Media literacy is the ability to confidently access, analyze, evaluate, and create media.
"Media literacy refers to the ability to interpret and understand how various forms of media operate, and the impact those media can have on one’s perspective on people, events or issues. To be media literate is to understand that media are constructions, that audiences negotiate meaning, that all media have commercial, social and political implications, and that the content of media depends in part on the nature of the medium. Media literacy involves thinking critically and actively deconstructing the media one consumes. It also involves understanding one’s role as a consumer and creator of media and understanding the ways in which governments regulate media" (The Canadian Encyclopedia).
According to MediaSmarts, "Media are powerful forces in the lives of youth. Music, TV, video games, magazines and other media all have a strong influence on how we see the world, an influence that often begins in infancy. To be engaged and critical media consumers, kids need to develop skills and habits of media literacy. These skills include being able to access media on a basic level, to analyze it in a critical way based on certain key concepts, to evaluate it based on that analysis, and, finally, to produce media oneself. This process of learning media literacy skills is media education". The five themes being explored by MediaSmarts this year are: Use, Understand, Engage, Access, and Verify.