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The media literacy sector in Flanders mapped out!

The media literacy field is a broad field of actors spread over different sectors and policy domains. More than 222 actors in Flanders commit to making children, young people and adults media literate in numerous ways. This shows from research of Mediawijs.be and Cemeso (VUB).

The study makes an analysis of all media literacy players in Flanders and Brussels, and builds on the in 2012 conducted field study on media literacy. The media literacy field after all evolves at a fast pace and expands.

Media literacy in Flanders

The field turns out to be very diverse, with actors from different policy and societal domains, such as the social cultural work, youth work and the media. Also libraries are well represented in the database. Only a limited amount of private corporations have an active role when it comes to media literacy. “Although they are a crucial player in the improvement of media literacy, so they have to be extra encouraged”, says Laure Van Hoecke (Network coordinator Mediawijs.be)

Further, in many organizations, media literacy is not central to its operation, but is nevertheless an essential part of the activities. Organizations undertake different initiatives while working on media literacy. The focus is often on training and offering physical material. This shows that media literacy is a cause that is important to different organizations.

The media literacy field is certainly doing well, shows this study. There are a lot of organizations that work on media literacy in different ways. Yet there are also some gaps to identify. Though the emphasis is mainly on digital media, few organizations focus on services such as e-banking or e-government. Besides this, people with a mental or physical limitation are often excluded.

Funding

An important amount of organizations cannot count on structural support, so they have to expand their operations on media literacy in a project-based manner. The project and regular funding is in balance with only 10% of the organizations. “This of course has implications on the operation and personnel policy of the organization. Also the field itself notices an influence of this. Because certain media literacy projects are not anchored, important knowledge can get lost. It is important that media literacy is being structurally embedded in policy as a collaboration between media-, education-, well-being-, culture- and youth policy”, states Laure Van Hoecke.

With the online map on exploration

The media literate organizations were also made available online through a sector map on Mediawijs.be. At the moment, there are more than 222 organizations and 250 projects included in the database. This map provides a nice geographical overview of actors in the field. Besides, by setting certain filters (such as target group, focus or media), you can very easily search for organizations. The online map of the media literacy field includes specific, up-to-date info on the different organizations

The full report of 2014 can be downloaded as a pdf below. Or if you want to look into the report of 2012 again, you can download it below.

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