Media and Information Literacy (MIL) is about us all having equal access to media and information, knowing how to use and interpret the information and media we engage with and understanding our rights.
UNESCO recognises that MIL is a dynamic, life-long process, particularly in our fast-changing digital age. It offers guidance and principles for MIL, template curriculums for teachers and free MIL courses to help young people generate content and understand how to evaluate the information they access.
International collaboration is nurtured through the Global Alliance for Partnerships on MIL and the Global MIL Week.
The UK’s media regulator Ofcom monitors and promotes MIL in the UK through its Making Sense of Media programme. Individuals and organisations with expertise in MIL are engaged in the programme through the Making Sense of Media Network and UNESCO’s Head of Media Literacy is a member of the Advisory Panel which shapes the programme’s future direction. Ofcom’s research includes annual surveys and reports on child and adult MIL in the UK and updates on MIL activities from across the network.
Creative Cities and MIL
The world’s first UNESCO Creative City of Film in Bradford is doing pioneering work on media literacy. Determined to use their UNESCO status to drive improvements in literacy they are working with the City Council, British Film Institute and the National Science and Media Museumto offer training for teachers and lessons for primary school children in how to imagine, create and present their own short films. The programme has been a huge success. In addition to developing MIL skills, 70% of the children who took part saw an improvement in their reading and writing levels. The UNESCO Creative City is finding ways to work with more schools both in Bradford and beyond. The City also offers other formal and informal opportunities for people to engage with film-making through courses for secondary pupils, colleges and universities as well as film study days, animation drop-in sessions, movie trailer workshops and film festivals.