Mediakasvatusfoorumi 10-vuotta – teemana inklusiivinen mediakasvatus

KAVIn erityisasiantuntija Lauri Palsa avasi 10. Mediakasvatusfoorumin.

Blogi / 5.7.2022, Kuvat: KAVI

Tänä keväänä Mediakasvatusfoorumi järjestettiin ensimmäistä kertaa hybridi-tapahtumana. Mediakasvatuksen ammattilaiset kokoontuivat Helsingin Ruoholahden lisäksi striimin ääreen kuulemaan uusia näkökulmia mediakasvatuksen kentältä. Päivän teemana oli inklusiivinen eli kaikille yhdenvertainen, saavutettava ja esteetön mediakasvatus. 

Voit katsoa kaikki päivän asiantuntijapuheenvuorot Mediakasvatusfoorumin tallenteesta Asiaa mediakasvatuksesta YouTube-kanavalta. Tallenne on viitottu suomalaiselle viittomakielelle ja tekstitetty suomeksi. Ministerin puhe on tekstitetty myös ruotsiksi. Seuraavassa on poimintoja puheenvuoroista. 

Tilaisuuden avasi KAVIn erityisasiantuntija Lauri Palsa, joka kiinnitti huomiota yhteistyön merkitykseen mediakasvatuksen yhdenvertaisuuden edistämisessä. Tässä auttaa esimerkiksi toiminnan sitominen laajempaan kontekstiin, sillä mediakasvatus ei tapahdu tyhjiössä vaan suhteessa ympäröivään maailmaan. “Mediakasvatuksessa ei ole kyse vain yksilöiden osaamisen kehittämistä irrallaan muusta maailmasta, vaan se pikemminkin suuntautuu ympäristöön, yhteiskuntien, kulttuurien, yhteisöjen ja arjen kehittämiseen”, Palsa huomioi. 

Tiede- ja kulttuuriministeri Petri Honkonen toi puheessaan esille, että ministeriö osaltaan tukee yhdenvertaisen mediakasvatuksen toteutumista ottamalla sen huomioon mediakasvatuksen ja medialukutaidon erityisavustuksien myöntämisessä sekä ministeriön rahoittaman Uudet lukutaidot -kehittämisohjelman kautta. Yhdenvertaisuuden vahvistaminen edellyttää kuitenkin jatkuvasti huomion kiinnittämistä sen toteutumiseen, kriittistä arviointia, yhteistä keskustelua ja laaja-alaista yhteistyötä, Honkonen muistutti. 

Selvityksestä uusia näkökulmia mediakasvatuksen yhdenvertaisuuteen 

KAVI ja Kulttuuripolitiikan tutkimuskeskus Cupore julkaisivat Foorumissa selvityksen, jossa kuvataan medialukutaitojen ja mediakasvatuksen tilaa Suomessa inklusiivisuuden ja yhdenvertaisuuden näkökulmasta. Pääset lataamaan koko selvityksen itsellesi Mediataitokoulusta. Selvitys toi esille, että yhdenvertaisuuden näkökulmasta mediakasvatustoiminta ei vielä toteudu tasa-arvoisesti kaikkialla Suomessa. Yhdenvertaisuutta tukevina tekijöinä selvityksessä nähdään mm. tietoisuuden lisääminen eri väestöryhmien tarpeista, tutkimuksen vahvistaminen sekä KAVIn rooli organisoijana ja tiedon välittäjänä. 

Yleisö Ruoholahdessa seurasi selvityshankkeen tulosten julkistusta.

Tuoreen selvityksen tuloksia Foorumissa kommentoi tutkijatohtori Mari Pienimäki sekä suunnittelija Tarja Porsanger. Pienimäki toi esille, että Venäjän hyökkäys Ukrainaan on korostanut kriittisen ajattelun taitojen merkitystä ja tarvetta yhdenvertaiselle mediakasvatukselle iästä, paikkakunnasta ja muista lähtökohdista riippumatta. Yhdenvertaisen mediakasvatuksen toteutumisessa ei ole kyse vain yksilön taidoista, vaan myös mediankulttuurin rakenteista, Pienimäki alleviivasi.

