Media Literacy – Contribution of Irish Community Radios
Abstract: Media literacy is an ambiguous term, not just for ordinary people, but also for those who work in media or are involved in the regulation or legislation of media. The same notion may well be held for the community radio sector, which is not recognised enough by the many stakeholders, academics or media practitioners. This thesis aims to emphasise the greater importance and relevance of both media literacy and community radio in the rapidly changing media environment. The gradually concentrated nature of mass media ownership, the shift from investigative journalism towards populism and entertainment, the reverse position of audiences as consumers rather than citizens and unequal access to media content and technologies has influenced the need for wider use and understanding of media literacy.This paper examines the contribution of Irish community radio to media literacy. Media literacy aspects of access to media, understanding and production of media is looked through the case-studies of three Irish community radio stations and through gathering information from experts and practitioners in the fields of community radio and media literacy. In this era of globalisation and digital media people need to take more responsibility for what they listen to and watch, and need a better awareness of how to express themselves effectively.It is essential to foster media literacy and community radio as commercial media have been commercialising and concentrating even more, threatening to lose the sight of public interest and public values.