10 Commandments for Media Consumers is a checklist that gives media consumers the knowledge needed to properly assess mass media communications.
The Ten Commandments for Media Consumers is a checklist invented by Cees Hamelink in his article “Ethics for Media Users”, which was published in the European Journal of Communication in December 1995. Hamelink, who was active in the area of ethical journalism and media accountability, recommends awareness to three categories of media consumers: readers, viewers and listeners. He argues consumers should severely question the freedom, quality and liability of media. They should not only be careful of the nature and scope of media messages, but also take on proactive behavior when called to react to persuasive messages. For this cause he developed the subsequent Ten Commandments:
1. Be a considerate and discriminating media consumer.
2. Vigorously fight against any type of censorship.
3. Do not hinder editorial independence.
4. Do not accept or support any type of racism and sexist behaviors undertaken by media.
5. Always find for different sources of information.
6. Claim manifold supplies of information
7. Guard your own privacy.
8. Make yourself a reliable source of information, so as to give an accountable Word-of-Mouth.
9. Do not include yourself in mercenary, corrupted or biased journalism.
10. Demand accountability from media producers.
The author finds a lack of flexibility and intuitiveness as a chief restraint in the use of his 10 Commandments. He argues that his structure must be contextualized and adapted to every circumstance. The main goal of Hamelink’s Ten Commandments is to give common guidelines to media consumers and not strict rules. Consumers’ responsiveness to media can rely on culture, demographic variables, values and lifestyles.