According to the results of the pilot phase of 'EduMediaTest', a tool that assesses skills and training in media education and that was applied in seven European countries, the Portuguese are on the same level as other young people.
Besides Portugal, where 2.636 youths between 14 and 18 years old were surveyed, the 'EduMediaTest' was applied by entities from Catalonia (Spain), France, Ireland, Slovakia, Croatia and Greece.
"The dimension in which the Portuguese students, as well as their European colleagues, are more competent is Technology, followed by Aesthetics," says in a statement the Regulatory Authority for the Media (ERC).
In the study, the media literacy of young people was assessed based on six dimensions. Besides Technology, which means the capacity to work with the technological innovations that allow multimedia communication, Aesthetics, Reception, Production and Diffusion, Language and Ideology were evaluated.
The language dimension includes the ability to establish relations between texts, to analyse and evaluate messages and to express themselves through different systems of representation and meaning.
"Young people show (...) weaker levels regarding the dimensions that call for the interpretation of information, the use of language, as well as in issues of ideology or those related to the functioning of the media as a business or with its regulation", the statement reads.
"The results of the 8,699 young people tested in all the countries confirm the need for investment in training in different media literacy skills," says the report.
Looking at the results of more than two thousand Portuguese students, from the 8th to the 12th grade in 25 private and public schools in all regions of the country, girls scored slightly higher than boys.
The average score also rises according to the age of the students.
Besides the results obtained in the 'EduMediaTest', co-funded by the European Commission under the 'Media Literacy for All' program, the report also states that the overwhelming majority of young people have a mobile phone with Internet access and their own computer, but less than half have access to newspapers, magazines or books at home. The mother's academic level also seems to have a positive influence on students' performances.
Among the recommendations, which stress the need to strengthen media literacy skills, the report also points out that schools should work with the media to help improve skills and understanding of media content production, and that schools should also provide parents with training in this area.