O2 announced today that it has become a signatory to the Media Literacy Charter. The Charter promotes the development of the creative and critical skills citizens require to get the most out of modern media content and the opportunities to communicate and be creative in a digital world.   Originally launched in December 2005 the Charter was drawn up by a Task Force whose members include the UK Film Council, the BFI, Channel Four, the BBC, ITV, Skillset, the British Board of Film Classification and the Media Education Association. It provides a broad definition of media literacy, to which many individuals and organisations in education and the media have pledged their support. O2 is the first mobile phone operator or telecoms company to sign up to the Charter.   Russ Shaw, Capability and Innovation Director said “O2’s vision is to enable people to get more out of life through mobile communication and the ability to access information and content on the move. As convergence becomes a reality we all have a role in ensuring the public have the knowledge and confidence to fully enjoy the benefits of the digital world. Media Literacy – or making services simple and easy to use, providing our customers with a great experience, and giving everyone the option to communicate, create and get involved – is central to what we do. We are therefore pleased to support the Media Literacy Charter.”   The Charter is based on the belief that if people are to participate effectively in today’s world they need to be literate in all forms of media. Its main commitments include:  

  • Raising public understanding and awareness of media literacy;
  • Advocating the importance of media literacy in the development of educational, cultural, political, social and economic policy;
  • Supporting the principle that every UK citizen should have the opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to increase enjoyment, understanding and exploration of the media.

  One of the main focuses of O2’s commitment to improving Media Literacy is O2’s promotion of the responsible and appropriate use of mobile phones, particularly by children and young people. For the past three years O2 has offered parents advice through a range of leaflets in-store and on-line on topics such as safe use of chat rooms; text bullying; how to avoid becoming a victim of mobile phone crime; and appropriate use of camera phones. Later this month O2 will build on this work with the launch of a new web site designed specifically to give parents information and advice about children and mobile phones.   Heather Rabbatts CBE, Chair of the Media Literacy Task Force said: “Congratulations to O2 the first mobile company to sign the Charter and celebrate the rich creative possibilities of mobile media in this way. O2 recognise there are some challenges and pitfalls in using any media but good information and back-up support can empower people to make the most of the exciting and creative opportunities of mobile messages and services. I hope more companies will now follow O2’s excellent lead and sign up.'”

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