Mediawijzer.net, expertise centre for media literacy
10 Media Literacy Competences
To view the 10 Media Literacy Competences, presented on the Media and Learning Conference 14 – 15 November 2012:
- Media literacy Map (pdf)
Overview of presentations given by the Dutch delegation at the European Media Literacy Expert Group meeting in Brussels at 28 November 2011.
We live in a fast-moving world in which, partly due to technological developments, the use of media plays an increasingly important role. Through radio, television and the Internet we get news and information 24 hours a day, and thanks to our mobile telephones, we are always within reach of our colleagues, friends and families regardless of time or place. We read e-mail on our mobile telephones, Skype with our grandchildren abroad, have profiles on social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn and can even do our daily grocery shopping and government-related administration online. Technological progress is making our lives easier and often enhances the contact we have with our surroundings.
However, this is not the case for everyone. The elderly, for example, lack knowledge of modern media and the practical skills required to profit fully from the interactivity of the information society. Meanwhile, the young often know how to use modern media, but are not always capable of distinguishing between reliable and unreliable information. They also don’t always realise that the photos they put on the Internet can end up staying there for years. Being able to handle (modern) media is of essential importance to everyone.
Handling media consciously, critically and actively
Mediawijzer.net was established in 2008 at the initiative of the government. Mediawijzer.net is aiming to provide all Dutch citizens with a framework in which to become media literate in order that they can increasingly participate fully in society. Being ‘media literate’ means possessing the knowledge and skills to be able to function consciously, critically and actively in a multi-media world.
Mediawijzer.net: a large network of organisations
Mediawijzer.net is an expertise centre that links the activities of various organisations in the area of media literacy and promotes cooperation between them. There are five trendsetting public organisations at the centre’s core:
- ECP-EPN, an information society platform;
- Kennisnet, an expertise centre for ICT in education;
- The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, NIBG (Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid);
- NTR, a Public Broadcasting Company;
- The Institute for the Public Libraries Sector, SIOB (Sectorinstituut voor Openbare Bibliotheken).
Since 2008, over 450 organisations have registered as network partners. Among these are libraries, schools, large media companies, museums, research institutes, publishing companies, training institutes and ICT companies. Through Mediawijzer.net these organisations provide activities, exchange expertise and jointly develop new initiatives.
Who is it for?
The dissemination of media literacy is primarily aimed at children and young people from two to eighteen years old. This group is often the first to be exposed to new forms of media, and can be particularly vulnerable due to inexperience. Furthermore, what is learnt at a young age is often what is learnt best. This group is provided with information and encouraged to use media responsibly either by Mediawijzer.net directly or through their parents, grandparents and teachers.
Facts and figures
In the Netherlands, there is greater ease of access to media than in other countries. Many media, especially digital media, are widely used.
- Eight out of ten Dutch people have a broadband Internet connection at home.
- Almost twelve million Dutch people make regular use of the Internet.
- 62% of Dutch people use social media such as Twitter, YouTube, Hyves (Dutch Social network comparable to Facebook), LinkedIn or Facebook.
- 90% of young people between 12 and 25 surf the Internet daily.
- Almost all young people between 12 and 18 use the Internet to chat, e-mail, game or download films and music. In addition, clothes, event tickets and books are increasingly often purchased online.
Why continue to invest in Mediawijzer.net?
Being ‘media literate’ is a basic condition for full participation in society. In order to give every Dutch citizen the same opportunities, it is important that Mediawijzer.net’s objectives and the activities of its affiliated network partners remain a focus of public attention. An approach at the national level avoids fragmentation into small, local projects. In the last two years, Mediawijzer.net has shown how the relevant parties can be linked and how the impact and reach of initiatives can thereby be strengthened.
What has been achieved so far?
- In 2009, the Mediawijzer.net website was launched, with domains for the public, professionals and partners. On the website, the activities and services of over 450 network partners are presented. Mediawijzer.net also has an active function as an information bank and disseminator of news regarding media literacy.
- The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (NIBG) in Hilversum, locates a special Mediawijzer.net pavilion, is Mediawijzer.net’s meeting point. Annually, 200,000 visitors get acquainted with themes related to media literacy here.
- In 2009, Mediawijzer.net realised a number of impressive projects. In the spring of 2009, the national ‘Well Famous’ (‘Lekker Beroemd’ ) campaign brought the theme of media literacy to the attention of young people. Numerous activities took place, generating publicity in the media. In partnership with My Child Online (Mijn Kind Online) and Kidsweek, 700,000 copies of a special Lekker Beroemd newspaper were distributed.
- Also in 2009, eleven new media literacy projects were started, primarily aimed at educational institutions and parental organisations, with the intention of reaching young people. In 2010 these projects were completed and six new projects were begun, aimed at the same target groups.
- By the end of 2010, no less than 120 libraries (from a total of 150 library organisations) served as ‘Houses of Media Literacy’ in “ The Week of Media Literacy” campaign. The libraries will continue to offer everyone easy access to information concerning various aspects of new media in 2011.
Video: The Week of Media Literacy 2011
The results achieved by Mediawijzer.net in the last two years are extremely positive. As a result of all our activities, publicity campaigns and network meetings, the concept of media literacy has become widely familiar. However, a broadening and deepening of understanding, as well as continued attention for the theme, are still required. In the coming years, Mediawijzer.net will set up the following activities in order to reach even more Dutch people.
- Through its network, Mediawijzer.net stimulates the embedding of the theme of media literacy in the education system, at both primary and secondary levels.
- Mediawijzer.net wants more extensive research into media literacy to be carried out by the academic community, including long-term comparisons of the development of skills, the grasping of opportunities, and how media risks are dealt with. Additional international network connections will be sought out. In Europe, there are now many initiatives, as a result of which there is sufficient material for making comparisons between different countries’ media literacy levels.
- The broadening of our own network towards the cultural sector is also a necessary catalyst, as is extension within the media industry itself.
- Continued attention to the existing network is also a priority in order to maintain the foundations that have been established, to continue inspiring one another, and to achieve effective results together with our target groups.
What is required?
Mediawijzer.net is convinced that continuity within the existing network structure is an important prerequisite for ultimately realising the establishment of media literacy in our society. Mediawijzer.net benefits from the support of an annual government subsidy towards achieving this goal.