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EPALE Discussion: News media literacy for adults – why is it important right now?

Share your views with regards to news media literacy for adults!

Watch below the 1st livestream session on 22 June 2021 at 10 a.m.

Watch below the 2nd livestream session on 22 June 2021 at 4 p.m.

The rapid technological developments and the ever-changing social conditions shape diverse communication dynamics that give rise to several challenges such as mal-/mis/dis-information, hate speech and propaganda. In this context, adult learning seems to be an important enabler in terms of supporting individuals in becoming more critical and resilient against those challenges. To this regard, news media literacy that draws from critical media literacy education can empower adults and promote the development of active democratic citizens.

Take part to EPALE’s discussion that addresses news media literacy from general and practical perspectives in adult learning.

Share your views and experiences on which issues news media literacy education should address to adult learners. The discussion will take place on Tuesday 22 June 2021 from 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. CEST.

The written discussion will be introduced by a livestream with invited experts:

  • Anne Tastula, Project Manager of Media Literacy Projects at the Kvs Foundation, Editor of Elm Magazine
  • Heini Huhtinen, Communications Specialist at the Kvs Foundation, Editor-in-chief of Elm Magazine

They will highlight current trends from the news media literacy field and share experiences & key learnings from their own media literacy work. At the end of the written discussion, the experts will wrap up the key points addressed in a second livestream session at 4 pm.

The written discussion will be moderated by Rute Baptista, Professional Development Manager of eTwinning at European Schoolnet.

Share your views with regards to news media literacy for adults!

Comments will be open starting from 8 June so you can start sharing your thoughts and suggestions.

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Iedzīvotāji ir regulāri jāizglīto, kā atšķirt viltus ziņas un īstās. Jāpārbauda vairāki informācijas avoti un viltus ziņām visbiežāk šī informācija ir  - vai nu ļoti vienāda vai pilnīgi pretēji - sagrozīta.

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To add to information already provided in the discussion, in France, librarians in secondary schools are trained in Media literacy and usually develop projects in tandem with other teachers in the libraries, especially to prepare for the week of Media and the press in the schools, a 34-year old event ! Media literacy is also supported by CLEMI, the French operator for the ministry of education. It has local contact points in French rectorates that can train teachers that want to be upskilled in Media literacy. However, MIL is not a full subject in France (nor anywhere else) and as a result it is not very inclusively distributed over the whole French territory.

Divina (Epale FR ambassador for MIL)


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Thank you for this very dynamic conversation! We should keep finding ways to train adults to master the competences to detect and debunk disinformation ! This is much needed as our research has shown, since very little formal training is provided at initial and in-service levels at university.

For more please check our blogpost :…

Divina Frau-Meigs, MIL ambassador for EPALE France

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Thank you very much for this last video presentation on the issue of media literacy for adults. Your questions/answers were really interesting. Very interesting format to gather concrete and relevant information.

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Public libraries are spaces where citizens can access quality information under the guidance of librarians. While the internet provides users with opportunities for accessing a wider range of information that is unmediated by traditional media and public institutions, this does not mean that we live in an age in which libraries should be redundant.

Especially 50+ generations, people living in social exclusion and people with low digital skills would need a guide though the complicated world of media, social networks, disinformation risks etc. Some consider libraries less competent and old but it can be effective in dealing with the previously mentioned target group.

The question is: is it doable in Europe? Is there a potential to attract enough people from these groups and can the librarians get the necessary skills to offer such services?

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Very good questions. Libraries have a role to play in Media and Information Literacy as places of access to knowledge. Libraries have a long history of involvement with the press, offering both print and digital collections in dedicated and busy spaces. Moreover, they now offer permanent and mobile access to this content.

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Hi Martin,


And thank you for this comment. I absolutely agree libraries can and should play an important part in digital education and guidance. In Helsinki, where I am based, the public city library offers free digital guidance sessions for anyone in need of help in these areas, for example. However, these are quite focused on technical side of things - I am sure there would be more space for support in critical readings of social media, indetifying disinformation, etc.


It would be really interesting to hear if other countries have examples of innovative media literacy & digital training organised by libraries?

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Dear Heini,

In France, on 10 April 2018, Françoise Nyssen, Ex-Minister of Culture, presented the strategic axes of her "Plan Bibliothèques", the result of a consultation process led by Erik Orsenna and Noël Corbin. One of the key elements identified by the Minister was the fight against fake news, described as "the great battle of our democracy". With the help of civic services, several libraries in each region are thus encouraged to set up workshops to combat false information and consolidate media literacy. Led by the DRACs, this project encourages libraries to host civic service workers in order to provide nationwide coverage of EMI workshops, but also to implement training cycles for public reading librarians. Requested last autumn by the DRACs in each region, the CRFCBs (Regional Training Centres for Library Careers) are responsible for drawing up a training programme adapted to each establishment for staff who will be working on these information education issues.

