Media Literacy in Finland

Media Literacy in Finland

Media literacy in Finland is the media literacy policy and the national media education policy document, published by the Ministry of Education and Culture in 2019. The document updates and extends the cultural policy guidelines for media literacy published in 2013.

The need to update the policy arose from the changes that have taken place in media culture and the broader than before target groups of media education in particular. The Program of the Government also highlights the need for media skills for all age groups, from children to seniors.

The vision of the policy is to improve everyone’s opportunities to develop their media literacy

In the 2010s, media education in Finland has become considerably more extensive than before: the need to promote media literacy has been acknowledged in an increasing number of sectors, and, in particular, a number of new initiatives in media education for adults have been launched. A large group of actors are engaged in media education or develop and support it either as their main occupation or along with their other tasks.

The Media literacy in Finland policy document aims to clarify the field of media education and describe the strengths, values and principles of media education in Finland. This document also highlights areas for improvement and the related social, cultural and technological development trends.

The Main Objectives

According to the three main objectives of the media education policy, media education in Finland is:

  • comprehensive
  • of high-quality
  • systematic

The policy document includes various proposals for action that support the objectives.

The Vision

Everyone’s opportunities to develop their media literacy are improved in Finland. Media literacies that promote good, meaningful life are an important element of civic competence.

Media literacy is promoted and supported with the help of high-quality, systematic and comprehensive media education.

Media education in Finland is topical, equal, relevant and of high professional quality. Consistent and systematic resourcing supports the accumulation of competence and knowledge, development of actions and establishment of media education. Practical media education is goal-oriented, ethical and sustainable. Versatile media education is planned, practiced and developed in broad-based collaboration between various different actors.

OBJECTIVES

Proposals for Action

Objective 1 – Comprehensive Media Education

The media education provided in Finland is comprehensive in terms of its content, perspectives, target groups and geographic distribution.

Everyone is entitled to extensive and meaningful media literacy. The objective is that in Finland, a variety of actors provide geographically comprehensive, available and accessible media education that takes into account various target groups, subject matters and perspectives. Media educators that are confident with their strengths are able to find cooperation partners and collaborate in an goal-oriented manner. The versatility of target groups and local particularities are taken into account in the planning, development and practice of media education.

Following actions support achieving the objective:

  • Media education covers different topics extensively

Media education covers various media, their use and content creation as well as their significance in people’s lives, cultures and society, and each individual’s own rights and the rights of others in media culture extensively. Forums are created for discussion about media education. Meaningful contents of media education, and various approaches to it are identified in collaboration with citizens and experts from other sectors.

  • Media education is targeted to diverse groups

Media literacies are seen as an element of civic competence. Everyone’s opportunities for the versatile use of media and improvement of media literacies are enhanced. The diversity of the target groups and the fact that an individual may belong to various target groups simultaneously is taken into account when planning new measures or further developing existing ones.

  • Networking is improved

Networks to support media education are founded, maintained and developed. Relevant collaboration is also conducted in the networks of other sectors.

  • Digital opportunities are utilised

Opportunities that digital media offer, such as online training courses, remote access and publicly available archives and collections, are made use of in the practice and development of media education and in networking.

  • Local and regional media education work is improved

Local particularities are taken into account in practical media education. Local partnerships, strengths and sources of funding are used in a systematic manner. Actors familiarise themselves with the local media education work and, if necessary, guide people to find media education services provided by other actors.

  • Communication in the field of media education is developed

Flow of information among multidisciplinary media education professionals is improved. Awareness of media education, its signifigance and related services is strenghtened in various target groups and communities.

  • Strengths of different actors in media education are utilized

It is acknowledged that media education is provided in different organisations both as main occupation and as a part of other tasks. In addition to this, many organisations are engaged in work related to media education or work that supports it. Different actors evaluate their strengths and make them visible in order to improve media education work accordingly.

  • Results of media education are shared openly

Publicly available, Creative Commons licenced materials are favoured in media education, and proprietary media education materials are published under open licences. Media education with public funding in particular focuses on the extensive usability and accessibility of the resulting materials. Access to and communications on materials are improved.

Objective 2 – High-Quality Media Education

Media education in Finland is of high-quality, meaningful and non-discriminatory. The quality of media education is assessed and developed based on research.

Media literacies can best be improved with the help of high-quality media education. Media education in Finland is topical, goal-oriented and relevant. Media education is ethical, accessible, sustainable and effective. The quality of media education is improved based on self-assessment and in collaboration between sectors. The development of quality is reviewed extensively from different perspectives. High-quality media education aims to promote human rights, equality and non-discrimination and to create preconditions for sustainable development.

