Presentation

EUROMEDUC : a network linked to the evolution of the media…

The media are tools for accessing information, updating knowledge and participation of the citizens and one has to learn how to use them. The constant evolution of the media calls for the training to be reviewed constantly, failing which exclusion from the information society is inevitable. By widening the already constituted network around the European Charter for Media Literacy (www.euromedialiteracy.eu), and by soliciting experts, trainers and learners, EUOMEDUC ensures a mutualisation of information and training tools as well as a transversal reflection on the issue. Thanks to the exchanges made possible by the seminars and by a communication platform, everyone has more elements at their disposal for developing know-how and attitudes required for an appropriate use of the media.

The citizen is no longer simply a media ‘consumer’. Henceforth, he is also an increasingly central and solicited actor and producer. While he has the technical tools required to produce information, he does not necessarily use them as an active and responsible citizen. This is where media education coincides with citizenship education. Producing a media is the perfect occasion for learning a fundamental element of the common European culture: the freedom of expression.

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EUROMEDUC: … as an extension of the existing initiatives

Previous studies reveal crucial issues that however not many grassroots actors are aware of. By bringing together the key actors working in the field of media education, EUROMEDUC intends to create a synergy of thought on the implementation of this education, from primary school to the lifelong learning structures. The recommendations resulting from our seminars are aimed at the authorities, the grassroots actors and citizens. The Internet site gradually puts together the fruits of this work as and when they are produced and targets these various sections of audience.

EUROMEDUC shares the role played by the European Charter for Media Literacy, which brings together research organisations, institutions and centres as well as experts with a common European vision of media literacy. Furthermore, EUROMEDUC reinforces other European projects of research and applied research, which are co-funded by the E-learning and Safer Internet programs and which have produced useful results: Educaunet, EMECE, Log in the Media, Mediappro, Media-Educ, Allmedia, Mentor, etc. The coherence of these results must be established with a view to achieve a more efficient lifelong media education.

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Media literacy: a major educational challenge

According to Viviane Reding, Commissioner in charge of the Information Society and Media: “media literacy is as central to active and full citizenship as literacy was at the beginning of 19th century”.

Media literacy is one of Europe’s major educational challenges for the 21st century. At the national as well as the European level, all the indicators demonstrate the urgent need to structure, elaborate and implement transversally an educational programme meant to develop the citizen’s critical faculty towards a mass communication society. To be genuine actors of cultural life, democracy and social life, the citizens must develop a greater number of media skills resulting from formal and informal education with curricular and extracurricular activities, in compulsory education as well as in lifelong learning.

The online European observatory, (www.euromedialiteracy.eu) has listed the hundreds of institutions, non-governmental organisations and study centres with an expertise in the domain. In several EU member states, media literacy is now receiving greater recognition within the education systems, in particular, with respect to the inclusion of key competencies in the curriculum. Media literacy is currently on the agenda of the educational policies, and we know through the European network, that several large-scale legislative initiatives or projects are being studied by the member states. At the level of the European Commission as well, the MEDIA programme has initiated a transversal task with a view to produce greater consistency in the implementation of media literacy.

The main obstacles for a better circulation of knowledge and findings on media education are related to the fundamentally transversal nature of this domain. Media literacy has an impact on a great number of school subjects and does not benefit from the structuring particular to specific disciplinary networks. For it to be developed in the education systems, media literacy requires a close collaboration between all the actors concerned: teachers, educators, social workers, parents, researchers and media professionals. Conceptually speaking, it requires a cross of the models and methods taken from psychology, pedagogy, communication, and sociology… Furthermore, the extremely rapid evolution of the media (as much from the technological viewpoint as from the sociological one) requires an incessant adaptation of the methods and contents of this education.

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The objectives of EUROMEDUC

EUROMEDUC promotes lifelong media education in Europe.

  • By contributing to the development of the competencies required for education and lifelong learning.
  • By making it possible to build citizen attitudes and competencies, particularly in the perspective of European citizenship.

It is therefore necessary to improve the quality, coherence and relevance of projects and actions for media education in member states and at the European level.

The objectives

  • Set up a structured system of exchange and dissemination of the findings in the domain of media education. This system brings together, in a transversal manner, various actors of this domain: researchers, experts, education officials, representatives of associations, practitioners and media literacy specialists, both in and outside Europe. The project is conducted in close collaboration with the existing European network: EUROMEDIALITERACY
  • Sustain the existing networks by helping in circulating and evaluating the results of research programs, correct practices and tools developed.
  • Help small educational structures developing expertise at the grassroots level to participate in exchange networks. This allows a better European integration of these structures and makes it possible to benefit from their specific potential for innovation.
  • Initiate and develop more intensive, structured and transversal exchange and cooperation practices among all the actors concerned; make it possible for them to have an effective dialogue and elaborate a media literacy policy that is as close as possible to their specific needs and constraints.
  • Identify obstacles, opportunities and actions to be undertaken; on the basis of this, produce recommendations with educational, scientific and political implications.
  • Ensure that the results of this project are disseminated through transversal publication (online and off-line).

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EUROMEDUC in practice

Three specialised European seminars:

- A European congress of media literacy, Italy - Bellaria, 21-24 October 09

- The publications

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Idea Box

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Organisators

Média AnimationUniversity of the Algarve
Le ClemiZaffiria

Partners Congress

Evens Foundation  PEGI
European Newspaper Publishers' Association  Media Coach

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