction
In just 40 years, media and communication and information tools changed
profoundly and its use has spread, throughout the world. The technological
innovation is the fastest, complete and comprehensive that has been experi-
enced throughout the history of mankind and it has its implications on our
way of life. There is no doubt that the digital media and ICT have become a
new “living space”.
People work, establish relationships and spent their leisure time using me-
dia and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). This adapta-
tion depends, in turn, the capacity and powers of the institutions and indi-
viduals to obtain the necessary skills and abilities to use them properly as a
part of a culture in which is necessary to effort actions towards literacy for all
contexts and texts of media and ICT.
This paper develops the process on media literacy from the conception of
digital competences to critical understanding intended to present the models
that define different trends. For this, we expose media literacy initiatives that
face new digital environment and the changes it cause in society and the base
set by authorities, initiatives and policies that have driven just a digital literacy
towards the media literacy comprehension, beginning with the context and
definition of media literacy, tools for the assessment and policies to explain
the different models.
New digital context
These processes of “digitization” of every-day life are being promoted by
the requirements imposed by the transition from an industrial to an informa-
tion economy. The consequence is the implementation of the Information
Society reinforced by a continued investment in the industry of telecommuni-
cations: telephone networks, satellites, etc.
Introduction
New digital context
From Digital Literacy to Media Literacy
A conceptual map
Two Dimensions
Technical skills
Critical understanding skills
Communicative skills
Trends in digital literacy in Europe
Conclusions
Trends and models of Media literacy in Europe Anàlisi 40, 2010 87
At the same time, is making a tremendous effort in the production, deploy-
ment and marketing of technology platforms and tools -as communication
terminals inside this new global network that allows users a more productive
activity. This has enhanced the availability, which means the potential user can
access to all kind of communications technology in every moment.
However, beyond the availability, access depends not only on the technical
tools available to people, but a more complex process that imply the capacity
of the institutions and individuals for adapted the new technologies. So we
talk about digital literacy
1
.
This adaptation depends, in turn, of the capacity and abilities of institu-
tions and individuals to accept innovation and change. They need new skills
to face to new technological environment.
This bunch of abilities, attitudes, habits and knowledge related to Infor-
mation and Communication Technologies (ICT) is named digital skills. And
the process -and outcome- of the acquisition of such competences is known
as digital literacy, as important as traditional literacy (reading and writing) be-
cause involves the efficient control of new ICT.
At first, digital literacy was only considered as the set of technological
abilities. However, rapidly was recognized the necessity to acquire a set of
skills and practices that included, in addition to operational techniques, cul-
tural elements. That means, for an effective use of ICT is essential to develop
a critical thinking and awareness that allow individuals to use the media with a
sufficient degree of autonomy.
In order to emphasize the multidimensional and multifunctional nature
required by this new digital and media environment the ICT, the concept dig-
ital literacy has been moved closer to the comprehensive and general media
literacy, in which prevails the idea that ICT provide to individuals of new
abilities to live in the new media environment characterized almost entirely by
digital media.
The European Commission (EC) is the institution which has advised ex-
tends the concept of digital literacy to include it in the media literacy concept.
It is the Commission which defined media literacy as “the ability to access,
analyze and evaluate the power of images, sounds and messages that we faced
daily and which has an important role in contemporary culture.
From Digital Literacy to Media Literacy
The first stage of the European Commissions policy in relation to the
Information Society, from 2000 to 2005 - shows the existence of a double
line of force:
a) The emphasis on providing infrastructure and social diffusion;
1. Some has named this culture as “convergence culture”. Cf. Henry Jenkins, Convergente cultura,
Barcelona, Paidós, 2008.
88 Anàlisi 40, 2010 J. M. Pérez-Tornero, O. Paredes, G. Baena, S. Giraldo, S. Tejedor i N. Fernàndez
b) Investment in improvements to allow better capabilities of people, es-
pecially youth, through the formal education system, and workers with
the objective of extending training throughout life.
However, they will gradually reinforce the priorities for action assuming it
is fundamental to increase awareness and empowerment of individuals in re-
lation to ICT. This requires focus on issues such as quality and safety of usage,
awareness of the protection and promotion of the personal rights and dignity
in the technological environment (especially in regard to the protection of
minors) and the critical capacity of citizens to ICT.
