Media and Information literacy in the digital age

19 June 2022

The rise of digital technologies is having a profound impact on the ways in which information is produced, shared and used. Citizens, and youth in particular, are more connected today than ever, but many lack awareness of the mechanisms that frame their digital presence and engagement with information online and offline.

Whilst online services offer new forms of participation, the digital transformation has also been accompanied by a surge in online hate speech, misinformation and disinformation.

Content personalization and moderation further drive this dangerous trend, with serious repercussions for freedom of expression and democratic development.

In addition, gender-based inequalities and socio-economic disparities underpin the increasing divide in digital access and skills. In a world where new technologies are powerful levers for human development, more needs to be done to enable all countries to harness the potential of the digital transformation, bridge the digital gaps, and ensure citizens informed participation in democratic processes.

By empowering citizens and youth with digital, media and information skills, UNESCO contributes to building media and information literate societies.

The UNESCO Almaty Office has assembled a collection of materials in response to these challenges.


Quality Reporting

Teaching learners with disabilities

Key Outputs / Elements

Information Literacy

  • Define and articulate information needs
  • Locate and access information
  • Assess information
  • Organize information
  • Make ethical use of information
  • Communicate information
  • Use ICT skills for information processing

Media Literacy

  • Understand the role and functions of media, and Internet communications companies in democratic societies
  • Understand the conditions under which media can fulfiel their functions
  • Critically evaluate media content in the light of media functions
  • Engage with media for self-expression and democratic participationReview skills (including ICTs) needed to produce user-generated content

Digital Literacy

  • Use of digital tools
  • Understand digital identity
  • Recognize digital rights
  • Assess AI issues
  • Improve how to communicate digitally
  • Manage digital health
  • Practice digital security and safety


There is an obvious relationships between the converging fields of media literacy, information literacy, and digital literacy. Globally, many organizations use the term "media education," which covers both media literacy and information literacy. UNESCO use of the term "media and information literacy" seeks to harmonize different notions and approaches in the light of converging delivery platforms.

The Five Laws of MIL are intended as guides, together with other UNESCO resources, for all stakeholders involved in the application of MIL in all forms of development.

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