Media and information literacy enhances the capacity of people to enjoy their fundamental human rights, in particular as expressed in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.’
The main benefits of MIL are that:
1. In the teaching and learning process it equips the teachers with enhanced knowledge to empower future citizens.
2. Media and information literacy imparts crucial knowledge about the functions of media and information channels in democratic societies, reasonable understanding about the conditions needed to perform those functions effectively and basic skills necessary to evaluate the performance of media and information providers in light of the expected functions.
3. A society that is media and information literate fosters the development of free, independent and pluralistic media and open information systems.
In order to enjoy the benefits of MIL, the following are required:
1. Media and information literacy should be considered as a whole and include a combination of competencies (knowledge, skills and attitudes).
2. The MIL curriculum should enable teachers to teach media and information literacy to students with the objective of providing them with essential tools so that they can engage with media and information channels as autonomous and rational young citizens.
3. Citizens should have knowledge about location and consumption of information as well as about the production of information.
4. Women, men and marginalised groups, such as people living with disability, indigenous peoples or ethnic minorities, should have equal access to information and knowledge.
5. MIL should be seen as an essential tool to facilitate intercultural dialogue, mutual understanding and a cultural understanding of people.