Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Towards 21st Century Media Literacy and Development: The Information Quality Continuum (IQC) as a Conceptual Tool for an Informed and Democratic Society

Dr. Paul Boin.

This paper/presentation I will provide an up-to-date analysis of our global media system/information society, and will discuss the Information Quality Continuum (IQC) as a conceptual tool for 21st Century media literacy and for developing a truly informed and democratic society.

New inventions in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have led to the development of what some have called the 'Information Age,' while others more cynically prefer to call it the 'Misinformation Age.' Still others, from all walks of life, complain that this new age has put them in a state of constant 'information overload.' With the advent and accelerating embrace of ICTs it is now estimated that the world's knowledge base doubles every eighteen months. Add to this the preponderance of 'infotainment' and 'junk-food-news, and even the most computer literate and conscientious citizens today are incredibly challenged to receive, review, and understand quality and vital information that has critical bearing on their family, community and future.

The field of media education/media literacy has itself also been transformed with the advent of ICTs. I developed the IQC to serve as a conceptual instrument to help guide educators, students, citizens, news media providers, communications scholars, media critics, and policy makers to create, navigate and shape a more democratic news media and society - a democratic "information society" that provides citizens with a wealth of what the researcher calls Vital Human Information (VHI), as opposed an undemocratic "information economy" that primarily provides consumers with a superfluous flood of Trivial Consumer Information (TCI). In this paper/presentation I will also report on operational test results of the IQC to further clarify, and elaborate on, its theoretical and practical usefulness. The latest media education/media literacy theory and practices will be summarized, and the IQC will be offered as a way to further media scholarship, pedagogy, and development.


Dr. Paul Boin  (Canada)
Assistant Professor & Investigative Journalist
Media and Communication Studies Department
University of Windsor * the Real News Network

Dr. Paul D. Boin: is an assistant professor of media and communication studies (University of Windsor) and an investigative journalist (Real News Network). He teaches courses on media democracy, social movements, alternative media, media and communication policy, and media analysis techniques. He is also an investigative journalist and founder of the Real News Network (, and is a co-founder of Media Democracy Day ( He is presently working on a book entitled "Reclaiming Our Minds: Towards a Democratic Canadian Mediascape," to be published in 2005 by Fernwood Press. He has written articles on "What's Next for the Media Democracy Movement?," "The War On Journalism: Post 9/11 Media Coverage of the War on Terrorism," and many others. His doctoral dissertation (University of Toronto) was entitled "Towards a Democratic News Media and Society: Creating and Navigating Our Information Society for a Sustainable Society." Prior to completing his doctoral degree he was a practicing journalist and editor of Ecolutions Magazine. Paul strives to live by Wang Yang-Ming's dictum: "That to know and not to act is not to know."

  • Media literacy
  • Media education
  • Citizenship education
  • Democracy
  • Digital literacy
  • Global media system
  • Social change
  • Social movements

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)