From Individuals to Communities: Towards New Enhancements of Media and Information Literacy

NYHET | 16 december 2019

Media and information literacy (MIL) has been criticised for having become a term that is too overarching and inclusive to have proper meaning. While concept’s breadth has also been its asset, as the term has enabled its mobilisation in many contexts, many scholars have recently suggested that it be further developed. We are in need of a more nuanced set of vocabulary and concepts.

In the final chapter of a newly published anthology, Alton Grizzle and Masatoshi Hamada present an outline for a “new-generation expansion” of the concept, the “Media and Information Literacy Expansion”, MILx.

The authors, arguing that in its current form MIL focuses on the development of individual competences, call for widening the approach to cover community, group, and institutional levels.

To accomplish a conceptual expansion, the authors propose a “next-standard“ concept for addressing MIL: MIC, “Media-Information-Communication”. This framework should provide media educators with possibilities to subscribe to global aims such as the sustainable development goals. This would help make MIL education more inclusive and support its application to vulnerable groups in need of media education, such as children and youth in disaster, refugees and immigrants, and girls and women.

MILx resonates with recent developments of media-related literacies – from transcultural literacy to multiliteracy – which share the aim of making the concept of MIL more culturally sensitive and embedded in social contexts and changing institutional landscapes.

The chapter is published in the anthology Understanding Media and Information Literacy (MIL) in the Digital Age – A Question of Democracy, edited by Ulla Carlsson and launched at the UNESCO Global MIL Week Feature Conference in Gothenburg on 24–26 September 2019.

Alton Grizzle is a programme specialist in the Communication and Information Sector of UNESCO in Paris, and Masatoshi Hamada is a statistician at the University of Paris VIII.

Altogether, the English anthology includes 33 chapters by 50 authors from Sweden and abroad. The anthology was published by the Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG) at the University of Gothenburg.

Read more and download the publication

Download: Understanding Media and Information Literacy (MIL) in the Digital Age – A Question of Democracy (PDF 22.5 MB)


The book is an extension of a previously published report written in Swedish, edited by Ulla Carlsson, and published by Nordicom: Medie- och informationskunnighet i den digitala tidsåldern: en demokratifråga – kartläggning, analyser, reflektioner, 2018.