Womens Interfaith Media Literacy Website
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Welcome to the

Women's Interfaith Media Literacy Website

This website has been set up by women from diverse faith communities in order to provide a resource for women who are interested in knowing more about how the media work, their influence and values and how to engage with them.

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Latest News

New �Green Cross Code� for internet safety �Zip it, Block it, Flag it� -

An coalition of Government, industry and charities has launched the first UK internet safety strategy, to help children and young people stay safe online.

The first ever internet safety strategy, �Click Clever Click Safe� , was drawn up by the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS).

Young people now have much greater online access than ever before, with research showing that 99 per cent of 8-17 year olds have access to the web. New research published today also shows that 18 per cent of young people said they had come across harmful or inappropriate content online, with 33 per cent of children said their parents don�t really know what they do on the internet.

Parents will now be able to access a one-stop shop website for internet safety advice hosted by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and from September 2011 online safety will be a compulsory part of the curriculum from age 5.


Cyberbullying still a problem

The true extent of cyberbullying among young people in the UK is revealed today by Beatbullying in the publication of its report, �Virtual Violence: Protecting Children from Cyberbullying�. In particular, the report highlights the number of extreme cases where a young person is persistently and systematically cyberbullied, even receiving death threats online.

To launch Anti-Bullying Week (16-21 Nov) � with this year's theme of staying safe in cyberspace - Beatbullying is also revealing the websites where cyberbullying is most prevalent. Almost one in three (30%) of 11 to 16-year-olds who have been cyberbullied had experienced the problem on Bebo.

Read more


The violence portrayed in children's programmes such as Scooby-Doo and Batman should be more realistic.

Children's television should be given cinema-style ratings that encourage parents to choose programmes where characters sustain realistic injuries, according to Dr Karen Pfeffer, a senior lecturer at Lincoln University and an international mentor for the World Health Organisation.

Full story in The Guardian

The BBC has launched its media literacy website - a �one-stop-shop� for all users, regardless of their levels of ability.

Amongst other things, the site focuses on issues of critical evaluation once online, posing questions such as what happens to the information you submit about yourself and how can we determine the validity or impartiality of information we might find on the internet.

The site is divided into 3 main sections: using, understanding and creating media.
Ofcom has published two interim reports on media literacy among children and adults. Full reports are due in Spring 2010.

One in three UK adults would be interested in learning more about digital technology. Interest in learning more also mostly relates to using the internet. Few adults prefer formal methods of learning.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has adopted a new recommendation to increase the protection of minors when they use the internet and online media services.

This includes when these services are accessed through mobile phones. Most of the recommendations are addressed to member countries, which in turn are asked to collaborate with the industry
The Assembly appeals to the online media industry to develop and apply codes of conduct with regard to privacy protection, equal opportunities, commercial activities targeted at minors and content potentially harmful to them.


Charity adverts banned as 'racist'

Two posters from the charity Kids Company have been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) which has branded them 'racist'.

The ASA has upheld three complaints that the two posters depicting troubled black teenagers were racist, offensive and misrepresented the causes of youth violence.



'Screenagers' Use Computers and Video Games for up to Ten Hours a Day

It seems that young people have turned into 'screenagers' who spend nearly ten hours a day glued to TVs, computers, phones and video games.  Read more...


UK children�s TV output more than halved over four years

The number of hours of new UK-produced children�s programmes broadcast across the PSBs, including CBBC and CBeebies, was 919 hours in 2008, less than half 2004�s figure of 1,887 hours.

Apart from BBC, religious output on PSB suffers major fall 

 The Ofcom PSB report reveals that all hours of Religious output fell by 24% (from 375 hours in 2004 to 285 in 2008), with ITV1 in particular reducing its hours broadcast (by 61% to 40 hours).

BBC Trust Considering Non-Religious Thought for the Day

The BBC Trust has launched an investigation into BBC Radio 4's Thought for the Day slot and the possibility of opening it up to secular and humanist points of view.


'Sexualised' Nun and Priest Ad Banned by Advertising Standards Authority

A newspaper advertising campaign for ice-cream featuring a young nun and priest about to share a kiss has been banned after 10 complaints that it was offensive.  Read more...


Digital Manifesto for Child Safety Online

The Children‟s Charities Coalition on Internet Safety (CHIS) has published a new Digital manifesto featuring 42 recommendations to the UK Government, industry and others to provide better protection to children online.

Read more

BBC To Implement New Guide to Taste and Standards

The BBC has said that "malicious intrusion, intimidation and humiliation" in its programmes are completely unacceptable. Swearing between 9pm and 10pm would also be targeted.

Read more


New Guidelines for Videogames

The Guardian reports that "Selling a videogame rated 12 or over to an underage buyer will become illegal under new rules to be introduced in the wake of the Digital Britain report, while the classification of games is to be taken away from the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) as the UK adopts a Pan-European standard to protect young gamers.


Children to learn internet literacy skills

The Daily Telegraph reports that Children will be taught to read using internet search engines such as Google and Yahoo in the first few years of school.

They will be encouraged to put "keywords" into websites to navigate online articles and blogs as digital media is given similar prominence to textbooks and novels.

Pupils in English primary schools will learn to write with keyboards, use spell-checkers and insert internet "hyperlinks" into text before their 11th birthday under the most significant reform of timetables since the National
Curriculum was introduced in 1988.

Read more


Pupil TV habits concern teachers

According to the BBC, ninety per cent of teachers say some pupils are imitating the language and behaviour of reality television stars, a survey for the Association of Teachers and Lecturers suggests.

