This chapter maps the development of media literacy as an academic field, a curricular framework and a policy initiative over the last two decades. The first section focuses on media literacy research, making a distinction between the media effects tradition and what may be called curricular approaches to media literacy. In the second part, the connections between media literacy and (English) literacy education will be discussed, both from an L1 and L2 perspective. The third and final part of the chapter examines media literacy as a policy tool, and considers key academic critiques of media literacy policies.