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EACEA National Policies Platform


6. Education and Training

6.8 Media literacy and safe use of new media

Last update: 1 February 2024
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  1. National strategy
  2. Media literacy and online safety through formal education
  3. Promoting media literacy and online safety through non-formal and informal learning
  4. Raising awareness about the risks posed by new media


National strategy

Education to media is based on training to the use of digital tools and resources, and sensitization to rights and duties linked to it. Skills acquired through this education have to be evaluated progressively.

The framework law of July 8th, 2013 on the reform of Republican school defines media education in its first chapter as the transversal school training that “develops knowledge, skills and culture necessary to the exercise of citizenship in contemporary society”.

Enabling pupils to exercise their citizenship in a society of information, forming enlightened citizens capable of analysing and criticising the media and its content is one of the aims of the  ministry in charge of Education, which has introduced “Media and information literacy” (EMI – Education aux médias et à l’information) in 2015. EMI was included in the mandatory school curriculum i 2015, and was then widespread to all grades with the circular of January 24th, 2022.

In particular, EMI asks for the creation of a web radio in each middle school in partnership with a national, regional or local newspaper. The centre for media and information education (CLEMI) is a pillar sustaining these aims.

The Canopé network, an operator under the Ministry of National Education, provides teachers with a range of training courses and teaching resources in the fields of media and digital education, as well as ”cybercitizenship”.

Moreover, the use of social networks by young people is regularly studied by the National Institute for Youth and Non-Formal Education (INJEP), a department attached to the Department for Youth, Non-Formal Education and Voluntary Organisation (DJEPVA), which has published various articles and reports on young people’s use of digital technology.


Media literacy and online safety through formal education


The main instrument made use of by the Minister of National Education, which aims to teach children how to decode information and show proof of vigilance with regard to media and the internet, is the Media and information literacy (EMI – Education aux médias et à l’information) programme, which aims to create “cybercitizens”.EMI is not a completely separate discipline but a cross-cutting training that teachers are encouraged to provide, with teacher-librarians as referents.

The objective of media and information literacy is to:

  • Develop pupils’ critical spirit and judgement,
  • Familiarise pupils with the world of media,
  • Open pupils up to current affairs and the world,
  • Have them discover media diversity and plurality,
  • Teach them to process and “decode” information,
  • Introduce them to creating their own media.


The themes tackled by media and information literacy are many and varied, as can be seen in the best practices listed by institutional educational networks. For example:

History/geography classes in schools under the Dijon (city) Education Authority studied:

In language classes, themes dealt with include the “dangers” of the internet:


Teachers can obtain training in media literacy, which is now incorporated in disciplinary programmes. Various online schemes and resource centres have been set up, such as the Parcours M@gistère, a tutored interactive ongoing training scheme intended for secondary school teachers and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) on media literacy.

In addition, the Centre for Media and Information Literacy (CLEMI - Centre pour l’éducation aux médias et à l’information) provides several types of educational interventions and accompaniments: teacher training, 5-day courses on media and information literacy, talks, activities and advice, roundtables devoted to media and information literacy, etc. As regards the dangers connected with internet use, teachers have an information and resource portal devoted to the subject available to them: “Responsible Internet” (Internet responsable), which, among other things, lists the regulatory texts on data protection, internet law, cyber-harassment, etc.

The Week of the press and media at School is one of the tools for information education. It aims to help pupils from nursery school to upper secondary school to: understand the media system, develop their critical judgement, develop their taste for news, and forge their citizen identity. The teachers in the registered primary and secondary schools participate with their pupils in this operation organised by the Centre for Media and Information Literacy (Centre pour l’éducation aux médias et à l’information, CLEMI)



Promoting media literacy and online safety through non-formal and informal learning


As Ministry of National Education partners, operators in non-formal education also foster media and information literacy via various initiatives. Associations have set up digital education projects in the context of Territorial Educational Projects (PEDTs – see 6.2 Cross-sectoral cooperation). Not all such initiatives have been inventoried but, as an example, the Ligue de l’ Enseignement (Education League) association (in Loire-Atlantique) organises workshops on the internet and coding and has mounted an exhibition on the subject of image manipulation.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Culture also promotes media education through a call for projects aimed at youth workers, educators, librarians, journalists, and civic service volunteers. The purpose of this call for projects is the design and development of training offers for trainers or interveners as well as the production, dissemination and enhancement of quality teaching tools. 

 The aim of this initiative is to:

  • “provide the keys to understanding scientific method and reasoning”;
  • “strengthen the capacity to analyse the information circulated (by the media, Internet and social networks)”;
  • “develop critical thinking, which is essential for the dual development of a scientific and technical culture and an information culture”;
  • “decode fake news, deconstruct conspiracy theories and hateful content, while understanding the journalistic work, the functioning of media and digital ecosystems”.


Apart from this initiative and via the Youth Experimentation Fund (FEJ - Fond d’expérimentation pour la jeunesse, see Youth Wiki 1.6. Evidence-based youth policies), the Ministry of Youth Affairs launched a call for projects on “Non-Formal Education" with a view to fostering “cyber-citizenship” and creation of innovative places and youth media. 334 projects were presented by associations, local authorities and public institutions. 52 projects were selected.

For more information, see Youth Wiki 10.4. Quality and innovation in youth work

Raising awareness about the risks posed by new media


Preventing the risks posed by new media is an action focus of media and information education.

The CLEMI has listed online resources providing advice to adolescents on the social networks. These resources are intended for teachers, adolescents, as well as their parents.

Resource website:

Campaigns against cyber-harassment have been launched by the Ministry of National Education in partnership with the e-Enfance association, of recognised public interest and approved by the Ministry of National Education. This association raises young people’s awareness on best practices in digital technology and advises parents and education professionals on the uses of digital technology. The association offers a free helpline and interventions in secondary education establishments and launches annually a campaign against harassment, in particular cyber-harassment.

Moreover, since 2016, Family Allowances Funds and their partners, the Mutualité sociale agricole (Msa) and the ministry in charge of youth, have launched across the country a scheme entitled “Promeneurs du net, une présence éducative sur Internet” (Web walkers, an educational presence on the Internet).
A Web Walker is a youth professional, educator or facilitator, who in addition to his work in a structure, enters into contact with young people via the Internet and the social networks to support them in their use of Internet and raise awareness of risks. Applying a logic of prevention, he listens, advises and supports them. 

Moreover, each year in February, the Safer Internet Day is organised and coordinated by Safer Internet France. This awareness-raising day, deployed in 150 countries, promotes a better Internet for young people. It is a not-to-be missed event in the area of prevention and digital awareness intended in particular for pupils and education professionals.

The 2023 theme was cyberbullying.