Media and information literacy – MIL

As more and more information becomes digital and opportunities to both consume and publish digital content have opened up, more knowledge is needed to enable media consumers to sort and value content. Educating the population in media and information literacy – MIL – has become increasingly important.

What is MIL?

Media and information literacy is an umbrella term covering many different areas of knowledge. Areas of knowledge that individual citizens need to have in order to navigate an increasingly complex digital reality. Skills that relate to accessing information, using, critically evaluating and creating media content in a responsible and safe way.

Why is it so important to be media literate?

Freedom of expression is a foundation of a functioning democracy. The media acts as an administrator of freedom of expression by providing access to information, scrutinising power and providing space for debate and dialogue. The rapid development of the media has led to new consumption patterns and hence new conditions for all citizens to exercise their freedom of expression. Digitisation offers new opportunities to express and share opinions. There are infinitely more platforms on which to be both a media consumer and a media creator.

Multiple stakeholders working with MIL in Sweden

In Sweden, work with MIL is divided among several different stakeholders such as libraries, schools, organisations, companies and authorities. The issue of MIL is present in several policy areas, at several ministries, and a number of authorities have been mandated to work on issues in this area.

Under the Ministry of Culture, the Swedish Media Council is primarily tasked with promoting media and information literacy in Sweden. Among other things, the Swedish Media Council has been tasked with leading a MIL network to bring together stakeholders working with issues related to MIL, but also with building a platform for knowledge and information dissemination and mapping developments in the MIL field.

MIK Sverige network

MIK Sverige is a national network of stakeholders established by the Swedish Media Council in 2020. The aim of this network is to develop knowledge and streamline efforts in the field through collaboration between stakeholders, thereby reinforcing media and information literacy among everyone in Sweden. During its build-up period, the network is being led by a temporary steering committee which, in addition to the Swedish Media Council, consists of the National Library of Sweden, the Swedish Press and Broadcasting Authority and the Swedish Film Institute.

How we contribute to the development of MIL

Our role is based on the fact that we are the regulatory and supervisory authority in the media field. The activities we carry out are part of media regulation.

We analyse developments and disseminate knowledge about them

We monitor and analyse developments in the media field and disseminate knowledge about them to the public. We publish statistics and other information on the ownership and industry structure, technology, content and economic conditions in the media field. We also disseminate information on rules and decisions of major importance or principle significance.

We make it possible for more people to access a diverse range of media

Democratic discourse is strengthened by the dissemination of diverse opinions and information in media that are accessible to all on equal terms. We contribute to this by requiring broadcasters to increase accessibility to programmes for people with disabilities. Our handling of press and media subsidies also enables more people to access public news media, as does our licensing.

We provide information about the originator and the publisher

One important component to be able to evaluate content and distinguish between opinion and fact involves knowing who is responsible for the content. We provide information on who carries out different types of broadcasting activities and who the publishers are of what is published on different media.

We supervise and provide information about how the rules should be understood

By supervising parts of the media offering and then disseminating information about the review, we contribute to a responsible media landscape and increased trust in the media among citizens.