Porsanger korosti puheenvuorossaan alkuperäiskansojen yhdenvertaista asemaa muiden kansojen joukossa. Tällä hetkellä saamelaisten sananvapautta suomalaisessa yhteiskunnassa uhkaa mm. vaientaminen, alistaminen ja epistemologinen tuho. Aina ei kuitenkaan ole kyse asenteellisesta ongelmasta eri väestöryhmiä kohtaan, vaan tiedon tai ymmärryksen puutteesta. Valtaväestö on voimaton saamelaisia koskevan disinformaation edessä, hän toi esille.

Mediakasvatuksen ammattilaiset verkostoitumassa lounastauolla.

Inklusiivisen mediakasvatuksen monet ulottuvuudet 

Paneelikeskustelu inklusiivisen medialukutaidon ulottuvuuksista päätti Foorumin asiantuntijapuheenvuorot. Panelisteina olivat opetusneuvos Kati Costiander, projektipäällikkö Artëm Kuosti, erityisasiantuntija Riikka Marttinen, tutkijatohtori Susanna Rivinen ja väitöskirjatutkija Ulla Sivunen. Linjassa KAVIn ja Cuporen selvityksen tulosten kanssa keskustelu toi esille, että mediakasvatuksen toteutuminen ei vielä ole yhdenvertaista ja osan ihmisryhmistä eteen tulee tehdä vielä kovastikin töitä. 

Kuosti mainitsi puheenvuorossaan, että monikulttuuri- ja maahanmuuttajajärjestöjen näkökulmasta inklusiivisuus-termi ”on todella korkealla tasolla ja siksi vaikea käsittää”. Perusdigitaidot, kuten laitehallinta, ja mahdollisuus laitehankintoihin nousevat esiin ennen syvempää pohdintaa inklusiivisen mediakasvatuksen toteutumisesta. Voisi sanoa, että monikulttuuri- ja maahanmuuttajajärjestöjen kohdalla kyse on usein perusoikeuksien toteutumisesta, joilla on myös vaikutus kotoutumiseen, käy ilmi Kuostin kommentista.  

Sivunen korosti keskustelussa mediakasvatuksen kielellistä saavutettavuutta ja kielellisten vähemmistöjen tukemista. Mediakasvatuksen suuntautuessa suomenkielisiin muiden kieliryhmien edustajat jäävät usein paitsioon. Esimerkiksi viittomakielisille on tarjolla hyvin vähän mediakasvatusmateriaalia. Myös median tuottajien olisi hyvä edustaa monimuotoisuutta, koska se lisää ymmärrystä erilaisista ihmisryhmistä. Esimerkiksi vähemmistökielisiä toimittajia tulisi saada suuren yleisön nähtäville, Sivunen esittää toiveen. 

Panelistit Riikka Marttinen (oik.), Susanna Rivinen ja Artëm Kuosti.

Costiander kertoi paneelissa, että varhaiskasvatuksessa lapset ja henkilöstä on jo huomioitu hyvin mediakasvatusmateriaaleissa, -täydennyskoulutukissa, -tutkimuksessa ja kansainvälisessä yhteistyössä. Myöskään inkluusion käsite ei ole varhaiskasvatuksessa uusi ja tänä vuonna julkaistuissa varhaiskasvatussuunnitelman perusteissa sitä korostetaan entisestään. Costianderin mukaan sen sijaan huomiota tulisi kiinnittää vielä siihen, että varhaiskasvatuksen henkilöstö pääsee osallistumaan koulutuksiin ja kasvatuksen järjestäjä huolehtii edellytyksistä toteuttaa mediakasvatusta. 

Oppimisvaikeuksia ei kovin hyvin tunnisteta mediakasvatuskentällä, toteaa Marttinen. Oppimisvaikeuksien ajatellaan liittyvän erityisesti kouluun ja nuoriin, mutta työikäisten ja ikääntyneiden kohdalla teema on vieraampi. Mitä tarkoittaa olla digin käyttöä opetteleva ikäihminen, jolla on hahmottamisen ongelma, Marttinen haastaa pohtimaan. Hänen toiveenaan on, että apuvälineitä tunnistettaisiin ja hyödynnettäisiin laajemmin mediakasvatuksessa ja medialukutaidon tukena. 