In this sense, the Parliament and the European Commission (EC) have
played a key role in shaping this new approach. The following named are
some of the most important initiatives and actions undertaken by the EC and
highlight this new line of action.
One of the most important activities was the study Promoting digital
literacy”
2
, conducted in 2004 by the Autonomous University of Barcelona
(UAB), focused on the identification and analysis of successful and innova-
tive experiences in digital literacy. Beyond the consideration of instrumen-
tal and operational aspects, this study recognizes the need to place digital
literacy in the broader context of cultural change (towards thedigital cul-
ture”).
On the other hand, the consideration of security aspects in the use of
virtual networks and aspects related to human dignity and children’s protec-
tion were gaining momentum through several initiatives of the Parliament
and the European Commission. In this sense, the more suitable Internet, to
ensure the protection of minors resulted in several actions. Among them is
remarkable, in 2006, the Recommendation on the protection of minors and human
dignity.
3
In which is make stress in the need to promote media education and
media literacy, as the only guarantee of real protection from the challenges
of new technologies. In this regard, the recommendation is strengthen the
demand for teacher training in media literacy and the inclusion of media lite-
racy in the curriculum with the aim not only to protect the children but also
to promote responsible attitudes from all users. It can be read as dimensions
that go beyond the instrumental use of ICT that has been incorporated as an
essential element in the new policies of the European Commission. Other
actions and legal texts broadened the scope of digital literacy. The Recom-
2. Pérez Tornero, José Manuel. “Promoting Digital Literacy”, Final Report EAC/76/03 di-
rected in 2004 by Jose Manuel Perez Tornero and by specialists on the subject, as Victoria
Camps, Giuseppe Richeri, Pere Vila, Josep Blat and Teun A. van Dijk and others. Available at:
http://ec.europa.eu/education/archive/elearning/doc/studies/dig_lit_en.pdf
3. Recommendation 2006/952/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 De-
cember 2006 on the protection of minors and human dignity. Available at http://europa.eu/
legislation_summaries/audiovisual_and_media/l24030a_en.htm.
Trends and models of Media literacy in Europe Anàlisi 40, 2010 89
mendation on key competences in lifelong learning and throughout life
4
identifies the
key skills that should be learned: a) digital competence (safe and critical use
of technology), b) civic and social competence (tools needed to participate
actively and democratically in society), and c) the cultural awareness and crea-
tive competence (as a tool for assessing the creative expression of ideas and
emotions in the media).
In a similar vein, the Council of Europe (CE) also developed in the 2006
Recommendation on empowering children in the new environment of information and com-
munications
5
to provide sufficient tools to children and educators for the best
use of services and new ICT. The recommendation calls member states to
help familiarize children with the new environment of ICT and give them the
necessary tools to “create, produce and distribute content and communica-
tions.
In parallel, the European Commission established an Expert Group on
Media Literacy (EU Media Literacy Expert Group) in order to analyze and define
the objectives and trends of media literacy, highlighting and promoting good
practices at European level and propose actions to follow in promoting media
literacy. The Group of Experts in 2006 prompted a public consultation
6
to
identify trends on media literacy not only at European level.
A year later, the EC gave in charge the study Current Trends and Approaches
to Media Literacy in Europe
7
, which identifies a number of common trends in
media literacy in the countries of the European Union.
Subsequently, the Commission announces the Communication A Eu-
ropean approach to media literacy in the digital environment
8
, which emphasizes the
need for a regulatory policy that would safeguard “certain public interests,
such as cultural diversity, the right to information, the importance of media
pluralism, the protection of minors and consumers and increasing awareness
and media literacy of the public, now and in the future.
These efforts to bring digital and media literacy as a key element of the
development of information society in Europe concluded in the enactment
4. Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 on key
compétences for lifelong learning.
5. Recommendation on Empowering Children in the New Information and Communications
Environment.
