Media and Information Literacy in Transition: Advancing MIL in the Baltic Region
Special Issue of the Central European Journal of Communication (CEJC)
Guest Editor: Maarit Jaakkola, Associate Professor, University of Gothenburg, firstname.lastname@example.org
This special issue aims to examine current issues and challenges in advancing media and information literacy (MIL) in the Baltic region.
Media and information literacy (MIL) is regarded as a crucial competence in today’s societies. The concept of MIL combines media and information literacy under one umbrella term, and includes a range of different media- and communication-related competences. The term has come to be the focus of a number of political, social and cultural expectations and interests, used in very different contexts and adapted to a variety of approaches. Meanwhile, the concept has also undergone changes, adopting altered meanings, and a large number of similar concepts have emerged, resulting in local applications and cultures of adaptation.
Taking the prefix ‘trans’ – from transnational or transition – to its conceptual starting point, articles in this issue should explore transitions in MIL policies and pedagogies, in contexts of societal transition. The prefix refers to movement across, through, over, beyond, to, on the other side of, or outside something. ‘Trans’ implies the existence of boundaries of certain kind, and the movement, change or reconfiguration – a willingness to identify and overcome the boundaries, and to learn from these boundary crossings.
While focusing on transformation, this special issue has three major aims. First, we want to dedicate a special issue to topical and original MIL research originating from a specific geo-cultural area, the Baltic region. By the Baltic region we refer to countries around the Baltic Sea, and wish to particularly focus on the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), Poland and Russia; but we also welcome comparisons to Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany. Second, in doing this, we aim at making theories of MIL more context-sensitive and responsive to local conditions, thus responding to the scholarly calls for comparativity and a de-westernization of media studies, applying these ideas to the study of MIL. Third, in the former communist-bloc countries, MIL is a young and developing phenomenon with a relatively short – about 30 years’ – history. Therefore, we want to identify and document developments within this time period.
The Baltic region may show a great diversity in MIL approaches, but the individual countries also have things in common, such as limited language communities of the national languages, small media markets, and similar experiences of history. Topics that can be addressed in the special issue include, but are not limited to, the following:
* Translations of global MIL frameworks into national contexts: How have UNESCO MIL policies adapted to and been implemented in the national contexts? What kinds of local understandings and applications are there regarding the concept of MIL?
* Transnational developments of MIL: What kinds of specific, unique national developments are there in the Baltic region, and how do ideas migrate from one country to another? How are MIL approaches in the Baltic region interconnected or influenced by each other?
* Trans-sectoral innovations in MIL: How do different MIL stakeholders – , e.g., schools, authorities, libraries, youth organizations, and associations – collaborate? What kind of innovative approaches are there in different and alternative communicative environments, and how do they apply and possibly modify MIL?
* Transitional and transmedia aspects of MIL: How are literacies changing? How does cross-platform media use affect the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media?
* Transcultural aspects of MIL: How is cultural dialogue – e.g., transgenerational encounters or encounters between minority and majority cultures – enabled through MIL and MIL education?
We welcome both theoretical and empirical contributions, with special focus on the development of methodology in the research on MIL. Contributions with ambitions for transnational comparisons and methodological frameworks with transnational applicability are particularly welcomed.
Please send a 400–500-word proposal written in English, indicating central questions, methodology, and theoretical framework, to MILtransition2020@gmail.com by 31 August 2019, along with a short author bio.
Contributors will be notified by 31 October, and their completed articles will be due on 15 January 2020.
Full articles (max. 8,000 words or 45,000 characters, including notes and references) should follow the journal’s manuscript guidelines, see https://www.cejc.ptks.pl/Guidelines.
For any inquiries concerning article submissions, please contact editor Maarit Jaakkola at email@example.com.
* Deadline for abstract submission: August 31, 2019
* Authors notified of decision: October 31, 2019
* Deadline for completed articles: January 15, 2020 (followed by peer review)
* Preliminary publication date (after peer-review): Spring 2020
The special issue is produced in cooperation with the Erasmus+ funded project Media and Information Literacy and Innovative Teaching (MIL+LAB). The main objective of this project is the creation of the international master study program in media and information literacy and the formation of a virtual laboratory for the development of innovative teaching and learning methods for MIL needs. The project partners are Riga Stradins University, Latvia; University of Tartu, Estonia; University of Vilnius, Lithuania, University of Wroclaw, Poland; University of Gothenburg, Sweden; National Library of Latvia; and National News Agency LETA, Latvia.