Importance of media literacy in Nepal.

              - Anshu Khanal
Media literacy is defined as an ability to get access to the media and ensure the accuracy and aesthetic quality of the information disseminated through internet. It enables the empowerment of people, especially the mass. It abides the worldly community in a global village. The essence is “Think Globally Act locally”. The US based National Association for Media Literacy Education defines media literacy as, “The ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create and act using all forms of communication”.  Thus, due to the advancement of technology in the past few years, the importance of media literacy in Nepal has increased drastically.
                  Vis-à-vis to the world, the media in Nepal is yet to be matured. More or less the information provided through it is based on rumor. The tendency of making news on the viral content without having the complete information about the topic is still present in the Nepalese society. Thus, media education contributes to impart basic knowledge about the proper understanding and use of such media. It enables an individual to scrutinize the accuracy and reliability of information acquired through different content creators. It prevents the unnecessary enlargement of any topic, yellow journalism and create positive stance towards both creating and consuming media. Consequently, it also prevents the propensity of sharing disheartening memes and trolls through internet.
                  Besides giving the necessary knowledge, media literacy also helps to utilize the creativity of the children and teenagers in the right way. Children may be exposed to different contents available the internet daily. As they learn to evaluate on their own, their curiosity may be increased. This may lead to more critical and reasoning thinking which may lead them to discover new ideas and reach meaningful conclusions. Therefore, if the education on media is provided formally in school and colleges the children will get proper guidance and they could develop smart decision making skill.
          Furthermore, media literacy also develops critical thinking, logical reasoning, communication skill, analyzing skill and decision making skill in an individual. It helps in the creation of personalities which possess better skills, capabilities, self confidence and self-esteem. It also informs people on how media affects our religion, cultures, tradition, norms and values. Hence, it creates substantial influence in the overall progress of the people of all ages.
          Lastly, media literacy has a vital role to play in the digital development of Nepal. Therefore, all of us should develop our capability to responsibly comprehend and make a good use of mass media in our personal and professional lives for the betterment of all the aspects concerned with media.

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