Rivinen peräänkuulutti keskustelussa tutkimusperustaisuutta, asenteisiin vaikuttamista sekä negatiivisista stereotypioista eroon pääsemistä. Ikääntyneistä ja heidän media- ja digitaidoistaan on tiukassa stereotyyppinen, leimaava ajattelu, jonka mukaan ”eivät he osaa eikä kannata enää opetella”, Rivinen kertoi kokemuksestaan. Hän totesi myös, että monet paneelikeskustelussa esiin tulleet inklusiiviseen mediakasvatukseen liittyvät ulottuvuudet pätevät yhtä lailla ikääntyneiden kohdalla.

Yleisö osallistui aktiivisesti keskusteluun.

Inklusiivisen mediakasvatuksen tulevaisuutta ajatellen panelistit nostivat esille resurssien tärkeyden. Resurssien merkitys korostui myös KAVIn ja Cuporen selvityksessä. Mediakasvatus tarvitsee riittävästi resursseja, jotta sitä voidaan toteuttaa pitkäjänteisesti ja suunnitelmallisesti, Sivunen tiivistää. Vastuu on myös päättäjiä laajemmalla yleisöllä; jokainen meistä voi omilla toimillaan edesauttaa turvallisen oppimisympäristön ja lämpimien kohtaamisten toteutumista ja näin omalta osaltaan edistää ihmisten medialukutaitoa. ”Mediakasvatus on kaikkien asia”, Rivinen kiteyttää. 

Paikan päällä Ruoholahdessa verkostoituminen ja kansallisen mediakasvatuksen kehittäminen yhdessä oli aktiivista. Päivä huipentui työpajatyöskentelyyn sekä ideoiden jakamiseen pikadeiteillä. Työpajojen teemoina olivat inklusiivinen mediakasvatus, mediakasvatuksen tulevaisuus Suomessa ja Uudet lukutaidot osaamisen tukena.  

Nähdään Mediakasvatusfoorumissa taas ensi vuonna! 

Media literacy for adults: New study shines a light to the shade of media education in Finland

Cover photos of the study

Even though media literacy has long tradition in the Finnish society and plenty of work is being carried out, a comprehensive understanding of the overall situation of adult’s media literacy is not yet achieved. Thus, together with the Centre for Cultural Policy Research Cupore we conducted a qualitative interview study to look closer the current situation. Extended abstract of the full study is now published.

Due to a widespread increase in the speed of technological development, changes in study and work culture, polarising hate speech and alternative facts, the importance of media literacy is not difficult to argue for today.

Finland has a long tradition in media education, and its roots can be placed as part of the history of public education. Despite the versatile operations, the perspective of media education has been focused particularly on the media education of children and young people, often leaving adults in the shade in terms of research, systematic plans and practical procedures.

However, the situation has improved in many ways in terms of both research and national policy guidelines.

In the field of research, work such as the extensive research on the media education of elderly people conducted by the University of Lapland has blazed a trail and reinforced the theory base in the field of adult education. Academic discussion has been highlighted at the international level as well. An example of this are the thematic issues of academic journals, which broaden the discussion on media education throughout people’s lives.

In terms of national policies, the media education of adults took some concrete steps forward when the Ministry of Education and Culture published the ‘Media literacy in Finland’ national policy prepared by the National Audiovisual Institute in 2019. The national media education policy cover not only the media education of children and young people, but that of adults as well.

In addition to the field of research and policy, important development work to improve the media literacy of adults has been carried out in Finland across societal sectors. There are plenty of examples in the services provided by liberal adult education providers, libraries and other cultural actors, civil society organisations and businesses, which contribute to providing people with opportunities to develop their media literacy. On the other hand, even though plenty of work is being carried out, a comprehensive understanding of the overall situation is yet to be achieved.

New study provides more understanding

To provide new understanding, together with the Centre for Cultural Policy Research Cupore we conducted a qualitative interview study to look closer the current situation of the adult’s media education in Finland. In the study, the researchers of Cupore interviewed 20 experts working in relation to the themes of media literacy and media education in the different sectors of the Finnish society. You can find the extended abstract of the study (in English) here.

The study relates to three separate but interrelated themes.

