Doc. 8407
6 May 1999

Education in the media

Motion for a recommendation

presented by Mrs Isohookana-Asunmaa and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only

the members who have signed it

1. The Littleton massacre and the violence perpetrated in Kosovo are recent examples of the influence that the media can have over people's attitudes and behaviour. They demonstrate the urgent need for more decisive and radical educational measures promoting active, critical and discerning use of the media.

2. Unlike traditional educational systems, the media provide easy and instant access to any sort of information, at any stage of the cultural and social development of youngsters. Therefore, they can, at the same time, be both valuable partners of teachers and an uncontrollable alternative to school and family education.

3. For many young people, modern media and especially the Internet are more than just a means of learning about the world. They are their world, their "virtual reality", where everything, the best and the worst, is possible. There is an undeniable link between the increasing cases of violence perpetrated by young people and the violent TV and Internet images or computer games which are part of the everyday life of modern youth.

4. Teachers and parents are often helpless when trying to reconcile their own living and professional experience with the immense flow of information in which their children are immersed. An additional difficulty derives from the fact that young people often are much more eager than adults to handle new technologies and are more at ease with them, whilst their discerning capacities and their ability of value-based judgement are not yet well-developed.

5. Being aware that controlling the content of the media to which young people have access is both contrary to the principles of democracy and technically impossible, the Assembly considers that media education is the best way to tackle the above-mentioned problems and stresses the need for this education to be aimed at children, parents and teachers.

6. The Assembly has on several occasions invited the Committee of Ministers, when advising member governments about policy-making in the field of education, to promote media literacy and media awareness from the earliest stages of school education. It now considers the elaboration and implementation of practical policies in the field of media education to be a matter of priority.

7. The Assembly therefore recommends the Committee of Ministers instruct its competent bodies to:

i. encourage the elaboration and the development of media literacy programmes for children and adolescents;

ii. promote the elaboration and the development of teacher training programmes in the field of media education

iii. examine existing practices in media education in member states with a view to promoting the most successful;

iv. involve in an active dialogue on these issues educational bodies, parent organisations, media professionals, Internet service providers, NGOs etc.

Signed : 1

Isohookana-Asunmaa, Finland, LDR

Cherribi, Netherlands, LDR

Fehr, Switzerland, LDR

Hadjidemetriou, Cyprus, SOC

Legendre, France, EDG

Raskinis, Lithuania, EPP/CD

Schicker, Austria, SOC

Staes, Belgium, EPP/CD

Urbanczyk, Poland, SOC

Varela I Serra, Spain, LDR

Zingeris, Lithuania, EDG

1        SOC: Socialist Group

      EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party

      EDG: European Democratic Group

      LDR : Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group

      UEL: Group of the Unified European Left

      NR: not registered in a group