Good Practices in Media and Information Literacy

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WPFD 2017 Parallel Session 2: "Media and Information Literacy as a Bulwark Against Hate Speech, Misinformation and Polarization Online - What Good Practices Exist?" on May 3, 2017 (Photo by: Omar Benabdelaziz / VOM)

By Meghan Levana and Putri Aulia Faradina

Media and Information Literacy (MIL) is an effective way to prevent hate speech and misinformation. MIL can empower media consumers with the appropriate knowledge and tools to navigate the internet wisely. Here are some of the good practices or project of MIL around the globe:

  1. Adama Le Bah – Gambia

Adama Le Bah explains about freedom of press in Gambia (Photo by Omar Benabdelaziz/VOM)

She approached the UNESCO officials in 2013 and they started the Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL). Twenty eight countries have been joining this program, including Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, Nigeria, Gambia, Iraq, and Israel. They have their own young ambassadors, young people who go to conferences and promote the movement.

  1. Pa Nguon Teang – Cambodia

Pa Nguon Teang (Photo by Omar Benabdelaziz / VOM)

Pa Nguon Teang trains young people in remote area to be trainers and media facilitators in his Media Literacy Project in Cambodia. They go to their communities and then train the others about MIL. In two years, 500 people have been trained. Most of them are students. The program prepare them to have competence in understanding journalism (writing news and articles, reporting news, knowing the journalism code of ethics) and train them using smartphone and application.

“According to the study, before the training they use their Facebook only for entertainment. But after the training, they can share social and political information through their accounts. They also teach their friends to understand media literacy.”

The project also impacts the education in Cambodia positively as they successfully convinced the Education Ministry of Cambodia to adopt the media literacy curriculum into high school curriculum.

  1. Abdallah Alkafaween – Jordan

Abdallah Alkafaween (Photo by Omar Benabdelaziz / VOM)

Abdallah Alkafaween is a Media and Information Literacy and Digital Literacy trainer from Jordan. He is currently working as a Project Specialist in the EU-funded Media and Information Literacy Project. The institute cooperates with UNESCO to provide training on digital media literacy across Jordan. School and university students can join the club after school hours. Some of the materials, which is composed according to UNESCO curriculum, are presented in Arabic.

Until now, they have eight after school clubs, 26 trained teachers, roughly 120 school students and 100 college students who have been joining the project. The aim is to contribute to building competence in MIL and transferring skills to new generation. In addition, the program is intended to spread awareness and knowledge to fight hate speech, fake news and misinformation.

  1. Rosarita Niken Widiastuti – Indonesia

Rosarita Niken Widiastuti (Photo by: Omar Benabdelaziz / VOM)

Rosarita found the Turn Back Hoax movement. She and her team created a crowd-sourcing based application to gather hate speech, slander, and hoaxes that spread on the internet. This enables netizen to find out whether certain information is correct or not.  Her application is supported by the Indonesian Communication and Information Minister Rudiantara and the local governments. Sometimes they hold campaign around the cities, like Jakarta and Solo.

  1. Claire Devvy – Singapore

Claire Devvy (Photo by: Omar Benabdelaziz / VOM)

Devvy introduced her MIL program to some regions in South East Asia, including Singapore and Philippines. It aims to create safe, informed, inclusive and civically-engaged communities.

These good practices could help the participants of the program and their families to understand how to critically use media. Just as Pa Nguon Teang said,  “they made a change.”

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