Howard Rheingold: Media Literacy and the Challenge of New Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)

Advanced Cyber/IO, IO Impotency
Howard Rheingold

Media Literacy and the Challenge of New Information and Communication Technologies

The Communication Review

Volume 7, Issue 1, 2004, pages 3-14

“The article begins with a definition: media literacy is the ability to access, analyse, evaluate and create messages across a variety of contexts. This four-component model is then examined for its applicability to the internet. Having advocated this skills-based approach to media literacy in relation to the internet, the article identifies some outstanding issues for new media literacy crucial to any policy of promoting media literacy among the population. The outcome is to extend our understanding of media literacy so as to encompass the historically and culturally conditioned relationship among three processes: (i) the symbolic and material representation of knowledge, culture and values; (ii) the diffusion of interpretative skills and abilities across a (stratified) population; and (iii) the institutional, especially, the state management of the power that access to and skilled use of knowledge brings to those who are ‘literate’.”

Phi Beta Iota:  There are TWO new media / ICT literacies.  This deals with the second, access.  The first, Open Data Access, is still in a very retarded state for lack of standards, compliance, and commitment to actually making all information in all languages accessible via direct digital pathways or via human-enabled call centers.  Media literacy among the five billion poor (whose annual aggregate income is four time that of the one billion rich) will be of little relevance in the absence of media literacy among the eight communities of information and intelligence (academy, civil society, commerce, government, law enforcement, media, military, non-governmental / non-profit).