I don't know if you read french but this is a special web link with a lot of informations, and examples in different territories in France:…

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Formal and non formal education are guided,but what about informal education ? Sometimes we get so great amout of information from informal education,because of that it is very important to organize more discussions, more communication to avoid false information or "yellow page" information,more brain storming that develops critical thinking, development of understanding the real situation.

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Thank you for your comment, Ilze! I agree, informal eudcation particularly in terms of our media usage and attitutudes towards media is really powerful.

One aspect of media literacy education I would be very interested in learning more about would be intergenerational, informal media literacy education. How could younger and older generations best learn from each other about best ways to understand and critically consume media content?

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Dear all,

Hello from Brittany, France :)

Here is some information about a French initiative: the EMI project (Education aux Medias et à l'Information):

This project is part of the national EMI plan of the Ministry of Culture. It aims to implement in 2020-2021 pedagogical actions to train EMI mediators for teenagers and young adults. It is also working to implement a national reflection, via a monitoring committee, to evaluate the current project and identify the expectations of library and documentation professionals in terms of federated educational tools and a common skills base. The École nationale supérieure des sciences de l'information et des bibliothèques (Enssib), which has been heavily involved in IME training for several years and is keen to act to strengthen the critical thinking of its communities (civil servant students, master's students and the professional network of librarians and documentalists), has joined forces with the INSPÉ of the Académie de Lyon - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 to carry out this project.

This project has a double objective: on the one hand, to design and develop a training offer in IME for information mediators working in particular with teenagers and young adults; on the other hand, to design, produce and develop educational files and freely reusable resources allowing library and documentation professionals to concretely accompany their mediation projects. Pedagogical bridges will be built between theoretical and scientific contents in information sciences and the professions and skills of libraries and documentation.


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EPALE The Netherlands would like to share a Guide to digital skills for adult education. This guide is written for teachers, supervisors, clients and (volunteer) organizations that develop and provide training and courses in digital skills for low-educated and low-digitally skilled adults. It can also be helpfull in adressing news media skills for adults. 

We divide digital skills for adults into five domains.

  1. the use of ICT systems 
  2. security, privacy and health
  3. searching for information
  4. processing information
  5. digital communication

The main goals of the guide are

  • to provide insight into the content and scope of the 'subject' of digital skills;
  • provide inspiration in the content and implementation of digital skills courses and training;
  • provide support in the development of (online) learning materials;
  • give didactic tips for learning, based on worked examples;
  • provide directions for evaluation and measuring progress

The guide is written in Dutch, but if you would like to have it translated, please contact our NSS. 

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From the Netherlands, we would really like to share the Media Literacy Competence Model 2021. It builds on the Media Literacy Competence Model 2012. The newly added outer ring was inspired by the research of Ellen Helsper and Alexander van Deursen into 'tangible outcomes of internet use'. The newly added competencies Exploration and Discussion are inspired by models for media literacy from the USA by Julie Coiro and Renee Hobbs and Henri Jenkins et al.The model was partly created thanks to the advice of the Scientific Council of Network Media Literacy, various media literacy experts and media coaches.


The model

At the centre of the model are the 17.5 million citizens who enjoy themselves, exercise, go to school, work, enjoy their retirement, practice their hobby, make friendships and fall in love in today's media society

In the inner ring are the eight media literacy competencies: Serving, Exploring, Finding, Creating, Connecting, Discussing, Understanding and Reflecting. These eight media literacy competences are the beginning of the definition by the Culture Council: the set of knowledge, skills and mentality that every citizen needs.

In the outer ring are the ten areas in which individuals can achieve concrete goals through their media use. By incorporating these ten areas into the model, it is emphasized that media literacy is not an abstract, academic matter. Media literacy is about making media happier, getting better friendships, staying healthy, finding a nice job, spending your free time, hearing and seeing you, et cetera.

You can read more about the model here: Mediawijsheid Competentiemodel 2021 - Vernieuwd model (


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Thank you for this interesting model, seems very thorough and versatile. I think it is particularly interesting notion/detail to include that "we make friendships and fall in love in today's media society" - indeed, digital media is incorporated into so many parts of our lives and relationships and affects how these relationships unfold. It is important to make this visible!

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Critically assessing news, media and information is an essential skill for adults. A helpful framework is the Critical Media Literacy Framework by Jeff Share, Steven Funk and Douglas Kellner.