6. Making sense of today’s media content: Commission begins public media literacy consultation. European Com-
mision. Brussels, 6 October 2006. Available at: http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do
?reference=IP/06/1326&format=HTML&aged=0&language
7. Pérez Tornero, José Manuel. “Study of the Current Trends and Approaches on Media Lite-
racy in Europe”, European Commision, 2007. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/avpolicy/
media_literacy/studies/index_en.htm
8. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European
Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. A European approach to
media literacy in the digital environment. COM (2007) 833 final. Brussels, 12/20/2007. Availa-
ble at: http://ec.europa.eu/avpolicy/media_literacy/docs/com/en.pdf
90 Anàlisi 40, 2010 J. M. Pérez-Tornero, O. Paredes, G. Baena, S. Giraldo, S. Tejedor i N. Fernàndez
of the European Audiovisual Services Directive
9
, which in should have been
incorporated –on December 2009– into legislation in all Member States of
the European Union, introducing for the first time in regulation of the media
system, the need to promote media literacy.
The directive stresses creative and critical capacities of citizens before the
media: “Those skilled in the use of the media may choose knowingly, unders-
tanding the nature of content and services, take the whole range of oppor-
tunities offered by new communication technologies and better protect their
families and themselves against harmful or offensive contents.”
Among other, it highlights:
a) The change of focus on media literacy from the protection to the pro-
motion with the aim of empowering and involve citizens;
b) The change of perspective from the mass media to new technologies
and digital media;
c) The increasing awareness of citizens, as the media industry; and
d) The increased presence of media literacy into the teaching curriculum,
and participation and promotion of media literacy authority regulators.
A conceptual map
The complexity of the subject makes it difficult to quantify the level of
media literacy, which is a complicated phenomenon observable but mainly not
directly quantifiable. It is for this reason that a conceptual map was created to
enable the further elaboration of media literacy criteria and the key environ-
mental factors, which hamper or facilitate the development of media literacy
in the EU countries.
9. This directive replaces the old European Directive on Television without Frontiers (DTVSF
89/552/EC). The Directive entered into force in December 2007, but member states have until
the end of 2009 to incorporate into its legislation.
Trends and models of Media literacy in Europe Anàlisi 40, 2010 91
TABle 1. inDiViDuAl CompeTenCes AnD enVironmenTAl fACTors
DIMENSION CRITERIA OBJECTIVES
INDIVIDUAL
COMPETENCES
– Use skills (technical)
Critical Understand, com-
petences;
Communicative Abilities;
To increase awareness about
how media messages influence
perceptions, popular culture and
personal choices;
To provide the skill for critical
analysis;
To provide the creative skill to
solve problems;
To develop the capacity of
production;
To consolidate Communicati-
ve rights;
To develop intercultural
dialogue;
To consolidate democracy; and
To develop active and partici-
patory citizenship.
(Amongst others)
ENVIRONMEN-
TAL FACTORS
MEDIA AVAILABILITY
Supply of media
MEDIA LITERACY CON-
TEXT
Media Education as a process
to develop media literacy
capacities
Media literacy policies and
regulatory authorities
Media industry role and activi-
ty in relation to media literacy
Civil society role and activity in
relation to media literacy
Two Dimensions
As we can see in Table 1, the Study draw / describes two elements that con-
tribute to media literacy: individual’s abilities and contextual or environmental
factors. It breaks them down further into components, which are measured
by criteria: technical, cognitive, participative and creative. In the same way, the
key environmental factors which help or hinder the media literacy developed.
There are a further set of variables which relate to the level of development
of these skills and this in turn is applied, via a statistically validated instru-
ment, to assess a Member State’s media literacy levels.
In other hand, the environmental factors include the economic wealth of
a country, the affluence of its citizens, the legislative and regulatory structures
that support the digital media and the advancement of them and, crucially, the
governmental support afforded to them, in terms of educational policy, sub-
sidy etc. Media literacy does not exist in a bubble, but is affected by a variety
of dynamic factors and facilitates interdependent skills and competences to
allow individuals a complete participation in the new digital world.
Thus, it is assumed that environmental influences (education, institutional,
industry, etc.) affect the way individual skills develop: educational opportuni-
ties and favourable environmental factors produce better educated and deve-
loped individuals. This is an assertion based on the experience (both scientific
92 Anàlisi 40, 2010 J. M. Pérez-Tornero, O. Paredes, G. Baena, S. Giraldo, S. Tejedor i N. Fernàndez
and empirical) that has been accumulated in this area over decades. However,
these factors do not guarantee a specific result. Research cannot encompass
all the variables that may potentially affect a particular process.
