The mission of Network Media Literacy is to make everyone media literate. By this, we really mean everyone: including people who are sometimes overlooked in our medialised society, people who have trouble keeping up, or people who don't get the chance to do so. That is why the Dutch Media Literacy Network organised the Challenge All Inclusive 2021. Network partners were challenged to take (first) steps together to promote inclusivity.
The challenge was as follows: Together with at least one other network partner, devise a media literacy initiative that focuses on one of the three themes of the MNX (‘Mediawijsheid Network Experience – an annual networking event organised by the Media Literacy Network): inclusive media, inclusive reach and inclusive design.
The challenge is in line with the theme for the MNX: ‘All inclusive’. The knowledge and contacts gained by network partners formed the basis for practical proposals for projects, pilots, studies and/or experiments; think of exploring a new target group, setting up a co-creation session or training for staff. We received no fewer than 22 applications, six of which were awarded funding.
Network Media Literacy would like to thank all participants for their applications. They were, without exception, of good quality: clear and usually concise and to the point. The jury – consisting of Kim Dankoor (chairman), Rick Brink, Rowan Olierook and Ena Omerovics –assessed all applications after awarding points and an online meeting (in the event of a possible conflict of interest, the judges abstained from voting). The jury also sought advice from the Core Group of the Media Literacy Network. The awarded initiatives are as follows:
- Inclusive is not special – Educational project with a focus on inclusivity. Students are challenged to think about the role they themselves can play in making society more inclusive. This takes the form of a self-made web page with which the students ask the visitor to help solve an inclusivity issue with images, text, video and storytelling.
The jury finds this a valuable project that makes use of an interesting inversion: it allows students to think for themselves about an inclusive society. The project is described in a compact and realistic way, and the inclusivity aspect is strongly emphasised.
- Multi Medium – MediaMessage and Hogeschool Rotterdam CMD will use the incentive contribution to work on Multi Medium: a design method for inclusive design of AI. By involving people with different perspectives in developing the design method, the end result should become as inclusive as possible. MediaMessage will invite people to a co-creation session and share ideas, with the aim of combating unconscious bias in the design process.
The jury finds this a beautiful, substantive-driven project of great social value. Designing AI is in its infancy and it is important that inclusivity is put at the heart of the design methodology from the outset. The proposal is described in a very exploratory way and framed as a starting point, so it fits well with the challenge.
- The Language Enhancer – Fontys University of Applied Sciences Journalism/Lectorate Journalism & Innovation, Brabantse Dagbladen and Taalnetwerk Midden Brabant will realise the De Taal Enhancer project: an automatic system that can automatically summarise and simplify existing journalistic texts using smart technology. This makes the existing news offerings more accessible to the (growing) group of low-literate people. The ambition is to also work towards a personalised teaching program for low-literate people.
The jury judges that this is a beautiful and innovative initiative that will lead to more inclusion of low-literate people. With this technique, barriers to becoming media literate can be removed. This concerns 'a first step', an experiment, and that fits well with the boundaries of the challenge.
- Surfwise Incl. – Foundation Buurtwerk.nl and WijWijs receive an incentive contribution for Surfwise Incl.: a short and intensive training program for youth workers, aimed at strengthening their online media skills. By teaching the youth workers more media skills, they are better able to transfer them, according to Buurtwerk.nl.
According to the jury, this is a great project for the often-ignored target group of youth workers.
Cyberbank – Cybersoek, ICT from Tomorrow and the Digital Society Alliance receive support for their Cyberbank. This initiative gives underprivileged residents of Amsterdam access to a device, internet, and appropriate support in the form of digital support and/or courses.
The jury judges the plan as very clear and inclusive. "We especially appreciate how this involves and helps young people far removed from the labour market, and people without access to digital resources" said the jury members. What is also appealing is that the requested amount will not only be used for promotion, but also to realise ambitions to make the project a national initiative.
Mediajungle – Mediajungle, Helpwanted.nl and Vitamine Eef are developing an extension of the ‘media literacy board game’, De Mediajungle, with their contribution. With this expansion, they want to offer people with a mild intellectual disability tips and advice about good, healthy practices for online sex and intimacy.
The jury finds this a beautiful and valuable project with a relevant theme, for an important target group.
A total of €50,000 has been allocated to these initiatives.
This article has been adapted from netwerkmediawijsheid.nl/challenge-all-inclusive-2021/ by the Dutch Safer Internet Centre.
Find out more about the work of the Dutch Safer Internet Centre, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services – or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.