Defining Media & Information Literacy

Media and Information Literacy (MIL) is used as a composite concept to refer to a set of competencies that empowers citizens to access, retrieve, understand, evaluate and use, create, as well as share information and media content in all formats, using various tools, in a critical, ethical and effective way, in order to participate and engage in personal, professional and societal activities.

Media literate citizens can:

  • access, find, evaluate, use the information they need in ethical and effective ways;
  • understand the role and functions of media and other information providers such as libraries, museums and archives, including those on the Internet, in democratic societies and in the lives of individuals;
  • understand the conditions under which media and information providers can best fulfill their roles and functions;
  • critically evaluate information and media content from a variety of sources;
  • engage with media and information providers for self-expression, life-long learning, democratic participation, and good governance; and
  • enhance the skills (including ICT skills) needed to produce content in a variety of media formats.

Media and Information Literacy (MIL) therefore brings together Information Literacy and Media Literacy, along with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Digital Literacy, as a new literacy construct that helps empower people, communities, and nations to participate in and contribute to global knowledge societies.

(Source: Unesco)