  1. A knowledge-based understanding is needed regarding the current status of media literacy work for adults. Experts working in the field can provide accounts of matters such as what kind of challenges are related to their operations and how they could be resolved.
  2. The study helps form a picture of media education operations in relation to already existing structures. With regard to this, attention is paid to what the current focus of the proposed actions in the national media education policy is on and what areas are in danger of being overlooked.
  3. The study broadens the horizon towards the future. It is important to build a basis for shared understanding of what the key actions are that should be focused on in Finland in order to make media education in the coming years as high-quality, comprehensive and systematic as possible for adults as well.

The diversity of media literacy

Media literacy is understood broadly in Finland. Even though media education can thematically cover different topics extensively, it is important to pay attention to concrete actions. From the perspective of planning media education work and co-operation opportunities, it is important that the different parties have a shared view on what perspectives, topics and themes the goals of media education work are linked to.

The study at hand broadens knowledge of what media education perspectives and topics are currently emphasised in media education work and what should be paid more attention to in the future. According to the survey, attention should be paid in particular to critical media literacy and, in terms of user skills, security skills and data control.

Discussion about concepts is important. Based on the study, defining media literacy work as part of an operating strategy can help identify the media educational dimension of an operator’s own work and, on the other hand, allocate a place for it as part of the planning of operations. The themes of media education are also related to other topics and concepts used, such as digital competence and information literacy. Conceptual discussion helps operators understand the relations between concepts and thus find new co-operation opportunities as well.

Implementation of the media education policy

The Finnish media education policy propose various actions that support achieving the main goals. The study helps with collaboration to highlight those actions that media education operations focus on in particular and those that can be overlooked.

The first objective of the policy guidelines is that the media education provided in Finland is comprehensive in terms of its content, perspectives, target groups and geographic distribution. With regard to this, the study indicates that emphasis is placed on the targeting of media education at different groups, open sharing of the results of the operations and the utilisation of the opportunities provided by digitality.

The second objective is that media education in Finland is high-quality, meaningful and non-discriminatory. With regard to developing the quality of media education, the study indicates that operations were carried out on a research basis, in international co-operation, by developing competence and through participation.

The third objective of the media education policy guidelines is related to implementing media education in a systematic and long-term manner. The study indicates that fewer actions related to this objective were implemented compared to procedures related to the other two objectives. The need to develop systematicness was highlighted in the operators’ own activities and the field of media education in general.

Towards high-quality, comprehensive and systematic media education

In order to bring the promotion of media literacy among adults out of the shade and into the mainstream, joint discussion and views on functional solutions are needed. With regard to this, the study also involved seeking concrete operating models, good practices and ideas for key actions in the future that could facilitate promoting the media literacy of adults in a comprehensive, high-quality and systematic manner in accordance with the objectives of the media education policy.

The actions highlighted by experts in the survey can be divided into five areas that are linked to one another. The areas are promoting awareness of media education, coordination and steering, strengthening the research basis, increasing media educational competence and developing financing.

No one party is likely to be able to solve every actions alone, but all can take part in the shared work. The highlighted actions help with finding points to delve into and create a basis for joint discussion. Through the procedures, everyone working with themes related to the media literacy of adults can reflect on how the actions could be related to their own work and its objectives.

KAVI provides support for media education work for adults

Active work to support the media education of adults is being carried out at the National Audiovisual Institute as part of promoting media education in general. We support media literacy work for adults information through means such as producing and compiling, preparing support materials, promoting awareness and competence, coordinating and creating new opportunities for operators to co-operate, network and provide information about their own operations.

The Medialukutaitosuomessa.fi (Medialiteracy.fi) website is currently being updated by compiling research information about Finnish people’s use of media, media literacy and the practice of media education. The website provides operators in the field of media education with an opportunity to provide information about their own projects and operations through guest editorials.

The updated version Mediataitokoulu.fi website (Media literacy school) has been launched in autumn 2021, whereby the contents of the online service will place more emphasis on the development of competence related to the media education of adults as well. The website provides a platform through which operators in the field can publish and share tools and media education materials openly for professionals in the field to use.

At the annual Media Education Forum, the themes of media education for adults will be given visibility in the future as well. The free-of-charge seminar day provides operators with an opportunity to provide information about their own actions, create co-operation opportunities and network. The lectures held at the event are published on KAVI’s Asiaa mediakasvatuksesta (‘Discussing Media Education’) YouTube channel.

The national media education theme week – the Media Literacy Week – also provides operators in the field of media education for adults with an opportunity to co-operate, increase their visibility and provide information about their own campaigns to professionals in various fields.

