Researching media literacy: EPRA Media Literacy Taskforce issues guidance

posted on 09 September, 2019   (public)

Media Literacy being an ever-changing process that requires constant reflection and adaptations, it is crucial that those interested in media literacy regularly conduct research into the subject 

Following the work of the EPRA Media Literacy Taskforce established last year, the latest set of guidelines produced by the Taskforce focuses on researching media Literacy.

As highlighted on the occasion of EPRA's plenary session on "Protecting minors in the online world" which took place in Sarajevo in May 2019, an evidence-based approach, especially when it comes to the protection of minors, appears to be crucial for  future-proof regulation in a changing ecosystem. Having a robust understanding of the users' online experience is a prerequisite to be able to initiate appropriate actions. Against this backdrop, it is crucial that those interested in media literacy regularly conduct research into the subject as it is an ever-changing process that requires constant reflection and adaptations. 

In line with this approach, the new guidance document produced by UK regulator Ofcom intends to:

  • provide advice for media regulatory authorities on how to initiate research in order to fulfil the possible gaps of relevant data
  • It deals with both quantitative and qualitative research
  • It presents useful tips to prepare or/and to conduct a research on media literacy, notably regarding the costs of the project, the process and the others possible sources of research.

"Researching Media Literacy: A guidance document for EPRA members by Ofcom (UK)"

Further background: EPRA and Media Literacy
Since 2008, media literacy features regularly on the agenda of EPRA meetings. Several successive comparative papers have revealed a growing interest of broadcasting regulators to promote media literacy. 
Following a fruitful biannual Working Group on media literacy in 2017, a Taskforce was launched in 2018 with the collaboration of media literacy expert Martina Chapman. Its aim was to encourage the sharing of information between broadcasting regulators on media literacy and to provide informal support and guidance to members of the EPRA network.
In 2018, members of the EPRA Media literacy Taskforce met twice and adopted three sets of guidelines ("top tips") for EPRA members: 
The EPRA MIL Taskforce concluded its work at the end of 2018. However, owing to the continued interest of EPRA members for the topic, EPRA's Work Programme for 2019 included an annual working group on media literacy. An email group composed of Task Force members supports the exchange of information and an online discussion forum has recently been launched.

Source: EPRA Secretariat