GILM's multistakeholder model for media literacy in Portugal: initiatives in public debate

The second part of the Portuguese multistakeholder approach for media literacy presented by Sofia Rasgado (Portuguese SIC) and Fernanda Bonacho (ESCS) at the Media Literacy Matters conference in Brussels on 29 February 2024 aimed to introduce its three main initiatives.

Date 2024-06-17 Author Portuguese Safer Internet Centre Section awareness, policy Topic media literacy/education Audience media specialist, research, policy and decision makers
A group panel from a public debate initiative

Throughout the years, the group has engaged in several diverse collaborations, with the aim to share GILM content and stimulate interaction with the public. Promoting cross-sectoral collaboration aimed at adapting to the structural and technological changes faced by the media sector, all initiatives have always been open to fostering public debate and community reflection, enhancing a free, diverse, and pluralistic media environment, and promoting tolerant and inclusive communication.

Aimed at society in general, it remains part of the general objectives of all the initiatives to increasingly broaden the number and diversity of participants. That’s why GILM continues to envisage the development of innovative cross-border media literacy initiatives to reach everyone, but also the projects/activities promoted by those who have already taken part remain, and spread the word to serve as inspiration for future actions.

With these expectations, three major initiatives were created and implemented during the last 15 years, which GILM considers the pillars of its activity:

  1. Literacy, Media and Citizenship congress (launched in 2011)
  2. Seven days with the media (launched in 2013)
  3. FILM /Informal Forum on Media Literacy (launched in 2016)

The Literacy, Media and Citizenship (LMC) congress 

The Literacy, Media and Citizenship congress, also abbreviated as the LMC congress, began to be planned in 2010 by the founding members of GILM, in conjunction with UMIC (Knowledge Society Agency) and the Ministry of Education, and took place on 25-26 March 2011 in Braga. At the time, GILM didn’t foresee the continuity that it would eventually have. In other words, the Braga congress was the first edition of an initiative that the Group considers to be one of its strongest assets.

The good reception given to the Braga congress by the many individuals involved/interested in promoting media literacy, combined with one of the ten objectives/proposals of the Braga Declaration (media literacy) – “To carry out nationwide, wide-ranging initiatives that encourage citizens and institutions to reflect on and debate the media we have”, dictated that the congress would be held every two years in the future. The exception was the sixth edition, which only returned in 2023 (the fifth was in 2019), due to the Group’s decision not to carry out the initiative during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The congress is based on a three-pillar approach - literacy, media and citizenship are the three defining pillars of media education as a whole - literacy will not be addressed without talking about media and citizenship and vice versa.

From the fourth edition onwards, after three more generic editions (i.e. exploring a multiplicity of themes and subjects), GILM began to add the “emphasis on editing” to the three main pillars. 

In terms of scope, the exclusively national congress quickly began to explore an international scope as well, which received very positive feedback from researchers and experts from all over the world. The last edition, for example, attracted more than 300 participants from different countries during the two-day congress.

Seven days with the media (3-9 May)

The idea of “A day with the media” was born in 2012 and was set for 3 May of the year as it is World Press Freedom Day. The good reception given to the 2012 initiative by all those behind it was the decisive impetus for the following year’s launch of Seven days with the media, symbolically dedicated to promoting a better knowledge of the universe of the media.

With its annual edition scheduled for the same week every year (3-9 May) this initiative has seen the participation of various social actors, although those from the education sector – schools, school libraries, universities – are the most frequent.

In this initiative, we encourage the participation of society in general in the active promotion of media education and media literacy, encouraging the sharing of their own activities and projects. Over the years, there has been an average of 50 initiatives from all over the country registered on the website after being validated by the working group.

On 23 January 2024, this year’s edition was launched in a public event under the theme: Peace Speech in Times of War.

A set of panellists were invited to address this specific subject: a journalist to talk about his experience of war reporting in Ukraine and his incredible experience during the apartheid years next to Nelson Mandela; a researcher on hate speech; an internet security expert sharing his experience with cyberbullying cases, and the commissioner responsible for the commemoration of the 50 years of the democratic revolution in Portugal, who talked about the importance of celebrating the 50 years of freedom of speech in the country.

(No hate) Peace speeches in times of war manifesto

FILM: Informal Forum on Media Literacy

Six years after its founding, GILM decided to open up to more collaborations and informal articulations with partners, other than its permanent members, and FILM – Informal Forum on Media Literacy – was born from this desire. In the words of Professor Manuel Pinto, one of the group’s founding members, the idea was to create a kind of “second ring” in which anyone who showed an interest in collaborating in the mission to promote better levels of media literacy could take part.

In fact, in the history of this initiative, it’s fair to say that FILM, as envisioned in 2016 at the time of the first meeting, would turn out differently. Instead of being a group of partners who meet once or twice a year, it ended up turning into public discussion forums dedicated to specific themes, promoted in conjunction with different partners who work with the media.

3...2...1 film! Know how to realise and produce for the cinema and television.

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