digital storytelling,  empowerment,  media literacy

Media Literacy Summit

I had an interesting day at the Media Literacy Task Force’s Digital Media Literacy Summit at Channel 4 in London yesterday.

“Right now there are more than 300 million people around the world watching video content online. It’s a fundamental shift that completely democratises our business.” Peter Chernin, News Corp. (Jon Gisby’s slide; I think this is the source.)

Yes, democracy can be served by absorbing content but it’s participation is what makes the democracy vibrant … and that isn’t happening yet because only:

“0.16% of YouTube users  upload to YouTube” (Ewan McIntosh‘s slide – photo of  Guardian chart, May 2007)

I’d really hoped for more from the Task Force yesterday about how to address this gap. But as we’ve discussed in our own Wales Media Literacy Network, media literacy is a broad church – from understanding media messages and staying safe on the internet to being able to create your own media, so much of the yesterday’s talk was less relvant to content creators.

James Purnell MP – Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport – was refreshingly unconventional in his style as he spoke. When challenged about digital literacy in primary schools, he asked the questioner for possible solutions instead of defending existing policy.

Purnell introduced Dr Tanya Byron (House of Tiny Tearaways) and she later outlined her Byron Review about “risks to children from exposure to potentially harmful or inappropriate material on the internet and in video games”. If you’re interested in this field, Dr Byron invites your input

Jellyellie (aged 17) said she always took her parents along with her to meet people she’d messaged on MSN – “otherwise they might stab me in my back!” Jellyellie was the day’s most entertaining speaker. She told us how she scared a businessman on a tube train by bluejacking him as he was falling to sleep by telling him she liked his tie. Bluejacking is anonymous bluetooth texting and Jellyellie made a website all about it when she was 13.

P.S. Overheard on the Circle Line yesterday a man telling a story about a large woman on the escalator in front of him getting stuck. Punchline: “I laughed my contact lenses out!”


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