The results of a new Fulbright-NATO Security Studies Award are now available through a just-released report, Building Resiliency: Media Literacy as a Strategic Defense Strategy for the Transatlantic by the Center for Media Literacy’s (CML) President, Tessa Jolls. This ground-breaking report highlights aspects of the current information ecosystem and the state of media literacy in NATO countries. Funded by a partnership between the NATO Public Diplomacy Division and the Fulbright Commission in Brussels, this unique award invites American academics and professionals to conduct a research or professional project that fosters awareness and understanding of NATO. Jolls fulfilled her assignment in Brussels in 2021 through her host university, UC Louvain, where she served as a visiting scholar. She interviewed more than 60 policy makers, media executives and journalists, media literacy researchers and practitioners, and educators throughout NATO countries, and conducted a small 2022 survey of practitioners to identify major media literacy conferences, organizations, and programs. “With media literacy becoming more urgent due to a fraught information environment marked by disinformation and misinformation, I set out to provide a snapshot of current media literacy practices and programs, and to give a context for media literacy education within strategic defense,” Jolls said. Highlights of the report include:
Factors animating the growth of media literacy, with a focus on human agency and new technologies such as natural language processing, disinformation and misinformation, culture and identity, and education needs. How resiliency can be attained, with citizens as a first line of defense in understanding how information can be weaponized and misused, and how using media and information are essential in addressing the crises of the times, whether that comes from pandemics, financial meltdowns, or natural disasters. Media literacy philosophies and practices, and how media literacy might become part of the cultural fabric of every member State. Media literacy tools, as well as barriers to media literacy education are discussed, along with the need for solid research and evaluation. Recommendations that address systemic needs, so that media literacy be spread, institutionalized, and sustained. Chief among recommendations is that educational systems seriously and systemically address media literacy as a core of curriculum, so that citizens have the needed process skills to access, analyze, evaluate, create and participate with media in all its forms.
“It’s not enough to acknowledge that media literacy is important,” Jolls said. “Commitment and sustained effort are urgent priorities in today’s media-driven culture, to assure that all citizens are equipped to help make wise choices possible.” The report is available for free download at https://tinyurl.com/NATO-Report. Source: Center for Media Literacy