Three quarters also think pupils are behaving more aggressively as a consequence.

Read more


The BBC is to appoint a new "media literacy champion".

The new position will be responsible for collecting together all of the BBC's media literacy content into what it dubs a "supertopic", making it easier for the public to access and understand.

 The BBC says it will raise the profile of media literacy and "establish its place in the portfolio of BBC knowledge content alongside subjects such as History and Science�.

Primary school children to learn about blogging

The Guardian
reports that as part of proposals to reform the primary school curriculum  children  would have to leave primary school familiar with blogging, podcasts, Wikipedia and Twitter as sources of information and forms of communication.

They must gain "fluency" in handwriting and keyboard skills, and learn how to use a spellchecker alongside how to spell.


On Top of the Digital World
BBC2�s The Learning Zone at 4am Thursday 19 March
This is a 60-minute programme of clips designed to stimulate discussion and debate on the potential of new media .
The programme covers issues such as cyberbullying, cyberstalking, cyber entrepreneurship, obtaining personal information online, intellectual property rights and games age-rating. It explores how these play a part in young people�s lives. .


A More Accountable Press
, published by the Media Standards Trust finds that the existing system of press self-regulation, as currently constituted, including the Press Complaints Commission, is unable to deal with the serious and growing threats to press standards and press freedom.

The report, published in consultation with an independent group of 12 leading figures from the press and civil society, found that the current system is insufficiently effective, largely unaccountable, opaque, and failing to reflect the radically changed media environment.

Research conducted by YouGov found that 75% of the public think newspapers publish stories they know to be inaccurate. 70% of people believe there are far too many instances in which newspapers invade people�s privacy. 7% of people trusted newspapers to behave responsibly, a figure lower than that for banks. It also found increased public support for government intervention in the press as a result of falling levels of trust.


The Children�s Society has published a wide-ranging report, The Good Childhood Inquiry on the position of children in Britain today. 

One section of the report deals with children�s lifestyles and has a section on the role and influence of the media.

Among the inquiry�s recommendations: government should ban firms from advertising to British children under 12; ban adverts for alcohol or unhealthy food on television before 9 pm.

The media should: rethink the amount of violence they put out, the unbalanced impression they give of the risks that children face from strangers and the exaggerated picture they portray of young people threatening our social stability.

Advertisers should stop encouraging premature sexualisation, heavy drinking and overeating.


Women, not Men, Watch TV While Surfing the Net Most

According to a recent US study women 30-39 surf the internet while watching TV an average 23.3 minutes per day, more than double that of men in the same age group.

Simultaneous usage by men starts strong but decreases as they approach their 40s.

Women, in contrast, exhibit the opposite behavior, multi-tasking most during the heavy-duty child rearing years and chocking up the most average time of simultaneous media consumption.

Source: Integrated Media Measurement Inc


Television is now less than half of children's viewing time, in competition with the internet and computer games, reports the BBC.

A survey of 1,800 children by the Childwise market research agency found that they were spending 2.7 hours per day watching television, 1.5 hours on the internet and 1.3 hours on games consoles.

More than one in three children said that the possession they could least live without was their computer.





Getting religion right is crucial for BBC to meet its public duty, says Church of England

A proper portrayal of religion that reflects and explores the factors giving people’s lives purpose should form an explicit part of the BBC’s requirement to “sustain citizenship and civil society”, says the Church in response to a BBC Trrust consultation.

The Church calls for the BBC Trust to consider amending their television channels’ service licences “to give explicit recognition to the fact that religious issues are a matter of general public interest and not just the concern of the religious”.

It also says that the BBC’s Public Purpose of “reflecting Britain to the world and the world to Britain” should explicitly recognise the significance of religion as part of news and current affairs output, and should be supported by adequate specialist knowledge within the Corporation.

Read more

The BBC is to conduct a study into the level of violence in its programmes. This follows concerns raised by the BBC Trust and viewers about an EastEnders storyline that showed a character being buried alive.

BBC director of editorial policy, David Jordan, said "We thought we should have a look at what levels of violence are acceptable but also in news programmes too to see what is expected. Do you sanitise things ... it's not something we've looked at for a while,".

Jordan said he expected the research into violence to be carried out by the end of the year.



Music, Videos and Clothing are Sexualising our Children

According to a report in the Daily Mail, a leading rape expert has attacked society's 'increasing sexualisation of children'. 
Suggestive clothing and explicit music videos are eroding society's values, said Dr Catherine White, clinical director of the sexual assault referral centre at St Mary's Hospital in Manchester. 


BBFC Announce Stricter Guidelines

According to the Times, Rachel from Friends, as seemingly inoffensive as any sitcom character can be, has cost the latest box set of the series a PG rating under new, tighter age guidelines announced on June 23rd.
The new ratings follow its latest review of its guidelines for films, DVDs and video games Discriminatory language, crude sexual references and scenes that do not show actual gore but are frightening are now much more likely to attract a higher certificate than before.
See the full BBFC press release here
London hosted the fourth WIML media workshop event on March 10th, 2008.
St Ethelburga's:
The Tent
The venue was St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace in the City of London. 

For more photos from the event click here

See the photos from our workshops in London, Leicester and Coventry
click here
The first WIML regional event was held on  Thursday October 18th 2007, at the National Media Museum, Bradford.

Read a report and see photos from our launch, click here

Read more about the aims and objectives of Womens Interfaith Media Literacy and find out what we mean by media literacy
If you want to let the media know what you think, to praise, encourage or complain, click on 
If you want to offer feedback on this site or want to share your views or information about media and media literacy click on 
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