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Media Literacy and the Public Sphere: a contextual study for public media literacy promotion in Ireland

Funded by: Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI)

Media literacy is increasingly viewed as essential to maintaining inclusivity in a rapidly changing environment for converged information and communication services. Its insertion within the agreed terms of the Audiovisual Services Directive is an indicator of the significance attached to the concept by the European Commission. Internationally, Ofcom has provided the principal model for a public regulatory approach. This research asks what other models and considerations may be important in the likely Irish context whereby the proposed Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) will  assume a similar responsibility.

In order to further the BCI’s objective of being a leading source of information on trends in Ireland and abroad, and in anticipation of important new developments within public media literacy, this research will contribute knowledge in three main areas:

  • The international state of the art of public regulatory approaches to media literacy, via a desk-based review of policy and relevant academic literature; 
  • Current trends in media literacy thinking via an interview-based survey of international experts in the field;
  • Public attitudes towards media literacy in Ireland via a series of focus groups.


Research findings will inform decision-making in Ireland within a regulatory perspective and make recommendations for effective and socially responsive communications policy.

Lead Researcher:   Dr. Brian O’Neill, Head of Research

Media Literacy and the Public Sphere