The Cost of Media Literacy

This week BBC Newsline are running a feature on the cost of technology entitled ‘The cost of keeping in touch’

Part one interviews a family who have the usual technology in place: broadband, computers and mobiles.  The family have clearly realised the benefits it brings to their household as both a source of information for learning and work and as a means of communication.

The family, like many others, are on the media literacy road but  also have to demonstrate financial literacy to stay on that road.

Part two features two girls who gave up their mobiles for the weekend.  This resulted in less communication with friends and family and a realisation of the potential for social exclusion, as a consequence of digital exclusion.

Technology is embedding quickly into our lives and social structures as the Digital Britain interim report 09 notes:

Digital technology has led to a quiet revolution over the past decade in our lives at work, at home and at leisure.

Those unable to participate because of financial or media literacy reasons may find themselves increasingly socially excluded from many activities within this quiet revolution.

[Other parts of this series will be included as they are broadcast]

Technology is at the core of media literacy in terms of the ability to access, analyse and evaluate the content we distribute through traditional and new media.  Like most other activities there is a cost, as well as benefits, to using technology and being media literate.  To manage that cost, especially in todays economic climate, often requires another form of literacy – financial.

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