December 2017: M-Passioned Member Linus Andersson

What do you do?
I am a senior lecturer in media and communication studies at the School for health and welfare, Halmstad University, Sweden. I teach courses on (mainly) critical media studies, digital media and political communication. I did my PhD in 2012 on alternative television and have for a long time been involved in research on alternative media and media activism. In 2013 I worked for the Swedish media council on a report on extremism online.

Tell me about your latest work or project in media literacy.
At the moment I am interested in media literacy interventions and preparing a project to investigate how children can be invited to take active participation in the design and development of media literacy interventions. There has been a hype around media literacy here in Sweden for a couple of years, and programs, campaigns an curricula are being developed here and there. These are however seldom referred to as ”interventions” and my ambition is to introduce that terminology in order to find a more coherent approach.

Why is media literacy important to you?
When I worked for the Swedish media council it became increasingly clear to me how a large part of extremist propaganda is built on conspiracy theories about the media. Since then this conviction has grown with the rise of populist and extremist politics in Europe and the US, where we now see a situation where state officials call mainstream media the ”opposition party”, and we have continuous debates around ”fake news” and media ”cover-ups”. Here we as media literacy scholars and practitioners have a lot of important work to do.

What are you most excited about in the media literacy field?
I believe that the work on media literacy and citizenship that has surfaced in recent years is very interesting and promising. Sure, people within the media literacy community have always stressed the importance of critical media awareness as an integral part of being a citizen in the modern society. However, I think that withe the political and social developments of the past years as I mentioned above this insight has become even more urgent, and now is the opportunity for the media literacy field

Why did you become a NAMLE member what benefits do you see to membership and how will it support your work.
I learned about NAMLE from American colleagues at a media literacy workshop here in Sweden in November 2016. As a researcher I try to stay attentive to what networks and environments where I can learn more and connect with like-minded. As of yet, media literacy remains a small niche in the regular media and communication studies associations, and I think it is beneficial to engage in an arena dedicated to media literacy. I also have the impression that NAMLE is more diverse in terms of its members’ association with media literacy (not only academicians), which I think is great.

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