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Media Literacy and the Emerging Citizen

Youth, Engagement and Participation in Digital Culture

Paul Mihailidis

Media Literacy and the Emerging Citizen is about enhancing engagement in a digital media culture and the models that educators, parents and policy makers can utilize to place media-savvy youth into positions of purpose, responsibility and power. Two specific challenges are at the core of this book’s argument that media literacy is the path toward more active and robust civic engagement in the 21st century:
How can media literacy enable core competencies for value-driven, diverse and robust digital media use?
How can media literacy enable a more civic-minded participatory culture?
These challenges are great, but they need to be examined in their entirety if media literacy is to begin to address the opportunities they present for democracy, participation and discourse in a digital media age. By presenting information that places media literacy at the center of what it means to be an engaged citizen, educators and policy makers will understand why media literacy must be integrated into formal and informal education systems before it’s too late
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Introduction. Civic Life in Digital Culture




We exist today between worlds. At home, in school, and in public, our physical interactions are determined by the constraints of proximity. We speak to those around us; we socialize within our direct circles, and extend our interactions based on our willingness or need to communicate. The communities that we have historically formed were limited by physical surroundings. We help around the house, we support our neighbors and neighborhoods, and we participate in communities based on their closeness to us. Sharing stories with others has always been a central and necessary component of this existence.

In mediated spaces, a new landscape continues to emerge. Supported by the growth of mobile and social media technologies, new digital platforms now encompass large, diverse, collaborative, and interactive networked communities. They are not limited by demographic or physical boundaries. Interactions in these spaces are many-to-many, sporadic, unscripted, and lack the need for intimacy or a present audience. In these spaces our personal relationships merge together with loose acquaintances and distant family members. In these spaces, the lines between news and entertainment, facts and fiction, truth and hearsay are less distinguishable. In these spaces, our virtual identities are self-crafted around our ideals and extend outward into the networks “in which we participate, opt into and create.

← 1 | 2 → The emerging landscape for dialog online is actively reshaping how we think about community and participation in the 21st century. From how we...

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