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Ofcom publishes media literacy audit

by Toby Hicks

Media platforms are still considered by the public in 'traditional terms' and there are few signs yet of a widespread recognition of their wider digital functions, according to the results of detailed Ofcom research on the extent of adult media literacy in the UK.

A total of 3,244 respondents were interviewed for the research across the UK, with the audit focusing on the four main digital platforms, with analogue TV and radio included where relevant.

Other key findings included age being a significant indicator of the extent and types of media literacy; knowledge of industry funding and regulation across platforms varying, and most people, especially the elderly, saying they prefer to learn media skills from family and friends or by themselves rather than in formal groups.

Ofcom defines media literacy as the ability to access, understand and create communications in a variety of contexts. Under Section 11 of the Communications Act 2003, Ofcom is required to bring about, or to encourage others to bring about, a better public understanding of the nature and characteristics of material published by the electronic media and its various delivery systems.

Ofcom will shortly be publishing further reports on media literacy amongst children, minority ethnic groups, older people, those with a disability, and those in the devolved Nations and the English regions.

Read the full report.

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