MEKU promotes media education and the safe media environment
MEKU promotes the creation of a media education culture and the development of pedagogy. We act as expert members in working and advisory groups on both the national and the international level. We also carry out development experiments, where possible. An example thereof is the Kuuluu kuvaan (“It’s in the Picture”) project, where day-care centres developed media education pedagogy in early childhood education.
The Department develops media education practices and models. We support the media education readiness of the educators, for example, by maintaining an online Media Literacy School. The site provides information on media education and the media culture of children as well as material for media education.
MEKU reinforces regional media education, for example, by taking part in events in different parts of the country. Our aim is to collect experiences relating to media education and to bring together different actors in the field to promote media education.
MEKU supports the provision of versatile and safe media content meant for children. We work in active cooperation with the actors in the media field.
MEKU acts in cooperation
MEKU is the national centre of media education and acts in cooperation with the various actors in the sectors of the field. We coordinate, for example, the Safer Internet Day campaign (Media Literacy Week) and the National Game Day which connect organisations, corporations, municipal actors as well as the authorities. More than 40 organisations participate annually in the planning of the Finnish Safer Internet Day campaign and more than 100 regional events will be organised during the National Game Day week.
MEKU promotes and models cross-sector cooperation. We arrange the annual Media Education Forum, which aims at finding new partners as well as exchange of information between media education actors.
The Department increases the international awareness of Finnish media education. Nordic cooperation with agencies corresponding to MEKU is especially active. For example, in 2013, we drafted a joint article on the results of the surveys of media use by Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish children. We also participate in an active manner in the European INSAFE network.
MEKU as an expert
MEKU acts as an expert in the development of children’s media environment. This means, for example, that we are represented in numerous advisory and working groups (e.g. the Child Advisory Board, Expert Group on Media Literacy in Schools, the Board of the Finnish Society on Media Education). We are active in offering expert opinions to both national and international seminars. As a media education authority, we participate in the preparation of different political documents and in commenting thereon.
The Department promotes research related to the field. For example, in 2012–2013, we carried out a survey of the Finnish media education research as well as a media survey for families with children (“Lapsiperheiden mediakysely”) of the media use of children under 12 years of age. We also promote international research through our Media Literacy Research Index. In addition, we are represented in the advisory board of the Children’s Media barometer research and in the advisory board of the media education chair of Tampere University.
MEKU increases awareness of media education. We bring recent research data on children’s media use to the public, and promote understanding of age ratings in different media. Good cooperation with media corporations enables us to reach citizens of different age groups.
MEKU participates in public discussion. We participate actively in discussion, for example, in the social media and in the letters-to-the-editor sections of newspapers. We also keep our own blog where we bring up topical themes relating to media education and also write expert opinions for the publications of our partners.