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Our submission to the consultation on Ofcom’s media literacy strategy

A child holds their smartphone.

Lizzie Reeves from our Policy and Research team shares our submission to the consultation of Ofcom’s three-year media literacy strategy.

See the full response below.

About this submission

We welcome the publication of Ofcom’s draft three-year media literacy strategy. We agree that media literacy shouldn’t be seen as secondary to online safety regulation, and it is encouraging to see some ambitious thinking within the draft strategy.

We also agree that media literacy is “everyone’s business.” Our starting point is that children’s online safety and wellbeing is a shared responsibility between tech companies, Government and regulation, parents and the services that support them – including schools and the media literacy sector. We are glad to see Ofcom draw on the expertise of the sector and support it to do more.

However, we think that there is scope for Ofcom to go further and promote media literacy skills on a greater scale than is currently provided. Our six key overarching recommendations for the strategy (which are further detailed throughout our full response) are as follows:

  • Ofcom must correct the balance between the needs of the most vulnerable, against the need for a quality universal offer.
  • Sustainable funding for the sector must be part of the solution.
  • We encourage Ofcom to develop a more coherent read-across between Ofcom’s media literacy strategy and its new powers under the Online Safety Act.
  • We welcome the issues identified by Ofcom as priorities for awareness-building and intervention.
  • We feel that it is important for Ofcom to highlight the benefits of connected technologies while tackling the harms.
  • Finally, we feel that there is more work to be done to define clearer outcome metrics for what Ofcom is hoping to achieve.

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