Critical Perspectives on the European Mediasphere. The intellectual work of the 2011 European media and communication doctoral summer school.

Title chapter: The popularisation of media studies as a factor in media literacy
Author: Jan Jirák
Keywords: media literacy, education, media studies, popularisation
Abstract: The study of media and communication has not only proved to be rather an attractive field of inquiry in the humanities and social sciences; it has also been accepted and exploited by other academic fields. Furthermore, its results are also applied in many other fields of activity, starting with political communication and advertising and ending up with media education programmes that have become part of the curriculum in elementary and secondary schools in many countries. With the development of the concept of “media literacy”, media and communication studies now faces a rather urgent task: to organise its knowledge and expertise in order to make them useful and understandable to a wider audience, including specific audiences (for instance children and seniors), to communicate chosen facts, concepts and findings in an acceptable way and, last not least, to restructure the academic activities of media studies to meet the needs of the general public. In this chapter, I would like to offer some reflections on the challenges which media studies will face in the near future and are already facing – challenges which are connected with the contemporary advance of media education. I will also be considering the consequences that these developments have for the social, political and cultural status of media and communication studies. My first task will be to try to characterise media literacy and media education. I will then go on to provide a brief outline of the implications for media studies. My crucial question is focused on the present state of media studies vis-ŕ-vis its readiness to provide a specific programme of media literacy education.
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