Media Literacy - CoE publishes analysis on best European practices

posted on 15 January, 2019   (public)

Involving a large variety of stakeholders to share and exchange knowledge and resources is key for sustainable MIL projects

On 20 December 2018, the Media and Internet Governance Division of the Council of Europe presented a study on “European practices of the Regulatory Authorities of Electronic Media regarding Media Literacy” on the occasion of an event held on the same day in Belgrade, Serbia. The publication was authored by Robert Tomljenović, Vice-Chairperson of the Croatian Agency for Electronic Media and was prepared thanks to the support of JUFREX, a joint project of the European Union and the Council of Europe, at the request of the Serbian Regulatory Authority for Electronic Media (REM). The aim of the study was to provide an analysis of the best examples of European practices of promoting media literacy, with special focus on the role of regulatory authorities.

The study showcases examples of the best European practices and regulatory bodies’ engagement on strengthening media literacy, alongside a special review and case study featuring the most successful European country in this field – Finland. It also provides the examples of the broadcasting media regulators’ work in Ireland and Croatia. The study provides an overview of the good European practices in order to inspire and encourage the Serbian Regulatory Authority for Electronic Media.

Based on these examples, the study puts forward some recommendations for the REM:

  • The Serbian regulator should set up an interdepartmental institutional body that will implement media literacy projects and a social discourse on the needs and goals of media literacy education, and develop a national media literacy policy or strategy.
  • REM should take a more active role in working on media literacy, owing to its important social role and complementarity with certain aspects of media content regulation and protection and minors and consumers, as well as its preventive approach.
  • REM should set its internal goals and adopt an understanding of the media literacy project, and find funds for regular research on the citizens’ media habits and literacy, and in particular for youth and children. Identifying, encouraging and involving various stakeholders from educational institutions, academia, media and libraries to state institutions and civil society is one of the main roles that REM could play when working on the media literacy project. Good results and self-sustainable projects can only be produced by including more partners and by acquiring a common understanding of issues and goals and by sharing and exchanging knowledge and resources.
  • REM should create a platform for gathering a wide variety of social stakeholders and encourage establishing diverse partnerships, as well as coming up with and supporting various projects, such as launching a web portal, publishing brochures, conducting research, organising workshops and lectures.
  • Finally, it is important to include the media in these projects, and especially the public service broadcasters, such as Radio Television of Serbia (RTS), which should be actively working on improving the citizens’ media literacy skills.

Even though the study has been made at the request of the Serbian NRA, its conclusions may be of interest for other regulators, especially the ones from the Western Balkan region, given the common challenges and issues resulting from the shared history.

Source: CoE Freedom of Expression Website

Additional EPRA Background: Media Literacy features high on EPRA’s agenda:

In 2017, an annual Working group was dedicated to Media Literacy and delivered a Comparative Background Document focusing on the role of regulators regarding media literacy.
In 2018 a Media Literacy Taskforce adopted guidelines on how to establish a national Media Literacy Network, Top tips for evaluating media literacy projects”, and “Top tips on stakeholders' engagement”.
In 2019 Media Literacy will remain a priority for EPRA with a permanent Working group allowing for a continuation of the fruitful work conducted until now.