„To be a functioning adult in a mediated society, one needs to be able to distinguish between different media forms and know how to ask basic questions about everything we watch, read or hear.“
E. Thoman, founder of the Center for Media Literacy, California
Media creates reality- They are the ones responsible for the perspective and experience we transfer into our everyday life, where we create our views about the society we live in.
Media literacy is most commonly defined as the ability to understand, read, and get to the core of media outputs, respectively – the ability to review, analyze, evaluate and create media messages in different ways.
This means that a person who is considered media literate should be able to think critically and analyze different forms of expression, or by gaining the skills which media education or media literacy implies, they also gain the skills which have the wide range of applicability and are crucial for quality functioning and expression in the modern culture.
According to the UNESCO document from the year 1998 educational program about media literacy has a major role in “protection of minors and human dignity in all audiovisual and online information services”. This document also shows that media literacy is knowledge witch cannot be studied separately, but rather it is directly connected to what is being studied in the classes of mother tongue, sociology, history, psychology, arts, civics etc.
In Serbia, curriculum for mother tongue and Civic Education foresees that students should be introduced with media and media genres. Media literacy has been a part of educational plan and program ever since 2005 as a part of three teaching units within Civic Education and mother tongue.
The Media Strategy of the Republic of Serbia for the year 2016 finally recognized media literacy as a necessity which we as a society must address – because so far we haven’t done so, at least not sufficiently enough. The results of the latest research about media literacy of Serbian citizens show that despite the initiative by which media should be studied within classes subjects of mother tongue and Civic Educations, Serbian citizens are still insufficiently media literate.
“It can be concluded that the level of media literacy in Serbia is very low and it is necessary that country should put more effort toward advancing in this field. In the process of accession to the European Union, it is crucial that the level of media literacy of Serbian citizens be raised.” (The Media Strategy of the Republic of Serbia for the year 2016)