Most of the research and accumulated literature in the field of media literacy and media education focus on the educational role that can be played by media in society. At its inception, scientific research in this field was linked with how to utilize media to serve and support educational curricula.However, a number of methodological and practical obstacles still arise concerning how to use media in literacy and educational processes, and about the need to reconsider the limitations of media’s functional role in this regard in view of the changes and technological developments in the mass communication environment since the beginning of the current millennium.
In recent years, there has been a shift in thinking about literacy through media and communication to literacy in the field of media and communication. This shift was driven by media that tightened theircontrol on the world, serving now as both entertainers and educators. Education about how to use both traditional and new media has become the focus of much research and several media and educational institutions as well as regional, national and international civil society organizations in an attempt to understand and analyze the deep impact of media and communication in the era of digitization andmultiple networks. Despite multiple definitions as a result of the diversity of intellectual approaches,most agree that media literacy means to strengthen the capacities of publics and their skills to understand media content, how to select such content and deal with it effectively.
At a similar level of importance and in light of a media environment characterized by transformation,continuous regeneration and a belief in the importance of education and its roles in developing media content, media academic institutions pay great attention to the issues of education, media training and innovation, as well as reviewing both the academic and vocational programs. The issue of media education is central and of great importance for media education institutions around the world. Media schools worldwide have followed two main tracks: the first is general media education that deals withtheoretical and philosophical ideas related to media activities, functions and the basic skills necessary for media professionals. It can be said that schools of media education in the Arab world represent this track. The second one, more qualitative in its approach, concentrates on different media aspects and specializations with a special focus on the skills required in each. Media education schools in many Western countries, especially the United States, comprise the most prominent examples of this track.
After the launch of the technology and communication revolution in the mid-twentieth century, media education schools began to reconsider those tracks as this revolution produced different and varied means of communication, practices, activities and influences. From this perspective, education andmedia training institutions could not ignore all these changes and continue their curricula with the same practices as before. Today, fundamental questions are raised related to methods of media education, theories, the nature of professionals working in media outlets and those interested in them,as well as the shape of media institutions in the future, their types and contents, thus some other questions are raised. The question of primary importance is: Will media education schools absorb all of these changes? What are their scientific and practical initiatives to accommodate these changes?