Media Literacy: A Definition and More

The definition most often cited in the US is a succinct sentence hammered out by participants at the 1992 Aspen Media Literacy Leadership Institute:

Media Literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and create media in a variety of forms.

Definitions, however, evolve over time and a more robust definition is now needed to situate media literacy in the context of its importance for the education of students in a 21st century media culture. CML now uses this expanded definition:

Media Literacy is a 21st century approach to education. It provides a framework to access, analyze, evaluate, create and participate with messages in a variety of forms — from print to video to the Internet. Media literacy builds an understanding of the role of media in society as well as essential skills of inquiry and self-expression necessary for citizens of a democracy.

Follow these links to documents and resource materials that will help you explore these ideas further.

•    Aspen Institute Report of the National Leadership Conference on Media Literacy
•    Breaking Boundaries with Video Production: Inteview with Steve Goodman
•    Brief History of Media Education, A
•    CML Educational Philosophy
•    Empowerment through Education
•    Language of Media Literacy: A Glossary of Terms
•    Literacy for the 21st Century: An Overview & Orientation Guide to Media Literacy Education
•    Media Awareness Education: Eighteen Basic Principles
•    What is Media Literacy? AMLA's Short Answer and a Longer Thought
•    What is Media Literacy? A Canadian Definition
•    What is Media Literacy? A Definition...and More.
•    What Media Literacy is NOT