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Tom 13 Nr 2: Special Issue 2020

Media literacy as a cross-sectoral phenomenon: Media education in Finnish ministerial-level policies

maja 18, 2020


In international comparisons, Finland has often appeared as a frontrunner in promoting media literacy, especially from the perspective of national-level policies and structures. In this study, our aim is to broaden knowledge about the meaning of media education in the Finnish ministerial-level policy framework by examining in which administrative sectors policy documents concerning media education have been published and how the concepts of media education and media literacy have been framed. The results suggest that media education and media literacy are addressed widely across the different administrative sectors in Finland, but mostly by the Ministry of Education and Culture. There is also variance in the ways in which the concepts are presented in the policies. In the article, eight identified frames of media literacy are discussed, including protectionism, cultural participation, future working competences, inclusion, broad media education, democracy, national security, and cosmopolitanism. The article highlights the importance of nuanced understanding of the meanings and limits of media education and research-based policy development.