Social media groups provide a low-threshold platform for networking and information provision. An open group called Aikuisten medialukutaidon edistäminen (‘Promoting the Media Literacy of Adults’) has been established on Facebook for adult media education.

In 2021, we have created and published an online training course on media literacy basics for public administration workers. The training course will expand training opportunities in terms of media literacy at the level of the government and municipalities.

Promoting media literacy is a joint effort. The study at hand has shone a light to the shade of media education. It compiles a range of perspectives to serve as a basis for joint discussion and work in the coming years to reinforce the media education of adults.

Lauri Palsa

Senior Adviser, National Audiovisual Institute

How is media education implemented in teaching in Finland?

There is a lot of talk about media education for children and young people and its importance. In general – and understandably – the importance of school in the teaching of media competencies is highlighted first. From this perspective, it is a bit surprising how little comprehensive information we have on how media education is implemented in practice in Finnish education. 

One possible window for teaching media competencies is given by Opeka. Opeka is an online tool for teachers and schools to measure and analyse their use of information and communication technology (ICT) in teaching. Tampere Research Center for Information and Media (TRIM) is responsible for the development of the service.  Over the years, Opeka and related data collection have been funded by, for example, the Finnish National Agency for Education and the Ministry of Education and Culture. 

Opeka’s public performance reports can be viewed over several years, and for this I chose 2020 as the review period. In 2020, there were a total of 3,594 respondents during the year and they worked in 20 different municipalities. The largest groups of respondents were teachers who teach different subjects, especially to young people (N = 1410) and classroom teachers working with children aged 7–12 (N = 1383). There was a total of 540 special education teachers in the respondents. There were also a small number of vocational school teachers (N = 76) and study counselors (N = 70) in the data. 

Like many other data collections related to media education, Opeka was originally developed for a purpose other than examining media education. Therefore, it is a matter of opinion which of the evaluation tool’s various statements you want to consider as indicators of media education. For this review, I selected five statements that, in my opinion, describe moderately well the areas that are often considered important in media education: 

  1. Students often produce different types of media contents (such as audio, video and images) in my classes.
  2. I teach my students various means to participate in society through the internet. 
  3. I teach my students to understand and interpret various digital media contents. 
  4. I often discuss with my students the reliability of information available on the Internet and how to use it appropriately. 
  5. I regularly guide students to use the Internet responsibly and legally.

Teaching media competencies in basic and upper secondary education in Finland

Based on the responses, it appears that the majority of teachers teach their students issues related to media interpretation, information reliability and appropriate online behaviour. By way of contrast, the teaching of participation in society is present much less often.  

However, it is particularly noteworthy that only a minority of teachers offer lessons that include students often producing media content themselves. Fewer than one in five respondents even somewhat agreed with the statement, even though media content included here as simple outputs as pictures. Clearly, there is still work to be done to support students’ own media production, which should be encouraged, for example, through further training and other development projects. 

It is also an interesting observation that the technical readiness of a school, the attitudes of a teacher or even the ICT skills of a teacher as such do not necessarily translate directly into teaching practices. On a scale of 1 to 4, with 1 being the worst and 4 being the best, technical capacity was assessed with an average of 3, attitudes 2.4 and ICT skills 2.1. Pedagogical use was clearly rated the weakest, receiving only a level of 1.7. The result provides an indication of how important it is in teacher education to pay attention to the fact that teachers are not only taught the general use of ICT or suggest examples of software and tools. Long-term attention must be paid to the introduction and establishment of well-functioning and diverse pedagogical practices in the everyday life of classrooms.

Comparing the answers of different groups of teachers, it can be stated that with these indicators, media education is most often implemented by those teachers who work with children in grades 3–6, that is, children aged 9–12. You can read more about Opeka’s reports, such as the differences between different teacher groups and response years here. 

Saara Salomaa 
Senior Adviser, National Audiovisual Institute (KAVI) 

Source: Opeka Yearly report 2020.

New video series: Introducing Finnish media literacy policy

Cover of the national media literacy policy

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 the new video series the experts from the National audiovisual institute explore and discuss the topic of media literacy policy.

Media literacy in Finland 

Media literacy has been taught and developed in Finland for a long time. How the Finnish field of media literacy is constructed currently? 

