Open Access
UNESCO and AU's Media and Information Literacy Course


Open Access
UNESCO and AU's Media and Information Literacy Course

Unit 3 – Media and Information Literacy: Evaluating and Using Information and Media Content


Media and Information Literacy is made up of two parts: media literacy and information literacy. Some organizations focus on the first kind of literacy and others focus on the second kind. However, media literacy, information literacy, and digital literacy are closely related. For some practitioners, media literacy is a part of information literacy and for others it is the reverse. This course combines both as media and information literacy.

Here is one popular definition of information literacy:

“Information literacy is knowing when and why you need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner.”

(Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals)

diagram of a brain showing 4 parts: Google, Locate, Use, EvaluateWhat is Information Literacy? – the ability to find, evaluate, use and create information and knowledge. Access to information forms the basis of lifelong learning and is so important in the digital world for helping people to achieve their social, educational and career goals that it is related to basic human rights.

This definition of information literacy is sometimes used for media literacy as well.

We are told that we live in an information age, that we are experiencing an information revolution and that we must be information literate to succeed in an information society, or a knowledge-based economy. We hear that information is power, that knowledge is power and that some people are information rich, while others are information poor. We can store vast amounts of information on small devices and access information from anywhere, any time.

There is no doubt that information has become a powerful term that is linked to citizens’ access to information and freedom of expression. Information is also linked to global cooperation among nations, to our quality of life and our ability to solve economic and social problems.

The question is how we become knowledgeable citizens who effectively use information that is provided to us by the print and broadcast media, the Internet, libraries and other sources and how we become knowledgeable researchers in finding and producing the information that is important to us.

This unit will provide you with the means to evaluate the information that you find in libraries, in publications, in the media and on the internet. The activities in this unit will give you practice in using that information.

Photo credit:  Information Literacy by AJC1  CC BY-SA 2.0

Check out the Course Glossary.

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