Being media literate means being able to critically understand and evaluate media content and to responsibly and safely use digital media services. Media literacy helps us engage with others in the public sphere, using the creative and participatory potential that new technologies and services can offer. Nowadays, it also includes understanding how data is used and how algorithms and AI can influence media production and choices.
The importance of community media in supporting the formation of an ‘informed citizenry’ is well recognised by the Council of Europe. Community media have the ability to empower community groups with the neces- sary access and skills to create their own communica- tion channels and to foster their participation in the public sphere in a structured and professional man- ner. However, in many European countries community media still lack formal, legal recognition, fair access to distribution platforms and sustainable funding.
This background paper explores how the community media sector promotes media literacy and how this work can strengthen marginalised communities’ partic- ipation in the media environment and public discourse. Comparing five models of community media from Cyprus, Ireland, Luxembourg, Spain and the United Kingdom, it seeks to inform and inspire practitioners and policy-makers, highlighting a number of findings and policy responses that can help member States fully realise the potential of community media.