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Media literacy

Media literacy is the skill of understanding the nature of communications, particularly in regard to telecommunications and mass media.

The concept applies to a variety of ideas that attempt to explain how media convey their messages and why.

Major topics discussed as a part of media literacy include

The concept of media literacy as topic of education first really arose in the 1980s and has become a standard topic of study in school in many countries. For example, media literacy is part of the government-directed curricula in Great Britain and Australia. It is less widespread in the U.S., in large part because there is no central authority making nationwide curriculum recommendations: Each of the fifty states has numerous school districts, each of which operates with a great degree of independence from one another.

Note that outside the U.S., media literacy is frequently referred to as media education. There is considerable overlap between the two terms, and they are nearly synonymous; however, those who espouse media education generally embrace the media as a site of pleasure, whereas some of those who espouse media literacy take an inoculationist approach, seeking to protect children from what they perceive as its harmful effects.

Proponents of media literacy include: