Digital Media Literacy : Germany Executive Summary
This is an executive summary of the Digital Media Landscape Report. It summarizes the efforts of the people of Germany to tackle misinformation or the prevalence thereof, the government's actions, some key players, some misinformation initiatives as well as opinions and commentaries on the issue. The attached spreadsheet outlines the detailed findings, and this document contains this summary.
- There are several efforts by the German people to tackle the spread of misinformation. Some of those initiatives include improving literacy among children so they can better identify these news, the creation of the National Cyber Defense Center and plans to increase the number of staff. The center has examined over 3,700 cases of misinformation since it was founded in 2011.
- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Germany has developed a spatial unit for strategic communication that is focused on addressing propaganda and disinformation. In this initiative, the government has sponsored a number of "information campaigns."
- The Facebook Law has since been enacted. It stipulates that persons social media sites must respond to disinformation and other illegal content otherwise they can be fined Euro 50 million.
DML Government Actions
- The government is planning to develop a strategy for online media literacy.
- Book VIII, which was adopted in 2017, was amended in 2018 to include teaching young people media literacy.
- In 2017, the government amended the Protection of Young Persons Act of 2002 to include age limits for data media and other forms of information including films and games.
- Some players working on improving media literacy include All Digital Europe, ICDL Europe, European Children's Film Association (ECFA), among others.
- All Digital Europe is focused on empowering its members to provide training and advice with a view to enhancing digital media literacy and skills.
- ICDL with a goal to empower individuals, organizations and society to use information and communication technology proficiently.
- The focus of the European Children's Film Association (ECFA) is on children's digital media literacy by the provision of media education and the sharing of the same among its membership.
- Among the initiatives addressing misinformation in Germany is DigitalPakt Schule. This is a funding mechanism that is managed by the Ministry of Education and Research. It primarily funds programs from K-12 and Higher Education.
- The Nelson Mandela School Curriculum is part of the Nelson Mandela International School in Berlin. It provides training workshops and lesson plans for teachers as well as students on various topics including advertising, media, and recognizing fake news.
- Another is the North Rhine-Westphalia Media Passport Program. Its aim to incorporate media literacy into the school-day to day happenings and improve the relationship between non-school and school activities.
The Future of DML
- A number of opinions and commentaries were found on the subject of digital media literacy. Among them is an article by Media Ed Lab entitled, "Can News Literacy Replace the Need for Facebook Rules in Germany?" It argues that if people were media literate then tricking them would not be easy.
- "Digitization requires professional media education support" is the title of an article from Gesellschaft für Medienpädagogik und Kommunikationskultur. It states there is a need to professionalize education in digital media literacy.
- In the article, "Media education at school is more than digital education — Media education is positioning itself as a strategy of the Conference of Education Ministers "Education in the Digital World,"" GMK argues that primarily that some students are exiting the education system with little to no exposure to digital media. This is brought about by the lack of professionally trained teachers in the area of digital media literacy.