Video: Media literacy and media education in Finland

Participatory media literacy policy development 

The field of media education in Finland is diverse, which is why the media education policy was prepared in a participatory manner. How the preparation was conducted in practice? What areas are included in the policy? 

Video: Participatory media literacy policy development 

Objective 1 – A comprehensive approach 

The media education provided in Finland is comprehensive in terms of its content, perspectives, target groups and geographic distribution. How the comprehensive media education can be understood and how it can be promoted? 

Video: A comprehensive approach

Objective 2 – High-quality media education  

Media education in Finland is of high-quality, meaningful and non-discriminatory. How the high-quality media education can be understood and how it can be promoted? 

Video: High-quality media education

Objective 3: Systematic media education

The media education offered in Finland is systematic and consistent. What topics are related to systematic media education? How the systematic media education can be promoted? 

Video: Systematic media education

Implementation of the media literacy policy  

The media literacy policy aim to support the development and planning of media education. Even the best plans are irrelevant if they do not have a practical impact. What are the key elements of policy implementation? How the implementation of the policy is supported in Finland?  

Video: Implementation of the media literacy policy  

Experts in the videos:

Julia Alajärvi, Project manager

Lauri Palsa, Senior adviser

Saara Salomaa, Senior Adviser

You can find the Finnish media literacy policy online (in PDF format).

What makes a good media education plan?

Illustrative picture about various plans in different colors

What makes a good media education plan?

This was the point of discussion between the experts from various fields in the workshops of Finnish Media Education Forum 2020.

In accordance with the Finnish media education policy, media education plans can be used to develop media education into a more systematic approach. Media education can be included into existing plans or a new plan can be prepared for it.

Based on the results of the workshop we created a new tool to support the preparation of media education plans. This tool can help you to focus some of the central aspects of media education plan and to take them into consideration.
The tool can be downloaded here.

The tool is based on guiding questions that can be discussed together in the organisation. These questions relate to five main themes, including objectives, activities, target groups, leadership and distribution of the results.

We hope these ideas help you prepare your own media education plans!

1) Defining the goals

• This topic include questions such as: What is meant by media education in our work? What areas of media literacy do we want to promote in our work? What goals of our organisation do we pursue to meet with media education in our activities?

2) Describing the activities and planning the assessment

• E.g. What kind of media education activities are we going to do? What are the goals and possible intermediate goals of each action for the planning period? Or how is the plan going to be assessed?

3) Considering the target group and operating environment

• E.g. Whose media literacy are we promoting in our work? Are our activities accessible and non-discriminatory? Or are we familiar with the latest research regarding our (media education) activities?

4) Leadership, resources and responsibilities

• E.g. is media education visible in the structures of the organisation? Who is responsible for the media education as a whole? Or what kind of expertise does our organisation have in media education?

5) Sharing and distributing the results of the activities

• E.g. How are the results of the work shared for others to use? Or what could we learn from others?

Media education plans create preconditions for activity development


National media education policy is a high-level document that creates the direction and framework for the activity development. It gives you room for developing media education plans even further in your own activities.

Cover photo of the media education plan tool

The plans support the implementation, assessment and predictability of activities. These plans make media education work easier to make visible to other actors. This helps with communication and supports the creation of cooperation opportunities.

Media education plan helps you to prioritise. The field of media education is broad and versatile, which is why it is not possible or sensible to process all aspects and topics. The plan helps to define the activities so that you can focus on your own strengths.

An important requirement for the success of the media education work is committed management that provides support for the work. The plan can help to clarify the shared vision on the role and opportunities of media education in your own organisation. Writing out operating conditions establishes peace to develop and do high-quality work.

What do you think are the most important things in media education plans?

Lauri Palsa

Saara Salomaa

National Audiovisual Institute KAVI

New study explains the role of media literacy in the Finnish policy framework: New opportunities for future directions

Picture of a empty frame. Sea shore landscape in the background

New study explains the role of media literacy in the Finnish policy framework: New opportunities for future directions

In international comparisons, Finland has often appeared as a frontrunner in promoting media literacy, especially from the perspective of national-level policies and structures.

We wanted to look into this topic more closely, so together with Saara Salomaa we conducted a study in which we looked for the policies published by the governmental ministries in Finland. We focused on the role of media literacy and media education in those documents. More specifically, we wanted to understand how the concepts of media education and media literacy have been framed in the policies.

