Ofcom's approach to online media literacy
Being able to participate effectively online has never been more important.
The last two years have taught us of the power of online connection to keep scattered families and friends together, to educate and entertain our children when schools were closed and to enable many adults to work remotely as the nation locked down.
From family workouts to heart-felt video calls with elderly family members in care homes, access to technology and the ability to use it was fundamental to our wellbeing in lockdown. For many the absence of being able to engage in this way was also clearly felt.
Ofcom has a mission to make communications work for everyone, both in traditional and online formats. That means we must consider how everyone can benefit from all that being online has to offer, safely. It means addressing the imbalance of skills and knowledge among different parts of the population and encouraging platforms to design for media literacy. The lockdowns accelerated a trend of ubiquitous connectivity, which is here to stay.
Promoting media literacy is a key tool in our primary duty to further the interests of citizens and consumers and will be critical to our future functions as the online safety regulator. We are relaunching our online media literacy programme, using our existing powers, with the goal of promoting people's ability to participate effectively and stay safe online.
This document sets out our approach to promoting media literacy, and how it fits with our online regulatory role.