WHAT IS MEDIA LITERACY
For centuries, “Literacy” has been referred to as the ability to read and write. These days, we get most of our information through complex combinations of text, images and the internet. Though it is still important to be able to read and write, it is no longer enough.
Media Literacy thus, is the ability to critically consume and analyze the contents of the media to avoid negative effect of what we see from various media that come our ways on daily basis. Furthermore, majority children of school going age spend most of their time watching television and films, yet there is very little understanding of the impact of the media.
It is on the strength of these reports and the likely negative consequences if nothing is done, that the National Film and Video Censors Board is in the forefront of a national media literacy campaign aimed at promoting the value and understanding of the impact of media in youth development and national building. It is not an anti-media movement, rather, it represents a coalition of concerned individuals and organizations, including educators, citizens and consumer groups, who seek a more-enlightened way of understanding the Nigeria Better Home Environment (NBHE) and how we can use the media to better our homes, communities and a greater Nigeria at larger.
OBJECTIVES OF MEDIA LITERACY PROGRAMME
- To promote awareness of the impact of media in child and youth development amongst stakeholders.
- To promote awareness and confidence in the utilization of NFVCB’s classification symbols.
- Raise critical questions about the impact of media and technology that will eventually lead to a realization of a balance of meanings.
- To also empower the child and the young adult to be able to make informed decisions and independently negotiate meanings intelligently with the media content.
- Further increased appreciation and passion for the art of film and the creative arts in general.
The fact that Media Literacy should be everyone’s business and a broad array of constituencies cannot be overemphasized. The great need to involve young people, parents, teachers, librarians, administrators, and the general public in the crusade of media literacy will no doubt give them the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and produce communication in a variety of forms. Furthermore, there are variety of sites to teach and practice media literacy, these includes public and private schools, churches, synagogues, universities, civic and voluntary organizations serving youth and families, mass media from newspapers to television.
Towards this platform of making media literacy a movement to actualize the objectives of media literacy as proposed by the Board, it is the onerous desire of the Department of Licensing and Documentation Services to educate the Board’s stakeholders and the public in general on the effect of films and home video.
The belief of the Department is that the media literacy gospel will be better enhanced and the public put in know when market women, parents, teachers, police and other organizations are rightly informed on what they should watch and to supervised what their children watch so as to make their children better citizens.
The objectives of the movement which would be spread to Stakeholders and the general public to the educate them on the benefits of becoming responsible handlers of information, including how they attain it. More objectives and benefits of this movement is that our target audience will be able to:
- Identify who is communicating and what is their motive.
- Understand the types of text and the difference between these typologies
- Understand how media texts are produced
- Understand media language
- Identify media audiences and how they understand media messages
- Analyze how media represents its subjects
- Explore ways to introduce the above objectives into the teaching and learning practices of teachers and students
The implementation of the Media Literacy Programme, currently being carried out by the Licensing and Documentation Department of the National Film and Video Censors Board, has taken the campaign on media literacy to schools where both the pupils and teachers are informed on the objectives of the campaign and what they stand to benefit from the programme.
In the course of the media literacy campaign visitations, we developed the idea of creating a participatory strategy by making the pupils preview approved movie, taking them through the rudiments of film classification process, and making them to give a rating based on their observation and guided by the socio-cultural/production technical values.
At the end of such preview session, questions are asked the pupils and vise versa. The observation of the group is that the pupils were generally found to be very articulate and up to date in the critical issues raised in such movies they had previewed.
It is essential for individuals especially children to develop an enquiring mind able to ask questions, seek and navigate meaning and appraise media construct. Moreover, in our fast growing technological society, children must be empowered with skills that will enable them to make informed decisions.
This eventually led the group in picking the NFVCB Ambassadors. The criterion used for example was to pick the two most articulate of the students. These “AMBASSADORS” will represent the Board to help with the interpretation of the Board’s Classification Symbols to their fellow students and possibly their parents.
It’s the recommendation of the Department to management that these Ambassadors should be used for the Boards adverts, Radio, Jingles especially when it relates to children and youths.
Below are the list of Schools visited and the NFVCB Ambassadors so far:
|SCHOOLS VISITED ON MLC||NAME OF AMBASSADORS|
|Envangel Academy, Kubwa, Abuja||Patrick Edekor & Gayl Jonathan|
|Unity High School, Kubwa, Abuja||Marvelous Olabode|
|Cherryfield College, Jikwoyi, Abuja||Barnabas Abuj & Mercy Zoaka Bulus|
|Prime Scholars School, Karu, Abuja||Samuel Idonor & Faith Yako|
|Glory & Praise International High School, Kuje, Abuja||Ijeoma Onuegbu & Bernard Chidokwe|
|Solid Rock International School, Lugbe, Abuja||Nnaemaka Ebere & Openiyi Ayo|
|Oasis International School, Lugbe, Abuja||Omeiza Abel & Naomi Baba|
|Lugbe International Academy, Lugbe, Abuja||David Babalola & Akpan Emmanuella|