What is Media Education
Media Education is the movement that is concerned with the process of understanding and using mass media to protect the sensitivity of the young at the same time hold adults responsible for the production of media products. It is concerned with assisting all media users develop an informed and critical understanding of the nature of the mass media, the techniques used by them and the impact of these techniques. More specifically, it is education that aims to increase student’s understanding and enjoyment of how the media work and how they construct reality. Generally, ME also provides users the ability to create media products. Media Education is also referred to as media literacy or edu-communication by different regions of the world.
Media Education – A response to media influence and impact
Media Education (ME) is part of growing worldwide movement that seeks to protect the sensitivities of the young in the use of the media while respecting the responsible freedom of the adult. ME is an important need in our lives. This new tool or educator is required to enlighten us informally on what is happening around us. It helps us become critical observers in society, and to analyze the style and also the style in which the media is printed, broadcast and televised. We learn to raise awareness among other media users especially our young children.
Children cannot learn to early. To be effective in the long term, media education must begin in the home and be formalized in the school system. Thus, parents, teachers and educators alike need to know the basic facts about how mass media work and how to selective in the use of the media. School lessons need to go beyond the teacher-chalk mode of learning and imparting of knowledge. Teachers need to be creative in the teaching of lessons where children can learn with understanding and enjoyment.
There are many sensitive issues relating to the media or are constantly being features in the media which offend the dignity of the human person. For instance, the increasing use of violence and offensive language, derogative references to women and other social skills. Hence, Media Education is an important tool in helping people to be critical and selective of what they watch, what they read and what they listen to, and what will be a positive or negative influence in their lives? Most importantly it makes media users make ‘informed choices’.
THEMATIC AREA 1: BUILDING COMMUNITIES THROUGH MEDIA EDUCATION
Fiji Media Watch believes that media education is an important aspect of people’s lives today. For citizens to fully enjoy their rights and ensure good governance practices both by the media and government it is crucial that they have access to a broad range of choices for their personal and community development, their capacity to be knowledgeable about the media and its benefits as well as its negative impacts is crucial. Media education, in this regard, will assist the people to become critical observers, readers, listeners of the news and information, as well as advocating the protection of their human rights and ensuring the practice of good governance principles. Essentially, media education is about giving to people and maintaining the power of self-determination, autonomy and freedom of choice.
One of the ways is enhancing their capacity to analyse the content and style of how information is printed, broadcast and televised in the mainstream media and other means such as the internet. This is an important tool in helping people to be critical and selective in what they watch, read and listen to; what will be the beneficial or negative influences in their lives and enables them to make “informed choices”.