The necessity of a media literacy module within journalism or media studies curricula

Fidelia Van der Linde


Media today is more omnipresent covering all aspects of society, ranging from historical to topical to social and political, thereby forming an integral part of people’s lives. In the South African context, the introduction of democracy, coupled with numerous global technological developments, has dramatically altered the media landscape rendering it more liberal with an increased exponential content. In most democratic countries media literacy education is considered the preferred alternative to censoring and boycotting. This is to empower both media professionals and consumers thereby allowing them to analyse critically, monitor and moderate media messages in order to reduce any negative impacts of the media and ensure enhanced enjoyment and discourse. The need has been motivated for a media literacy module to be included in the journalism or media studies curricula at undergraduate level. This article highlights the importance of media literacy education – especially in terms of fostering a democracy – and outlines the typical media literacy curricula suitable for journalism students.

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