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 Media Literacy

Media literacy is the ability to critically engage with media in all aspects of life. Media Literacy encourages people to ask critical questions about the media using a set of six concepts. For any example of media (an advertisement, a news story, a film or television program, a YouTube video, video game or a social media post), we can ask the following questions:


Isn't media literacy just about "Fake news"?


Institutions: Who made this media and why did they make it?

Audiences: Who was this media made for and how are they likely to respond to it?

Representations: How are people, places or ideas portrayed in this media, and what are the impacts of this?

Technologies: What technology was used to produce, access and circulate this media? Does the technology gather personal data from users?

Languages: How does this media communicate using image, sounds and written text?

Relationships: What kind of relationships are being developed through the distribution and use of this media?

These questions will have very different answers, depending on the media example, but the process of asking and answering these questions leads to critical understandings, and forms the basis for more successful media experiences. These questions can be asked during the process of consuming, sharing or creating media. 


Research and Key Organisations:

Australian Media Literacy Alliance 

The Australian Media Literacy Alliance is a group of seven organisations (ABC Education, Australian Library and Information Association, Museum of Australian Democracy, National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, National and State Libraries Australasia, Queensland University of Technology and Western Sydney University) who share objectives in the area of Media Literacy and have insights into content creation, information provision, education, media and information usage. 

ABC Education - Media Literacy

A selection of resources, videos and activities for teachers and students to develop awareness of media literacy and build skills in critically engaging with media.

Australian Media Literacy Alliance - Towards a National Strategy for Media Literacy: National Consultation Report

The Australian Media Literacy Alliance (AMLA) developed this document to outline a direction for the development of a national strategy for Media Literacy in Australia. It draws on a national survey of 3510 Australian adults about media use, attitudes and abilities as well as a consultation process involving six workshops across Australia conducted in September 2021.

Museum of Australian Democracy - Media Literacy

Find out about Media Literacy and explore a collection of great teaching and classroom resources made available by the Museum of Australian Democracy. 

National Library of Australia - Media Literacy Basics: Bias & Agenda - Michelle Ciulla Lipkin and Gavin Sundwall

Michelle Lipkin and Gavin Sundwall examine the many ways—positive and negative—that media consumption and digital citizenship affect our lives, and discuss how we can become more literate media users.

Western Sydney University, University of Canberra - Adult Media Literacy in Australia: Attitudes, Experiences and Needs

A report from Western Sydney University and University of Canberra, detailing the findings from a 2020 survey of 3,510 adult Australian to understand the different types of media they use, the value they place on different media activities, their confidence in their own media abilities and access to media literacy support.

Western Sydney University: Advancing the Media Literacy of Young Australians

Western Sydney University recently carried out a project to critique the current news media landscape and analyse the impact of news media on young Australians. The aim of the project is to advance the news media literacy of young Australians.

Report: News Literacy and Australian Teachers: How News Media is Taught in the Classroom

A report presenting findings from teacher surveys and interviews on how (and whether) they taught students about news media in the classroom

Want to know more? Try our "What is Media literacy?" activity on the Learning Lounge 

Try these resources!