The EC requires assessment of the condition of the individuals in each
country and also what institutions can do to improve individual conditions.
This way, the institutions included in Environmental Factors are mediators
between the policies of the Commission and national governments, and the
improvement of individual skills.
That is the reason to the Study identified two dimensions within media
literacy: one flowing from an individual’s ability to utilize the media informed
(Individual Competences-IC). The other, the set of contextual factors than impact
the broad span of media literacy: availability, media policy, education and the
role and responsibility of stakeholders in the media community (Environmental
Factors -EF). These dimensions were broken down into criteria:
a) Individual competences. Within the individual skills relating to media
literacy, we have distinguished the following criteria: use, critical un-
derstanding and communicative abilities, any individual skill is de-
veloped along the three dimensions of doing, which imply the capacity
to operate, (operative ability; practical use), knowing critically (or cognitive
competence), and the objective that the skill set should meet; in this
case, communication, social relationships, participation (in the public sphere)
and creation.
b) Environmental factors: media policy, media education, media industry
and the actions of civil society. This is all on the foundation of availa-
bility.
All together were taken into account to generate an overview for the re-
ferencing of development in media literacy without risking the dilution of
particular indicators. Most of the identified indicators were based in part on
pre-existing data. This data was uncomplicated and allowed for diverse appli-
cations, permitting generative comparisons and longitudinal analysis.
Technical skills
Technical skills are the instrumental and operative abilities required to ac-
cess and effectively use media communication tools. They specifically refer
to a set of devices and tools available in a certain context or environment. In
relation to these skills, we distinguish between: access (the individual can gain
access to the media. Access affects the relationship between the context and
the individual) and use (the individual use the media to act).
Therefore, technical skills are a prerequisite to the use of media. These
technical skills may be further developed by the individual to adapt to specific
users and their needs. By their nature, technical abilities include aspects related
to certain decoding capacities (especially of interfaces) and the ability to use
specific functionalities that media tools may possess. From this perspective,
Trends and models of Media literacy in Europe Anàlisi 40, 2010 93
technical skills could overlap with cognitive ability. However, as we will ex-
plain below, in this study we consider cognitive level more sophisticated com-
petences as belonging to a more advanced level of technical skills.
Critical understanding skills
Whilst use dimension is the intersection between availability and opera-
tional skills, critical understanding includes all the cognitive processes that
influence the user’s practices (effectiveness of actions, degree of freedom
or restriction, regulation and norms, etc.). Use requires knowledge; cognitive
understanding requires meta-knowledge (knowledge about knowledge). This
knowledge allows the user to evaluate aspects of the media, by way of compa-
ring different types and sources of information, arriving to conclusions about
its veracity and appropriateness, and making informed choices.
Communicative skills
Finally, the communicative abilities are the manifestation of the success
or failure of the previous levels. These are skills that manifest themselves in
communication and participation with social groups via the media, and con-
tent creation. This is the highest degree of media literacy.
Trends in digital literacy in Europe
So far we have seen how have been developed policies to promote media
literacy in Europe. Now we describe the dominant trends in each period to
recognize trends at present. We identify four strategies and models for action
in promoting media literacy in the last decade.
1) Model focuses on achieving total connectivity and access;
2) Model focused on promoting the development basic skills for using
computers and Internet;
3) Model that promotes developing the basic skill of specific groups;
4) Model that seeks to increase the quality of use of digital technologies.
94 Anàlisi 40, 2010 J. M. Pérez-Tornero, O. Paredes, G. Baena, S. Giraldo, S. Tejedor i N. Fernàndez
Model focuses on achieving total connectivity and access
In the context of an insufficient extension of ICT, this model focuses
primarily on the provision of infrastructure devices that allow both access to
technology and the acquisition of the minimum standards.
Initiatives focus on provide and ensure infrastructure and establishment
of spaces or access to ICTs Priority is given, therefore, expenditure on provi-
ding computers and technological devices to schools and citizens, and make
them available to users free or at low cost and the success is determined by the
amount of people using ICTs.
There are two areas:
a) Policies designed to facilitate individual citizens and households access
to ICTs, which entailed investments in infrastructure, incentives for
operating companies, actions to lower the purchase price and access.
b) The support and promotion of the provision of educational and public
access to ICTs.