Following actions support achieving the objective:

  • Media education is research-based

Whenever possible, media education activities are developed, planned and practiced based on research. Domestic and international research data on media education is disseminated and made available by means of drafting publications, popularisation of and communication on research, and through tranings and other types of events.

  • Media education competences are improved

Key competence requirements related to media education in the work of professionals of different sectors are identified. Systematic and needs-based basic and in-service training as well as versatile means of developing skills are used in improving their expertise. Long-term development that is connected to everyday work tasks is emphasized in in-service training. New and innovative means of training, such as peer mentoring, are developed to meet various kinds of competence requirements.

  • Evaluation of media education is improved

Evaluation practices of media education are developed, and actions are improved based on evaluation. Self-evaluation of professional activity is promoted.

  • Media education is a collaborative activity in which those receiving education are respected

When possible people in the target groups can influence the activities, objectives, content and practical implementation of the planning, development, research and implementation of media education. The target groups of education are respected.

  • Media education involves international collaboration

The quality of media education is improved in international collaboration. International development and research in the field is followed and meaningful collaboration is conducted at Nordic, European and global levels. Finnish media education is made visible globally by means of networking, collaboration and communication.

  • Goal-orientation and methods of media education are developed

High-quality media education is goal-oriented work. The goal setting, content and methods of media education work are improved. Information on operating models and methods is shared within the media education community in networks, training events and through communications, for example. In addition to successes, failures are also seen as valuable lessons that the community can learn from.

  • The value base of media education is visible in action

The common value base of media education work is based on international human rights conventions in particular, but sector- and organisation-specific values are also taken into account in the work. The value bases of media education are discussed openly, and the significance of the values is recognised.

  • Media education is topical and relevant

Changes and trends in the world, society and culture are anticipated and followed, and they are taken into account in the action.

Objective 3 – Systematic Media Education

The media education offered in Finland is systematic and consistent.

Media education is developed into more systematic activity by means of planning, leading and allocating resources in a relevant manner. Consistent and coherent media education facilitates the accumulation of competence, development of practices and its institutionalising in society. Planning helps those involved take the themes and accessibility of media education into account and reach the target groups extensively.

Following actions support achieving the objective:

  • The knowledge base of media education is consolidated

The knowledge base of media education is consolidated using academic research and studies conducted by other organizations. The knowledge requirements are discussed with researchers, financiers, developers and those who work at a practical level.

  • The financial base of media education is consolidated and diversified.

The financing of media education is improved to support non-discriminatory, high-quality, comprehensive and consistent work. Where possible, international, national, regional and local sources of financing are used, and possible financing for media education activities are mapped on a multidisciplinary basis. Efforts are made to ensure consistent media education through sufficient resourcing in organisations.

  • Planning of media education is improved

The drafting of media education plans is piloted, developed and supported at national, regional, local and organisational levels. Media education plans can be sector-specific or cross-sectoral. The role of media education is consolidated in existing plans and when preparing new plans.

  • Leadership in media education is improved

Leadership is improved at various levels of operation in media education. Data should be gathered to support the improvement efforts.

  • Existing structures are taken into account in media education

Media education has been taking place for a long time, and the field is diverse. When planning and financing media education activities, existing structures, resources, actors and networks are taken into account and new ones are created, if necessary. Where possible, new media education activities are developed as a part of existing structures to ensure continuity.

  • Media education work is modelled

Media education work and its development and assessment are described as operating models that can be shared. Existing models of media education are used and developed further, taking the particularities of contexts and target groups into account.

VIDEOS

Short videos from Media Educators

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INQUIRIES

Production process

Media literacy in Finland was prepared as a part of a cross-administrative media policy programme. The need to update the media literacy policy was expressed in the Government resolution of 2018. In February 2019, the Ministry of Education and Culture assigned the task to update the policy to the National Audiovisual Institute (KAVI). The National Audiovisual Institute prepared the policy in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Culture in cross-administrative and cross-sectoral collaboration with actors involved in media education.

An online survey on the current status and future of media education (n=58), the results of planning workshops on media education organised in seven towns and cities and interviews with professors were used in the preparation of the policy. Policy documents mentioning media education from various administrative sectors were reviewed as a part of the preparations.

The policy supports the development work and planning of actions in media education. Ministries, agencies, municipalities, organisations, associations, foundations, companies, educational institutions and other communities, among others, can participate in the implementation of the proposed actions. Implementation of the national policy on media education requires collaboration and communication between various operators.

Contact Information

Lauri Palsa
Senior Advisor
National Audiovisual Institute
Phone: +358 295 338 015
Email: lauri.palsa@kavi.fi