Media Literacy in Australia: Assessing Needs and Developing a National Strategy

Media literacy is the ability to critically engage with media in all aspects of life. It is a form of lifelong literacy that is essential for full participation in society.

To support media literacy, Western Sydney University and The National Association for Media Literacy Education (opens in a new window) (NAMLE) have partnered on new research (opens in a new window) to assess the current state of media literacy education in Australia and the United States.

The ability to access, analyse, evaluate and create different forms of communication is widely acknowledged as essential for full participation in civic life, yet research shows that media literacy education for both young people and adults falls short.

Building on recent research on young Australians and media literacy, this project will undertake Australia’s first national survey of adults’ media literacy values, needs, capabilities, skills and knowledge. The research will also support media literacy stakeholders across Australia to co-develop a national media literacy framework and strategy.

The blank space on a worksheet reading ‘Media Literacy is….’ has been filled out with the word ‘Freedom’ in strong, bold lettering. A hand holding a pencil is shown in the lower right corner putting the finishing touches on the word.

Australian research team: led by Dr Tanya Notley, Senior Lecturer in Internet Studies and Digital Media, School of Humanities and Communication Arts and Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University; with Associate Professor Michael Dezuanni, Associate Director, Digital Media Research Centre, Queensland University of Technology; and Associate Professor Sora Park, Associate Dean of Research and Associate Professor of Communication, Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra.

The research team will work in partnership with the Australian Media Literacy Alliance.

Funding: The National Association for Media Literacy Education (opens in a new window) (NAMLE). Support for this research project is made possible through a grant from Facebook.

Period: 2020-2021

Project website: https://medialiteracy.org.au/ (opens in a new window)

Contact: Dr Tanya Notley