It provides a series of 6 questions to ask when consuming (or also producing) media content:

1. Who are all the possible people who made choices that helped create this text?

2. How was this text constructed and delivered/accessed?

3. How could this text be understood differently?

4. What values, points of view, and ideologies are represented or missing from this text or influenced by the medium?

5. Why was this text created and/or shared?

6. Whom does this text advantage and/or disadvantage.

In Austria, COMMIT has made a German translation of the framework, which you can find here:

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Hi Andrea, Thank you for sharing this tool/resource, looks very useful indeed! As I mentioned, I believe these types of "checklists" can be very helpful tools for critical media literacy skills. One thing I have been thinking about in terms of media literacy education, is how present these types of questions as interesting and engaging as possible to adults, who might initially feel they have no need for them? I think it is important to also contextualise why we are asking these questions, and why is it useful for us to do that.

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I would like to ask how we can address online hate speech against vulnerable groups (e.g., immigrants, Roma, LGBTQ+) in media literacy for adults, since it is more complex due to prejudices and stereotypes which are linked to beliefs and values. Especially while working with adults, such topics become even harder to reach.

Any ideas Heini or from the rest of the participants?

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Hi Nikolaos, Thank you for this very insightful comment and question! I think it is a really important addition to the themes already addressed. Hate speech and disinformation targeting vulnerable group and/or minorities is obviously a real issue, and one that online environments can easily perpetuate.

I do not have a clear answer to what would be the best way to address this in media literacy education, but certainly the first step should be to talk about the consequences of hate speech can have on communities and individuals, and raise discussion about the mechanics of social media that might encourage people to speak in ways that are inapproapriate and hateful. I think everyone should also have a basic understanding of how to report hate speech & ask platforms to take more action against it.


Regarding prejudices and stereotypes against vulnerable groups, I think safe, facilitated discussion can be a good place to start unpacking them, and using media content as a discussion point can work well. We have used this "Timeout" dialogue method in many projects:


Lastly, I think media/journalism also play an important role in this! I was not personally involved, but there was recently a project in Finland, aimed at journalists, about more diverse representation of the Roma people in the Finnish media.

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EPALE Poland would like to share information on two Erasmus+ projects focusing on media literacy:

1. Silver Civic Education The aim of the project was to prepare tools for educators working with people 60+. The project was based on the diagnosis of the most important reasons for excluding elderly people in terms of broadly understood communication skills. This category also included difficulties in understanding media news and documents, the inability to reach the information needed, the lack of digital skills. Partners prepared the guide for trainers which shows how to use social journalism methods and techniques in educational activities.

2. MeLi Parents Project aims to resolve the policy gap regarding the limited media literacy initiatives targeting parents by creating a training programme and supporting tools for media literacy education addressed specifically to them. The training program will in particular assist them in acquiring some technical knowledge on how to use digital media and be engaged in their children’s online activity.

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Dear All, 

Let me welcome you all. I am writing to you from Hungary and representing the national office of VET and Adult Learning as an external expert. I have recently joined the live stram and I would like to comment the above mentioned projects, which target the developemnt of specific skills. As regards media literacy, it is truly a challenge from which side and perspective you would like to 'touch' the topic because challenges can occur in several different fields such as age, sorts of media, topics, literacy level of ther target group, etc.     

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Thank you for your comment, Éva. Yes, I think the fact that media literacy is such a vast concept can create challenges in defining best practices - crucial media literacy skills can mean learning how to use a digital banking app as well as navigating social media etiquette or being aware of the influencing tactics used in advertising or marketing.

Adults can also be a particularly challenging group for media literacy education –as you say, their media use and needs vary greatly depending on age, life situation and skill-levels.

Here in Finland The National Audiovisual Institute (KAVI) together with the Center for Cultural Policy Research Cupore recently conducted a report into the media literacy education for adults - the results clearly showed that compared to children and young people, media literacy education for adults is neglected and very fragmented. I found that very interesting!  

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In terms of media literacy for adults, there is 1 more very important thing to mention, the type of language used through media tools and channels. We have just finished a project where a simple method was used with low-skilled adults as regards information materials created for them in order to be able to offer different services and training programmes for them. We changed the very complicated texts of promo materials to a more easily understandable language for adults. This technique is applied in many EU countries and can make our work more comfortable with vulnerable groups of adults. 

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I appreciate the projects in adult education devoted to parents and their link with children , becauce the family is the first institution to develop learning skills  in general and the development of other skills necessary for life. Thanks , Korolina , for sharing your project ideas.

