From Literacy to Skills Discussing Media Education and Its Goals


Digital media and accompanying forms of communication also affect risks and opportunities regarding media-related competencies. Since a broad basis of knowledge is required to understand the increasingly complex contexts in both mediatized and interpersonal communication, media literacy and media education must be considered crucial to meet these current challenges. However, media education is noticeably limited to digital skills aimed at preparing citizens primarily for the world of work. Understanding media literacy in this way means degrading the acquirement of competencies for democratic participation and debate to a mere nice-to-have. This paper aims to critically discuss the ongoing move of media literacy education and programs toward acquiring digital skills primarily. Therefore, we assessed Austrian governmental decrees and curricula in terms of their focus on both the promotion of citizens’ employability and media education concerning democratic participation and deliberative communication. In addition, we conducted interviews with two leading Austrian experts in media education to gain insights from different perspectives.


Digital Agency. Digitalization. Digital Skills. Media Education. Media Literacy. Technological Determinism.