Epilogue: Rethinking digital literacy: Media education in the age of digital capitalism


  • David Buckingham Loughborough University, UK King’s College London




Digital literacy, media education, digital education, digital capitalism


Advocates of digital education have increasingly recognized the need for young people to acquire digital media literacy. However, this idea is often seen in instrumental terms, and is rarely implemented in any coherent or comprehensive way. This paper suggests that we need to move beyond a binary view of digital media as offering risks and opportunities for young people, and the narrow ideas of digital skills and internet safety to which it gives rise. The article propose that we should take a broader and more critical approach to the rise of ‘digital capitalism’, and to the ubiquity of digital media in everyday life. In this sense, the paper argue that the well-established conceptual framework and pedagogical strategies of media education can and should be extended to meet the new challenges posed by digital and social media.

This article presents some reflections as an epigraph of the special issue "Digital learning: distraction or default for the future", whose final result has allowed us to group a set of critical research and analysis on the inclusion of digital technologies in educational contexts. The points of view presented in this epigraph is also developed in more detail in the book "The Media Education Manifesto" (Buckingham, 2019).


Buckingham, D. (2019). The Media Education Manifesto. New Jersey: Wiley