Declaration of the 2nd National New Media Studies Conference February 27th 2015

New media literacy has become a key concept due to the widespread existence and importance of Internet politically, socially, culturally and economically. We need to consider the fact that access to the Internet and new media is a fundamental citizen’s right.
New media literacy requires that one has the knowledge and skills to use new media as well as is aware of affordances and potential risks presented by new media. In addition, as part of new media literacy, citizens need to develop attitudes to deploy new media from an ethical and right-based perspective.
New media is not just a technical or pedagogical matter. Rather, it is a political stance, which aims to establish active and participatory citizenship, democratic and pluralist social and political system and a communicative platform that is free from prejudice and hatred. In this sense, new media literacy is a multidimensional and multi-party process situated at the center of many disciplines, concerns, individuals and institutions.
The subject of this concept are not passive consumers but rather active and participatory citizens who are able to construct a critical relationship with media texts, as well as possess the skills to produce their own content and media. New media literate are active and productive citizens are able to circulate their own language and discourses. New media literate citizens have the ability to interrogate the codes and social agreements.
This type of new media literacy is an attempt to gain awareness with respect to the protection of information voluntarily digitally produced by individuals against political and commercial interests. At the same time, it plays a fundamental role with respect to the formation and maintenance of a communication environment free from pressure, censorship and surveillance measures.
Not limited to these, new media literate citizens question alienated relationships with technology, specifically new media technologies and aims to replace this relationship with curiosity, creativity, production and criticism.
New media literacy can be implemented through macro and micro politics and contributes to the citizens’ ability to have power over their everyday lives and political decisions. It is comprised of liberatory practices that create alternative forms of communication and spaces, as well as promoting free software. It is important to develop a culture of do it yourself and hacking in this regard. In contextual terms, it involves collaborative regulation vis-à-vis surveillance policies. Literacy needs to be constructed with an understanding that is far from disciplining children through bans, as well as an understanding that approaches children as subjects rather than objectifying. It is necessary to defend new media as spaces open to free speech and as spaces within which children can practice defense of rights.
We need to think of this concept and literature on new media literacy as part of education policies in general, integrate with each phase of education, and nationally popularize on every age level.
Similarly, in order to struggle with hate speech and cyber-bullying, the affordances of new media should be deployed against the dangers created by new media with the aim of attaining a more humane, solidaristic and collaborative discourse.
Departing from the understanding that technology does not have a political mind on its own and constitutes a realm of hegemonic struggle for political interests, new media literacy is constructed as a political tool in the fight against digital divide of all kinds. It needs to be a political tool for struggling against all kinds of generational, regional, cultural divides across identity, socieatal and class lines.
New media literacy is comprised of a mental transformation that targets gender discrimination. Fighting against digital divide based on gender discrimination can also be used as a political method to struggle against gender based discrimination.
It is vital to promote quantitative and qualitative studies to accumulate knowledge in relation to media literacy of all kinds. It is important to increase research funds in this direction and involve the participation of partners towards the goal of developing a science policy. The role of the academic is important as far as knowledge production is concerned.
Prepared by Alternative Informatics Association
2nd National New Media Studies Conference, held in Kadir Has University, İstanbul


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