Strength of model
The increased connectivity as a result of strong public investment to equip
schools evaluated in terms of ratio of per pupil and teacher availability of
computers; and in homes as a result of aids for purchasing computers, incen-
tives to cut prices, public campaigns for the dissemination of ICTs, etc.
Trends and models of Media literacy in Europe Anàlisi 40, 2010 95
Weakness of model
Despite the efforts, some exclusion digital zones don’t have been eradica-
ted because of the lack of interest or needs. Financial resources and skills to
use technology and because does not ensure the culture change in institutions
and endemic problems of some administration, educational government and
health systems persist. It can be said that ICTs helped to provide new systems
on the control of processes, but few real transformation practices and impro-
ving the overall efficiency of the institutions.
Some results of this model are reflected both in the actions undertaken
by European countries in the framework of eEurope
10
and the results of its
benchmarking exercise carried out to track the progress of the Information
Society in Member States, and that, in terms of internet use
11
, concludes the
spread of digital technology is advancing rapidly and the number of users is
multiplying. However, not exploited the full potential offered by these tech-
nologies.
Model focused on promoting the development basic skills for using computers and Internet
The model is focused on promoting training in the basic use or the ini-
tial level use. Was aimed at all audiences, but have recently been establishing
differences between types of consumers or users. Its priority is given to pu-
blic Internet access in areas “depressed and marginalized and have trainers or
coaches to guide users during their approach to the use of ICT in a” reliable
space”.
Strength of model
Bringing exclude people to ICT, the creation of local public centres with
training that enables access. Finally, include digital competences as part of the
compulsory education with technological equipment in schools.
Weakness of model
The weaknesses are in relation to the users and in its purposes. That is,
in one hand, it is motivating just for some persons; a gap still exists between
users. In promoting basic use of technology, users do not recognize the op-
portunities for taking advantage in their everyday lives because the increased
of services from e-government, e-business, which are not understood.
10. eEurope 2002. Impacto y prioridades. Comunicación de la Comisión al Consejo y al Parlamento
Europeo el 23 y 24 de marzo de 2001. -Brusels, 13.3.2001COM(2001) 140 final. Available at:
http://www.csae.map.es/csi/pdf/impact_es.pdf
11. Experienced increased access to internet (in percentages). Available at: http://appsso.eurostat.
ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=isoc_ci_ac_i&lang=en
96 Anàlisi 40, 2010 J. M. Pérez-Tornero, O. Paredes, G. Baena, S. Giraldo, S. Tejedor i N. Fernàndez
In the other hand, the model does not distinguish specific groups. The
curriculum of media literacy programs is too general and abstract; the courses
and the digital literacy centres are designed for mainstream audiences, so the-
re is a gap between people who want to participate and those who does not,
causing disadvantages in terms of opportunities to extract benefits. In schools
if media literacy exists, is as an independent subject or is assumed as digital li-
teracy, so it depends of the teacher’s possibilities (and decision) to promote it.
In addition, in this model, the access does not cover all the regions, so, the
internet access centres do not guarantee the possibility of use to those who
live far from them or, in many cases, dont guarantee the access to people with
disabilities. As result, there are remaining people excluded from the benefits
of the network.
Model that promotes developing the basic skill of specific targets
Model focus on users, responding to their specific needs, especially those
factors that lead to exclusion (poor employment status, gender barriers, inco-
me barriers, etc.). In pursuit of total connectivity, there are elements that lead
to strategic change: instead of target a general public, distinction is drawn by
user profiles. Digital literacy becomes to media literacy, focusing increasingly
on the developed of the user’s abilities and the need to develop critical thin-
king and active participation of individuals in order to address the growing
ICT offers.
Strength of model
Digital and media education are directed toward specific and defined au-
diences, giving more importance to users production. Develop curricula that
meet specific needs of particular groups and increase didactic resources that
allow students to develop communication skills. Media literacy has presence in
the curriculum of compulsory education. Digital literacy is present in almost
all educational curricular models in Europe in order to face the growing phe-
nomenon of converging media and the increase in communications.
Media literacy is being established as a larger educational goal to achieve.
