Video Sharing Platforms and promotion of Media Literacy: EPRA MIL taskforce’s reflections

posted on 01 February, 2021   (public)

A systematic and transparent approach to reporting and networks & alliances are key

In line with EPRA’s commitment to reflect and promote the growing importance of Media Literacy in Europe, the EPRA Media and Information Literacy Taskforce, set up in 2018, has recently released a report entitled “Reflections on Video Sharing Platforms’ promotion of Media Literacy under the Audiovisual Media Services Directive”.

The report is based on existing information about online platforms’ activities, national approaches to transposition of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, and regulators’ developing practices and expertise in coordination and oversight of media literacy activity. It presents some reflections on how the obligations of the video-sharing platforms with regard to media literacy could best be understood and applied.


Some key takeaways of the report:

  • The benefits of a systematic and transparent approach to MIL for VSPs:
- VSPs’ approach to MIL could be more consistent in terms of targeted demographic and geographic reach
- A structured and transparent basis to reporting as well as more clarity about the intended outcomes would be helpful to better understand and assess VSPs' initiatives
- These principles could form the basis of a more coordinated policy approach by VSPs.
  • The need for multi-stakeholders networks:
- VSPs' "measures and tools" should be understood broadly and not be limited to service-level tools. In this regard, partnerships with on-the-ground bodies or organisations could help complement and reinforce the educational measures in place - both off-line and online - in a relevant way
- Networks and alliances are key to promote best practices, foster strong working relationships and develop common approaches.
  • The role of the regulatory authorities:
Under a European media literacy strategy framework, regulatory authorities could encourage the cooperation between stakeholders. This could be achieved through, for instance, an “agreement on core competencies and skills indicators” list, a “shared repository of tools and resources” or common principles to assess VSPs' media literacy activities.


EPRA MIL Taskforce Reflections on Video Sharing Platforms’ promotion of Media Literacy under the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (EN)

Source: EPRA MIL Taskforce

Picture credits: World media - Image by Gerd Altmann of Pixabay

Additional background: The current legal framework for Media and Information Literacy (MIL) and video-sharing platforms (VSPs)
  • Media Literacy is at the centre of the European Democracy Plan Action and the Media and Audiovisual Action Plan and has been strengthened by the new version of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD). It has become a key factor in the effort to “equip citizens with the critical thinking skills required to exercise judgment, analyse complex realities and recognise the difference between opinion and fact”, as stated in the AVMSD.  
  • The AVMSD also explicitly underlines the importance of multi-stakeholder cooperation in approaching media literacy and, in article 28b(3)(j), it introduces a new requirement on VSPs which should provide “effective media literacy measures and tools and raising users’ awareness of those measures and tools”.