Journal of Media Literacy Education, vol.7, no.3, pp.1-12, 2015 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)
Media literacy has been widely debated in Turkey since the early 2000s and has been in the curriculum of the secondary schools as an optional subject for nearly a decade. During this time period, about four million students have received media literacy education. The multidisciplinary structure of media literacy has contributed to the interest of many researchers from varying fields. These researchers, who have different viewpoints, acceptations and expectations, have formed certain groups in a short time period and have started to defend their particular media literacy approaches and practices. This study examines the basic debates and issues that have emerged in Turkey’s short but active movement to educate in the area of media literacy. Issues include the question of which teachers (trained in education or communication) should teach the media literacy classes, the role of the government media regulatory agency in media literacy, and the debates on protective and empowerment approaches. In addition, the debates on educational censorship, textbooks, and media literacy have been integrated in the educational system under which models have been focused. Because of the focus on asking who is responsible for media literacy in Turkey, there has been less attention to issues of pedagogy, instructional strategies and curriculum resources. The blame is not completely on the government ministries as academic in-fighting also fuels debates about the future of media literacy in Turkey. Such territorial debates about the locus of media literacy may limit the growth of the field.