Critical Media Literacy (CML) is a matter of major public importance. The skill-set of CML is increasingly recognised at national and European level as essential to citizenship and to a healthy democracy. Attempts to foster Media Literacy have been a feature of Irish education for over thirty years. Extensive curriculum reform has taken place to ensure that opportunities for studying the media are available across the primary and secondary curriculum.
However, in 2007 the subject retains a low profile and provision for Media Education is uneven. The subject has a low status within the educational system and media exploration is frequently avoided given the pressure of traditional examination subjects and end of year exams. The dispersed and unstructured nature of Media Education has offered some advantages in allowing freedom to teachers to develop new innovative practices. However, it also undermines the overall coherence of media studies as a subject.