Show Less
Restricted access

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
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Chapter 1. The Emerging Civic Landscape


← 16 | 17 →·1·


What does it look like to be civically engaged? Before the Internet, it often looked like reading the newspaper, watching local news on television, attending town hall meetings and rallies, and perhaps writing letters to representatives. But with the Internet, the terms and methods of being an informed and engaged citizen have changed.

— Eric Gordon (2013)

An engaged citizenry has always been a central, though not exclusive, prerequisite for democracy. From town meetings and community bulletin boards to the advent of social media, the expression of civic voices has always been a precondition for a democratic public.

Michael Schudson traced the evolution of citizenship in the United States to arrive at what he termed the monitorial citizen—a gatherer, monitor, and surveyor of information, who “swings into public action only when directly threatened” (Leman, 1998). Schudson argued that the “good” citizen-an active participant in his or her community who votes, volunteers, participates, and believes in the public service of the government-no longer exists. Rather, Schudson understood citizenship as a combination of the attributes that comprise valuable contributions to society, and this obligation, in an information age, was not only about being informed. “Citizens can be “monitorial” rather ← 17 | 18 →than “informed,” wrote Schudson (1998), “A monitorial citizen scans (rather than reads) the informational environment in a way so that he or she may be alerted on a very wide variety of issues for...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.