We live in a fast-moving world in which, partly due to technological developments, the use of media plays an increasingly important role. We receive news and information 24 hours a day, through radio, television and the internet. Thanks to our mobile telephones, we are always available to 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 we are even able to do our daily grocery shopping and government-related administration online.
Technological progress is making our lives seemingly easier and it often enhances the contact we have with our surroundings. However, this is not the case for every event or for everyone. The elderly, for example, often lack both knowledge of modern media and the practical skills required to fully benefit from the interactivity of the information society. Meanwhile, although young people often know how to use modern media they are not always capable of distinguishing reliable from unreliable information. Additionally, young people 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.
Mediawijzer.net: Dutch media literacy network
Mediawijzer.net was established in 2008 at the initiative of the government. Mediawijzer.net aims to provide all Dutchmen with a framework they can use to become more media literate in order to 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 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 organisations at the centre’s core:
- Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, NIBG;
- ECP, an information society platform;
- Koninklijke Bibliotheek National Library of the Netherlands Institute for the Public Libraries Sector;
- Kennisnet, an expertise centre for ICT in education;
- NPO, a Public Broadcasting Company.
These organisations all cover a specific area within the media literacy playing field. Additionally, Mediawijzer.net works with a growing number of network partners. Since 2008, more than 1.100 organisations have registered as network partners. Among the latter are libraries, schools, media producers, museums, research institutes, publishing companies and more. The free network membership enables these organisations to meet each other, exchange expertise and develop new initiatives.