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Why study media literacy?

Why is it important to know about media literacy? In this article, Dr Rebecca Beirne highlights the pervasiveness of media in the 21st century.
Photo of man reading the news on a tablet
© The University of Newcastle, Australia

In the 21st century, media surrounds us. From social media to advertising, digital radio to video streaming, newspapers to blogs, we are constantly receiving, and sometimes also sending, messages. Just like we learn to read written text (literacy) we need to learn to ‘read’ media messages in order to help us to be in charge of our own interpretations.

Media provides a framework for understanding the media and helps enable us to interpret and evaluate media messages for ourselves. Media literacy skills are closely related to critical thinking skills, as they challenge us to think more deeply about not only what we see, but what we know.


What are some of the reasons people might have to or want to learn more about the media? Engage with this question in the discussion below.

© The University of Newcastle, Australia
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Understanding Media: Introduction to Critical Media Literacy

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