Empowering through
Media & Digital Literacy

 

The Internet is a public and open community space, accessible by all. Technological advancements have made the Internet a wonderful tool and platform for people to communicate, work and play. The open and collaborative nature of the Internet has also given us much freedom to express our views and creativity anytime and anyhow we want. However, it is also unavoidable that the very freedom brought to us by the Internet also gives rise to real life problems and concerns.

In the new digital and social media landscape, the Council seeks to address the following key areas:

(a) Risky Behaviours Online

This pertains to digital safety, security and privacy issues as the online world becomes a new hunting ground for people with less than honourable intentions; and where individuals’ privacy may be encroached upon by new technological tools and marketing tactics.

(b) Uncivil Behaviours Online

This refers to behaviours that are anti-social, offensive, irresponsible or simply mean. While such behaviours are not unique to the online environment, people can be a lot more callous when communicating through digital technologies as there are no verbal and visual cues. More worryingly, the impact on victims is magnified because of the speed, permanence and openness of the social media environment.

(c) The impact of the information age

The beauty of the Internet is that it allows people to express themselves, exchange views and collaborate and learn from one another. However, it is also a world where radical and extremist groups can easily spread their ideas, where dubious businesses can pay for good reviews and where groups with an agenda can seek to lobby and influence. It is also a world where media outlets can easily succumb to the pressures of internet speed, online citizen journalism and discourse, at the cost of accuracy and professionalism.

That being said, the Council recognizes that the Internet is all about empowering citizens to become engaged stakeholders who can make informed decisions about the activities that impact their daily lives and the communities they live in.

The Council therefore sees its role as encouraging and promoting critical abilities and an understanding of the digital world so as to enable Singaporeans to be astute and responsible digital citizens. Such skills will also be important in helping users manage and mitigate the risks associated with advances in technology.

It is with this intent that the Council has developed a set of “Media Literacy Core Values” which encompasses a set of values and skills that we feel are indispensable to conducive and positive living especially in the digital age. The Media Literacy Core Values will underpin the Council’s public education and outreach programmes.