Media Education

Media education should be seen as a movement from a critical awareness of the languages and techniques of the media, through analysis of the values they project and their influence on our lives, towards a responsible participation in the use of media for the betterment of the person and society. The areas covered by SIGNIS in this perspective are very diverse: advertising, radio, popular music, film, television, video and Internet.

A media educated person is able to create his or her own media statements, to engage confidently with media producers and to exercise actively his or her rights as a democratic citizen. So it is understandable that this work is one of the most important fields of action of SIGNIS.

The SIGNIS Media Education Project aims to bring together worldwide experiences and achievements in this field. SIGNIS members want to come together to use financial, material and human resources more effectively so that they can give a coherent response to the “onslaught of national and global media” on people and cultures across the world. SIGNIS wants to build a world network of media educators and/or media education organizations – something which doesn’t yet exist.

The predecessors of SIGNIS, Unda and OCIC, had a very long tradition in this field. In the 1950s, for example, Fr Lunders of OCIC was a founder of CIFEJ (International Center for Films for Children and Young People); in the 1960s and 1970s the organizations supported the Plan DENI initiative in Latin America and from 1989 to 2001 Unda produced its Educommunication Magazine.

International SIGNIS juries are at the Zlin Festival (Czech Republic), which promote quality media content for children, and some National members (e.g., Argentina and Uruguay) have juries in these types of festivals in their own countries.

In 2004, in Rio de Janeiro, SIGNIS joined the movement of the World Summit of Media for Children and Adolescents. Since then, SIGNIS has been present in three more of those summits: Johannesbourg (2007), Karlstad (2010) and Kuala Lumpur (2014). The next one will be in 2017 in Manchester.

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