‘Media education is the key to understanding the modern information society’: Interview with Prof. Dr. Alexander Fedorov
- Professor Fedorov, on September 24, 2019 in you received the honorary international award “Global Media and Information Literacy — 2019” (https://en.unesco.org/news/transformative-initiativescelebrated-global-media-and-information-literacy-awards-2019), so you are the first person from Russia, who became the winner in this international nomination. Could you comment on this event?
- This award, which was established with UNESCO’s participation, rewards information and media professionals, media culture researchers, educators, artists, activists, associations and other groups that integrate media and information literacy in their work and related activities in an innovative manner. These awards are given annually, with UNESCO’s support, to individuals and organizations for outstanding achievements and leadership in five sectors: education, research, policy, advocacy, media, communication/information. And, of course, I am very pleased that I have been awarded this year.
UNESCO Global Media and Information Literacy Award 2019
- What do you think was the basis for this important award in the field of media?
- I believe that my colleagues from UNESCO and information and media organizations around the world have, first and foremost, appreciated my research and practical experience in the field of media literacy education, which I have been doing for over forty years. I talking not only about many years of teaching at the universities, but mainly about my research work in the field of media culture and media literacy education, which has been repeatedly supported by grants from Russian Science Foundation, Russian Foundation for Basic Research, Russian Humanities Research Foundation, the Presidential Funds, which finance leading scientific schools in Russia and projects of national importance in the field of culture and art, and grants from the Federal Targeted Program, Russian Ministry of Education and Science, a number of foreign funds.
In addition, for more than ten years I headed the Russian Association for Film and Media Education, and since 2005 I am the editor of the scientific journal “Media Education” (http://ejournal53.com/en/index.html), which is indexed in the Web of Science. In addition, I have presented the Russian experience of media literacy education and development of my research school at major international scientific conferences in Paris (UNESCO), Madrid (UN Summit), Geneva, Toronto, Baltimore, Montreal, Sao Paulo, Ludwigsburg, Thessaloniki, Prague, Istanbul, Bratislava, Moscow, etc. Over the past ten years, I have led the creation of an electronic encyclopedia and dictionary on media culture and media literacy education. I have published over twenty monographs and hundreds of scientific articles on this research area. Almost all my works have been published not only on paper, but also on the portal “Information Literacy and Media Education for All” (http://www.mediagram.ru/).
- Still, why has the status of media education risen sharply in the 21st century?
- I am firmly convinced that media literacy education is the key to understanding the modern information society: today, a person is simply obliged to be media-competent, otherwise he or she will not only become an easy victim of numerous media manipulations, but will not be able to fully enter the differentiated world of media culture.