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Is Media Literacy really important?
“Media literacy is not just important, it’s absolutely critical. It’s going to make the difference between whether kids are a tool of the mass media or whether the mass media is a tool for kids to use.” - Linda Ellerbee
Media is a powerful force in the 21st century among the youth. Our generation spends nearly a third of their day entangled in the media. I agree with the fact that shared knowledge is an advantage of being engrossed in the media. Media influences our perspectives in viewing the world. In earlier days the information shared through media was highly regulated and authorized before being shared with the public, but nowadays everyone has access to share information all around the world through interconnected networks and shared resources. Although we get to know many novel scenarios around the world, the authenticity of the information we receive or share, is truly a question; i.e. whether it’s accurate, relevant, and unbiased.
Media literacy can be conveyed as the ability to access and analyse media messages as well as create, reflect and act, using the power of information and communication to make a difference in the world. In my point of view, each and everyone should be aware of media literacy because information can be used as a tool of destruction. There are some key media literacy skills, to ensure that we are safely consuming media such as analysing and evaluating media content, creating content, and acting based on our knowledge. We can become media literate by educating ourselves on media literacy, practising our skills, and questioning the media we consume.
In my opinion, media literacy has to be added to the curriculum of school students as this is something very important to learn. The negative dimension of media should be learned by children. This includes media manipulation, gender, and racial stereotypes, and sexualization of children. They should have a wider knowledge in these areas to overcome problems in this technological era. Media consumption habits and patterns of usage should be regulated efficiently.
The way we approach media will depend on the way that it is presented, so new media presents new opportunities and risks. So, I believe that if we can handle the media properly with the knowledge of media literacy, we will be able to utilise it and it will be fruitful.