Moreover, there is a new conception of literacy, focus not only in the pro-
tection issue but in promoting media literacy skills of individuals and shared
responsibilities among stakeholders. The goal is to strengthen the autonomy
and empower the public participation. The whole process is based on social
sectors and the involvement of the media industry. European institutions, re-
gulatory authorities and civil society groups (citizens, consumers and parents)
are more involved in media literacy campaigns and the media industry are
more interested in the development of media literacy (and media education),
especially the newspapers in school, film festivals.
Trends and models of Media literacy in Europe Anàlisi 40, 2010 97
Weakness of model
The lack of networks and dissipation of governmental effort and poor
coordination among stakeholders; despite promoting actions, the different
sectors act independently without synergies or continuity. Impact of projects
its not as expected. That lack of shared vision to enhance media literacy also
affects a new curriculum conceptualization.
Model aimed to increase the quality of use of digital technologies.
Model focused on the quality of use of ICT and media use to satisfy the
needs of the users, which mean an improvement over those models that pri-
oritized the quantity and the provision of technological devices. This implies
an enhanced frame for skills and more complex strategies that involve more
critical reading of media and strong interactivity when using ICT. In this
sense, an important element of the model is to develop a critical and aware-
ness in faced the contents and functions of media and technologies with a
view to establishing a conscious and responsible attitude toward the use of
new technological possibilities.
Strength of model
Model focus in strengthens the users’ confidence of as a result of aware-
ness campaigns that promote the safe use of technology and action initiatives
and laws for the protection of minors from the media. On that basis, the
implementation of the Media literacy as a part of the curriculum as a subject
and as a matter of continuing education throughout life its being considered
and starts to be a part of teacher training programs.
This model emphasize on developing the skills related to new media and
new platforms where conventional media converge, and the need to pro-
mote creativity in non professional audiovisuals and online productions. It
promotes citizen participation (e-democracy) and production, creation and
dissemination of didactic materials and content, taking into account not only
individual conditions, but the environment and educational one.
The model encourages teamwork and creation of networks for participa-
tion, i.e. promoting a responsible participation in forums, social networks, and
digital community spaces to participate in the social life of the community.
Finally, in order to assure the success of the model or reinforce it, the
progress of the digital and media literacy is evaluated constantly, applying ini-
tiatives for improvement, promoting the assessment levels of media literacy,
especially in regard to access and confidence in their use. Tests are conducted
to evaluate not only access and consume of ICT and media, but the quality of
use of media and communication technologies.
98 Anàlisi 40, 2010 J. M. Pérez-Tornero, O. Paredes, G. Baena, S. Giraldo, S. Tejedor i N. Fernàndez
Weakness of model
Historically marginalized groups (the elderly, unemployed, cultural mi-
norities, etc.) continue to be, without access to benefits of technology. This
model can be effort establishing higher levels of creation and guaranteeing
dissemination as result of synergy between different sectors: government,
industry, schools and not allow further progress in the creation of content
by users.
Conclusions
So far we have considered the different stages, models and strategies deve-
loped by the European Commission in promoting digital and media literacy.
From this experience we can draw some conclusions as the fact that all models
now coexist and to a large extent, they reflect the economic and social envi-
ronment in which they are implanted.
It can be seen in almost ten years the digital literacy model (which enhan-
ced the availability and access to ICT) has gain complexity to face the new me-
dia context, and nowadays we can recognize some models aimed to promoted
creation and critical active and responsible citizens in the public sphere using
the search new digital environment.
The change of focus - which is given in the Seville European Council in
June 2002 - shows a deep change: the focus is not longer the TIC and media
(and the media industry) but the users. In addition, initiatives are not only in
the sense of protection but the promotion of an active and critical attitude of
users before the media. Now is assumed that the technological equipment is
not sufficient to guarantee de information right for everyone. Today is a ac-
cepted fact that government, industry, civic society, educational systems must
invest in a models of media literacy that provides of training throughout life
(or training).
This way, assuming not only the necessity of developed the technical skill,
but critical skill of individuals has been a key factor in the development of
policies for promoting media literacy.
Summarizing, all means that media literacy efforts must be towards a mo-
del that eventually will count with an inclusive use of the technology and
as an collective effort between different sectors, governments, industry, and
institutions and allow audiences and users participation, for example by their
own creation of content by users.
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