Media literacy is key for accessing and using the Internet

Media literacy is not only about having the technical skills to use the Internet, but it is also about how to access, select and process content while being aware about rights and responsibilities. By empowerment, users have more freedom and confidence to use the Internet as active citizens.

These were some of the elements of the discussion of a workshop The challenges of becoming literate to foster participatory cultures, organised by the Dynamic coalition on media education, the Cyber Peace Initiative, UNDP Egypt's ICT Trust Fund and the Council of Europe, at the IGF on 16 November.

A number of projects are aiming to promote Internet literacy among the population, especially for children, throughout the world, a field in which the Council of Europe is also very active.

"Access to the Internet, coupled with effective media literacy can help to fulfill the United Nations Millennium Development Goals", said Lee Hibbard, a Council of Europe media and new information society expert.