Educating for media literacy

In this extract from the Real Time interview with Bill Maher, President Obama highlights the importance for a modern democracy of educating our children on media literacy.


Activity - Contemporary definitions of media literacy

The purpose of this activity is

  • to conduct a general online search for contemporary definitions of media literacy, comparing the emphasis on various issues for different age groups, and
  • to post a short critique of the Aspen definition below.

Aspen definition of media literacy

  • Media Literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and create media in a variety of forms[1].

Stimulus resource


  1. Consult the stimulus resource
  2. Conduct a general online search for definitions noting differences in emphasis for youth and adults.
  3. Construct a table listing important issues of media literacy for youth and adults, for example:
Youth Adults
Access: Strategies for managing age-appropriate access to online content Access: Knowledge and understanding of new forms of peer-produced media distinctly different from traditional print media.

Prepare a short blog post (200 words) evaluating the Aspen definition of media literacy:

  1. Cite the Aspen definition in your post
  2. Consider the following questions:
    • Is the Aspen definition of media literacy still relevant today? Justify your opinion.
    • Are different definitions of media literacy required for different contexts? If so why.


  1. Aspen Media Literacy Leardership Institute (1992) cited by Center for Media Literacy.