The essence of active citizenship is the participation of people in all those activities that are in the public interest what means that they concern a community as a whole (whether local, national or wider), working to improve life in it. An integral part of this, of course, is also engagement in political decision-making processes. For civic engagement to make a positive contribution to community development, appropriate civic competences are needed, i.e. knowledge, skills and virtues.
The ancient Greeks already knew the concept of paideia, which referred to a set of qualities that make someone a good citizen. And in today’s world, media literacy is undoubtedly one of the most important civic competences. It is about people being able to understand and interpret media messages, i.e. to deduce from them the true essence and purpose. A media literate person is a well-informed person who has developed resistance to media propaganda and manipulation.
Technological development is drastically changing the media world. More and more information are provided in this way, so if a person wants to be well informed, he/she must be skilled in using new technologies.
However, this is only one aspect of 21st-century media literacy. With the advent of social networks, the amount of information we face in our daily lives has multiplied. Their scope often seems unmanageable. The main challenge in such a situation is to “separate the grain from the chaff”, that is, to identify which information is credible and which falls within the scope of so-called "fake news".
Prof. Matevž Tomšič (School of Advanced Social Studies Nova Gorica, Slovenija), published in journal Družina on 22. 10. 2020