PZ Local: new media literacy support for families
16 May, 2023
3 minute read

PZ Local: new media literacy support for families

Parent Zone is delighted to announce that we have been awarded a new grant from the DCMS Media Literacy Taskforce Fund to deliver media literacy interventions to UK families. 

We will work with eight UK local authorities to deliver media literacy resources targeted at parents and carers of teenagers. Four areas will receive both an in-person and digital service whereas another four will receive just the digital offer. This will enable Parent Zone to pilot innovative approaches in different formats and identify the most effective routes for impact and scale.

The project grant funding forms part of the government's Online Media Literacy Strategy, that aims to empower internet users to make safer choices online.


What is media literacy?

Media literacy is the ability to access, analyse, and produce media in a broad range of ways – including images, memes, charts, video and audio, in addition to printed text.

Being able to critically challenge content and check source information is essential to combatting online harms such as disinformation.

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Local support for local authorities

In 2021, Parent Zone was approached by four local authorities to develop a programme for parents and families who were identified as ‘hard to reach’.

We worked with four London boroughs to create and launch the PZ Local service that focused on providing accessible, high-quality help against online harms in the post-lockdown world. 

The service offered in-person and online sessions for parents in addition to a hub of resources. The service was delivered by a Local Guide who worked with professionals based in these boroughs to use and signpost the service in their work with families.

As a result, 80% of the participants surveyed knew where to go for support and felt more able to address issues that arose from being online.

The next phase of the PZ Local project will reach more communities across England including those in Calderdale, Luton and Middlesbrough.

It will feature live online sessions and a hub of media literacy resources – including tips, videos and other activities. 

We will also be working with 'local guides' who will be local experts and help co-develop and deliver an in-person training programme that is informed by and responds to local needs


Innovative, blended approach

Vicki Shotbolt, CEO of Parent Zone, said:

“Parent Zone is delighted to have received the support of DCMS for our work. This new funding will allow us to engage with parents and families who might otherwise be left behind when it comes to media literacy and digital opportunities. 

“Working closely with local authorities and community groups will enable us to respond to local needs and priorities whilst ensuring high quality for all. 

“We are excited to be able to develop this innovative blended approach to ensure that local people get the input they need where they need it in the formats that work best for them."

If you would like to find out more about the new PZ Local work, or to enquire about a partnership with Parent Zone, please email partnerships@parentzone.org.uk


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