, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 59-69

Critical media literacy is not an option

Abstract

This article explores the theoretical underpinnings of critical media literacy and analyzes four different approaches to teaching it. Combining cultural studies with critical pedagogy, we argue that critical media literacy aims to expand the notion of literacy to include different forms of media culture, information and communication technologies and new media, as well as deepen the potential of literacy education to critically analyze relationships between media and audiences, information and power. A multiperspectival approach addressing issues of gender, race, class and power is used to explore the interconnections of media literacy, cultural studies and critical pedagogy. In the interest of a vibrant participatory democracy, educators need to move the discourse beyond the stage of debating whether or not critical media literacy should be taught, and instead focus energy and resources on exploring the best ways for implementing it.