Evens Foundation
and Partners invite you to
Media Meets Literacy in Sarajevo
Information, disinformation, civic competences.
Exploring the challenges of the rapidly changing media world
Previous conference: MMLW 2015 #MMLS2017
21 & 22 September 2017
Main > Concluding speech

Concluding speech

The Uses of Media Literacy
Julian McDougall

This concluding speech will revisit Richard Hoggart’s seminal book from the 1950s, ‘The Uses of Literacy’ and suggest to the MMLS community that media literacy in itself is important, but we should be talking more now about the USES OF media literacy. Hoggart wrote about how his community, in the North of England, were at once using the new ‘mass literacy’ for self-improvement, education, social mobility and civic engagement and, at the same time, the powerful were seizing the opportunity also to use this expansion in literacy, through the new popular culture, for commercial and political ends.

This speech will argue that media literacy in 2017 is equally a site of tension, between the uses of media literacy by ‘the people’ – the kinds ofdynamic literacy , participation and ‘good agency’ we advocate and develop in our work - and the uses of our media literacy by the powerful, or would be powerful “on us” – to persuade us, deceive us, monetize us, even radicalize us. The key themes, messages and strategies shared and discussed over two days at MMLS will be reflected upon and framed by these competing forces.

Julian McDougall

Bournemouth University, Professor, United Kingdom


Julian McDougall is Professor in Media and Education, Head of the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He was the founding editor of the Media Education Research Journal and currently edits the Journal of Media Practice. Julian runs the Professional Doctorate (Ed D) in Creative and Media Education at Bournemouth University. He convenes the annual International Media Education Summit, held in a different country each year.

Julian is the author / editor of a range of books, chapters, journal articles and reports in the fields of media education, literacy and pedagogy.

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