You can download the full research article through the link but the main results are summarized as follows:

1. Media literacy have been part of the Finnish policy framework for a long time

The role of media literacy in the Finnish policy framework is twofold. On the one hand there is a specific national media literacy policy. The new updated policy Media literacy in Finland was published in December 2019 (previous published in 2013). On the other hand media literacy and media education are topics that have been included in other – often broader – policy areas as well.

2. Media literacy has a strong cross-sectoral nature

The results suggest that media education and media literacy are addressed widely across the different administrative sectors, but most often by the Ministry of Education and Culture. Altogether the topics were included in ten different ministries’ policies, including, e.g., communications, social affairs, and health

3. Media literacy has been framed from different perspectives

There is variance in the ways in which the media literacy and media education are presented in the policies. In this study we identified eight frames of media literacy, including:

  • protectionism,
  • cultural participation,
  • future working competences,
  • inclusion,
  • broad media education,
  • democracy,
  • national security, and
  • cosmopolitanism.

The emphasis of these different frames has changed and evolved through times. Even though media education is framed most commonly from a protectionist perspective, this perspective was most evident between 2005 and 2010. After that, media education is more commonly framed, for example, from democratic and inclusion perspectives. The latest notable trend is related to the frame of national security, most evident from 2016 onward.

New opportunities for cooperation

Based on the results we highlight the opportunities for future cooperation and emphasise the importance of nuanced understanding of the meanings of media education and media literacy.

As the role of media grows in society, culture and people’s lives, new opportunities and connections open up for media literacy work. The different frames of media education identified in this study encourage strengthening the media literacy approach in, for example, democracy education, art education, and global education.

The diversity of media education that appears through the different frames highlights also the importance of deep educational reflection and discussion. Since media education can be understood from different perspectives, the question should not
be whether media education is important or not, but rather what kind of media education is important and why.

These perspectives create inspiring possibilities and directions for the future media literacy.

Lauri Palsa
Senior adviser
National Audiovisual Institute

Finnish Media Literacy Policy – Revision in a Nutshell

Hands working on media literacy guildelines.

Finnish Media Literacy Policy – Revision in a Nutshell

The Ministry of Education and Culture’s media literacy policy and the national policy document on media education, “Media literacy in Finland” was published on 16th December 2019.

Media Literacy in Finland updates and extends the previous media literacy guidelines published in 2013. For the first time, we have a national policy stating that media education in Finland should be targeted equally to all groups of people.

To sum up, the vision is that in Finland Everyone’s opportunities to develop their media literacy are improved . 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.

In practice, this means more hard work for us media educators. Revising the policy is an achievement, but still just a milestone. At the national level, people cannot be expected to become media literate without strong support. It is imperative that public services, civil society, research and sompanies all play their part in promoting and practicing media education and thereby media literacy.

How, then, will media education become more comprehensive, of higher quality, and more systematic?

Based on the joint discussions, a number of proposals for action to achieve the objectives have been drawn up. You can find the proposals of action here.

We received some comments during the policy draft commenting phase, asking for more specific guidance on the type of organization that would be responsible for each objective. However, despite our primary intention, we gave up on this. The reason was practical: the end result, when taking into account the already existing media education activities, was that most of the objectives would have belonged “all” types of organisations. Organizations operating in the field are best aware of their own activities and are expected to contribute to the objectives and measures that are reasonable.

Networking, open sharing and collaboration help to avoid duplication and increase resource efficiency. One of the key messages of the policy is the importance and encouragement of cooperation.

You can always ask KAVI for help if you are interested in Finnish media education. Information about Finnish media education organisations’ activities will also be shared on this developing website.

At KAVI we will also be responsible for the follow-up of the policy. The follow-up will be carried out in connection with the national reporting of the AVMS Directive. Once we receive the directive’s reporting guidelines from the EU Commission, we can also better design a follow-up program for the new national media literacy policy.

Naturally, we will adapt our own operations in KAVI’s media education to the new guidelines and update our action plan as soon as possible. We also welcome ideas and co-operation suggestions to implement the policy.

Let’s make the 2020s a success story for media literacy!

Saara Salomaa
Deputy Director
National Audiovisual Institute