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Thank you for this discussion! It is a topic that concerns each of us. At this time, it is really challenging for everyone to find the right sources and recognize credible news. In today's world, where access to the Internet and information is at our fingertips, critical thinking that goes hand in hand with media literacy is so important. The purpose of critical thinking is not to criticize, but rather to be able to create distance, to think about why and how this information comes to me, can I somehow verify it or what is the source of information?

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Hi Daniela, Thank you for this important reminder, I agree with you that we should ephasise critical thinking as part of media literacy training. The questions you mention are a great starting point for critical thinking and critical consuming of information - I think the challenge often comes from being likely to forget our critical thinking skills when we encounter information that is in line with or reinforces our existing beliefs and views. Personally, I would love to see more emphasis on psychological/emotional skills as part of media literacy education.

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Thank you for this important comment. The Erasmus+ Project "TeDiCom - Teaching Digital Competences in Adult Education" has organized a workshop on "Critical Thinking as a competence for 21st century (in adult learning)". A recording and more detailed information can be found here:

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Good morning, 


Currently, media literacy for adults is very important for several reasons.

- We are consumers of media and of news produced by media and it is important that we can understand the messages that are conveyed directly and those that are conveyed in a hidden way, and which tend to influence our way of thinking and acting.

- The new media and social networks gave us the possibility of being producers and replicators of news as well. It is very important that we are aware of the consequences of this power and how each one can be a builder of democratic values ​​and respect for others or, on the contrary, destroy those values.

- It is crucial to understand what may be behind a certain news and how news was constructed and transmitted and how they can reinforce stereotypes (for example, giving strength to racist behaviours, discriminating against minorities, etc.).

- Media literacy can help us to distinguish between true and fake news, thus preventing us from being deceived and deceiving others if we replicate fake news.

- Despite allowing us to communicate with a wide range of people, social networks just promote contact with people who reinforce our own ideas, limiting our ability to understand reality and its multiple dimensions.

- Adults, as parents, should make their children aware of the dangers associated to social networks and help them to avoid digital bullying, identity theft and other cybercrimes.

- As social media users, anyone leaves a digital footprint and must be aware of what this implies.

Adults without basic skills will have a harder time understanding the dangers they face and how vulnerable they may currently be, considering the reality and the way new media work.

In 2019, I attended a training integrated in the project “MediaCoach Portugal”, which is included in the “European MediaCoach initiavive” ( ). The focus of the European MediaCoach is to improve media literacy levels among young people through the development of a large pool of media literacy professionals working with youth in schools, youth centres and in non-formal contexts like libraries and museums. The training was organized by ICSTE-IUL (a higher education institution) in association with CENJOR (a professional training centre for journalists).

In my opinion, this project is relevant to raise awareness about what is happening currently in the field of media and why we should be cautious when using media as consumers or as content producers.

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Hi Dora,


And thank you for raising several, very interesting points. A couple of things that specifically resonated with my thinking:"The new media and social networks gave us the possibility of being producers and replicators of news as well. It is very important that we are aware of the consequences of this power and how each one can be a builder of democratic values ​​and respect for others or, on the contrary, destroy those values." -Yes, I think this is a crucial point in the future of media literacy. As citizens have more and more power over what type of content they can consume, create and share, they have more responsibility as well."Despite allowing us to communicate with a wide range of people, social networks just promote contact with people who reinforce our own ideas, limiting our ability to understand reality and its multiple dimensions." -Yes, I think the "echo chamber" phenomenon that social media is perpetuating is a huge issue - one aim of media literacy education, in my mind, should be about expanding our viewpoints and about learning to look for information from a diverse range of sources. MediaCouch Portugal project sounds excellent, thank you for sharing that as well!

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How can we access, search, critically assess, use and contribute content wisely, both online and offline? Ariana Apine (thank you Ariana), asked us this question earlier. What would be your views on this?

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AKTUALITĀTE: No datiem mēs iegūstam informāciju, no informācijas mēs iegūstam zināšanas, no zināšanām mēs iegūstam viedu (en - smart; ru - мудрость) Informācijpratība (information literacy) ir spēja atrast, atlasīt, novērtēt, pārvaldīt un izmantot informāciju. (Latvijas ZA Terminoloģijas komisija) Kā neapjukt informācijas pārbagātībā?JAUTĀJUMI DISKUSIJAI:  1. Vai EPALE ekspertiem ir nepiciešama sava zināšana bāze ( knowledge base) šajā jomā?  2. Ja tāda zināšanu bāze (knowledge base) eksistē, tad kur ir atrodami tās iedīgļi?

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