Paris Declaration on Media and Information Literacy in the Digital Era

Participants at the first European Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Forum, which was held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris from 27-28 May 2014 adopted the Paris Declaration on MIL in the Digital Era. The Declaration reaffirms the importance of MIL and calls for a renewed emphasis on MIL in today’s digital environment as well as cooperation among key actors and multi-stakeholder groups to advance MIL for all. The final version of the Declaration -with annexes- was published in August 2014 and can be found here


From the Preamble:

The 21st century digital environment is deeply affecting the meaning and use of media and information. It requires continuous innovation in research and practice for media and information literacy. This declaration foregrounds MIL-centred answers to this requirement for new literacies in the increasingly widespread information environment that surrounds young people and adults alike, even while we recognise that many people worldwide are not yet Internet-connected.

Significance of key actors (see Annex on UNESCOs web site)
 

Renewed emphasis on media and information literacy

Actors in media and information literacy should

  • Recognise the opportunities and challenges presented by the embedding of the media and technology in all aspects of human life and that they embody human values and necessitate additional literacies;
  • Advance the public interest value of media and the Internet, and prompt debate about them as a public good or commons;
  • Affirm the publicness of media and information literacy and public access to media, information, education and to knowledge, fully aware of different socio-cultural contexts;
  • Advance the move towards human rights frameworks for the Internet;
  • Affirm the necessity of media and information literacy to underpin and enable multi-stakeholder participation in Internet governance, covering the range of institutions such as school policies through to international arrangements;
  • Advance the media and information literacy potential of media, information and ICT companies;
     

Unpacking media and information literacy today (See Annex on UNESCOs web site)
 

Recommendations to UNESCO, the European Commission and the multi-stakeholder community at large

We, the Participants at the First European Media and Information Literacy Forum within the framework of the Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL),

Declare our renewed support to media and information literacy with a view to empowering individuals in the digital age, and in this connection, commit:

  1. To describe media and information literacy as a complex set of 21st century literacy practices; a means of enhancing inclusion, knowledge, skills and critical attitudes to information, culture and co-operation and a mechanism for all people to access, create and innovate.
  2. To foster media and information literacy to address issues of access, privacy, safety and security and the ethical use of information, media and technology, in line with human rights standards; and to recognize the role of media and information literacy in relation to cultural diversity, intercultural and interreligious dialogue and the protection of citizens in countries with fragile social capital and weaker democratic political culture.
  3. To advance content creation, across media and in multiple forms, as a key tool in the development of the digital economy, by setting up media labs in educational and cultural institutions.
  4. To promote media and information literacy in relation to personal and professional lifelong development through collaboration between stakeholders in vocational education and training, higher education institutions, the research community, public and private media and civil sector organisations.
  5. To support formal curriculum development for media and information literacy within schools.
  6. To encourage and advocate common, shared and co-operative policies and strategies related to media and information literacy between educational, cultural, economic and technological fields to enhance intercultural and interreligious dialogue, gender equality and a culture of peace and respect in the participative and democratic public sphere.
  7. To encourage media, information and ICT companies to integrate media and information literacy priorities in their strategic plans and governance such as collecting specific indicators, including criteria in CEO pay, maintaining a regular dialogue with stakeholders (customers, employees, academics, the financial community, young citizens and civil society) and working within clear and transparent accountability frameworks.
  8. To ensure that libraries and other cultural institutions regularly update their media and information literacy strategies and educational provision to include transliteracy practices and to ensure that library and cultural institution professionals are trained to develop the necessary capacity to educate service users in media and information literacy.
  9. To urge public service media and governments to put a special effort and focus on strengthening their media and information literacy strategy.
  10. To promote media and information literacy for people with special needs, indigenous peoples and other underserved groups.

Roadmap

To advance media and information literacy through:

  • Empowering the Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL).
  • Creating continental and national Chapters of GAPMIL around the world beyond the regular organization of continental and universal forums and ensuring that media and information technology stakeholders are involved.
  • Fostering the creation of a virtual global media and information literacy network for cooperation and federation of research institution, if possible in every continent. For instance, stakeholders should set up a European Media and Information Literacy Observatory as was motivated during the First European Media and Information Literacy Forum.
  • Promoting media and information literacy Open Educational Resources (OER).
  • Extending the UNITWIN Cooperation Programme on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (led by UNESCO and the UN Alliance of Civilizations) as a means to federate efforts between universities and educational institutions in order to promote research, training of teachers and library professionals, master and doctoral programmes on media and information literacy.
  • Convening international organizations and educational authorities around the world to promote the introduction of media and information literacy in the formal, non-formal and informal education, as a core competency and as an object of knowledge, study and educational practice.
  • Calling on the media and information providers to cooperate in promoting media and information literacy by providing opportunities for their audiences to participate, collaborating with educational systems and complying with ethical norms in line with human rights and the principles of freedom of expression and information.

Conclusion

These recommendations present a far-reaching strategy for an inclusive entitlement for all citizens to media and information literacy in the 21st century.

We urge all stakeholders to play an active role in advocating and implementing this declaration in media and information literacy policy and practice.

Paris, 27-28 May 2014

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