I want to thank UNESCO for its invitation to participate in this roundtable Second European Media Information and Literacy Forum.It is a great pleasure to attend this meeting since the promotion of Media Literacy (ML) is a priority for action by the regulatory authority which I chair. It is an issue that affects our present and our future.
- The commitment to ML cannot be delayed.
Television maintains its traditional levels of mass consumption and has found in the Internet a powerful ally to reach even more people through new media.
Children are moving away from traditional offerings in search of greater availability, flexibility and immediacy when consuming audio-visual products.
A relevant fact: in Andalusia 30% of households with children under 13 do not impose rules or limits on television viewing.
Nor are there family rules for Internet use by children in the house.
Only viewing or browsing time is limited, regardless of other filters for protecting children against content that may be harmful to their physical or mental development.
It is essential for public authorities and regulators to give an urgent response to these issues.
- ML begins at home.
Now, we are in the process of revising the European Directive on audio-visual media services.
The Directive´s proposal is committed to the so-called "empowerment" of viewers and, especially, parents and guardians.
The European Commission is aware that it is for the viewers to decide what content they want their children to see.
It is essential that information about potentially harmful content is sufficient and adequate. Only in this way they can make informed decisions.
Directive´s proposal gives the regulatory authorities like the one to assess the adequacy of child protection measures and the prohibition of incitement to hatred adopted by both linear and nonlinear media.
- The ML is a complex process that requires a shared responsibility.
Citizens, the media and public authorities have a shared social responsibility for the need to educate about media and establish channels of dialogue around them.
And the educational community is called to be the main instrument for the implementation and development of concrete actions for media literacy.
The school ensures access to the media literacy of all children regardless of family income.
And although it is not easy to introduce media literacy in the subject curriculum, we must work in this direction and establish a stable and consolidated link between the classroom and the daily use of communication technologies and, especially, social networks.
We must also appeal to the social responsibility of the media, to the extent that they represent a key element in the socialization of citizens.
In this context, audio-visual councils also form an active part of this responsibility.
How can European audio-visual regulators contribute to the ML?
The recommendations of the European Commission are clear.
Regulatory authorities should promote the "development of knowledge and critical understanding of the media, skills training and the promotion of the capacity for media creation and production"
For this, the Andalusian Audio-visual Council (CAA) has held seminars and workshops with the aim of promoting critical thinking regarding the media.
These are actions that seek to combat manipulation of the individual and the consolidation of stereotypes.
The Andalusian Council has developed recommendations for the Development of Media Literacy in Andalusia, material provided on the CAA website and which I believe can be of interest.
At the council we are committed, as I have said, to an educational model through which media literacy is present transversely.
For this reason, the Andalusian Awards are organized annually by the Audio-visual section in the School, in order to accommodate this discipline in schools.
- ML as a right and key element of democratic quality
A lot is at stake with Media Literacy. The quality of our democracy and the solvency of our model of coexistence is at stake.
Backing media education means backing a strategy of democratic inclusion that promotes an active and participative dimension of citizenship.
We are committed to civic values, fundamental rights such as pluralism and gender equality, against economic interests.
In this process, which I have mentioned as a review of European legislation concerning the media, the enhancement of media literacy is an essential task.