Why media and information literacy matters?
- María José Velasquez Flores (Youth representative)
In this article, María José Velasquez Flores gives her views on why media and information literacy matters for young people, and why they should be encouraged to contribute to internet governance debates on such issues.
With the new opportunities to participate in the political life that the internet provides, it is important to highlight that civic engagement doesn't come by default at the moment that we, as youth, start being cyber users. Conversely, MIL is important to set the foundations for youth to start developing civic engagement abilities.
How many times have I changed my profile pic on Facebook to a country flag? How many times have I used hashtags for supporting a global cause? How many times have I used memes to show my discontent with a certain political party? How many times have I pressed to ‘Attend' a demonstration that I subsequently didn't go to? And how many times didn't I notice that, due to this diversification of tools for supporting activism that the internet provides, I was somehow participating in the political life of my community and creating narratives with the potential of influencing other youth?
Leaving aside the bigger debate of how, potentially, online political engagement can have repercussions in the offline world, different MIL methods focused on democratic participation could be a resource that can develop and improve the civic and political engagement of youth. Framed in this, MIL curricula that have as a starting point the respect of the different uses and practices of youth online, and that overcomes the stigma about youth not being interested in participating in the life of their communities, can empower youth to be active citizens online and offline.
MIL for international students
Mobility is a feature of contemporary globalisation. Nowadays the current refugee crisis in Europe is functioning as an entry point to make visible the different demands that different migrants have concerning education.
One of the pull factors of Europe is certainly the academic formation through which large quantities of students pursuing their studies arrive in Europe every year. However, many policies are more focused on specific migrant groups such as refuges or economic migrants, leaving aside the grey area of young academic newcomers. In an attempt to tackle this, many countries' strategies are focused on making available different technological devices in libraries and classrooms. However, the ones coming from a developing country, as in my case, despite the need to access devices also need the training and mentoring in how to make good use of these. Another assumption to oppose is that access does not only mean being able to reach technology. Moreover, information and communication technologies (ICTs) without the appropriate mentorship make the ICT not accessible at all.
Further expanding on the need for technical skills of international students, MIL could also work also as a resource to detect, tackle and campaign against cyberbullying and hate speech which, in a context of multiculturalism and diversity, should be mandatory for broad discussion in formal and informal settings.
- BIK Team
The International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI), also known as the Access to Information Day, will be celebrated on Friday, 28 September 2018.
- Dutch Safer Internet Centre
Starting the dialogue about media use and skills, learning from each other and becoming media literate together: that's what this year's Dutch Media Literacy Week (Week van de Mediawijsheid) was all about. The 8th edition of the yearly campaign took place from 17-24 November 2017. With the brand new Media Literacy Debate for youngsters, more than 165,000 children registered for the MediaMasters Game, and around 130 activities took place all over the country. As we celebrate a successful week, read about some of the highlights below.
- BIK team
In recent weeks, "fake news" has become a hot topic. In the recent US presidential elections, ‘fake news' involving both candidates and its possible influence on US voters' decision-making processes have been at the frontline of discussions.
- BIK team
The sixth edition of the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) bulletin has now been published with a focus on media and information literacy in Europe.
- BIK team
For centuries, literacy has referred to the ability to read and write. Early thinking about media literacy emerged much more recently, partly in response to a growing mass entertainment industry - from the early days of vaudeville, through radio, cinema, television, newspapers and magazines. It's now evolved to encompass modern-day media such as video games and online content, apps and services.
- Auke Pals (Youth representative)
Auke Pals, 19, is a part-time high school student, a member of the Dutch Digital Youth Council, and a youth representative of European Digital Youth. Here, he reflects on his attendance at SEEDIG – the South Eastern Europe Dialogue on Internet Governance – and his ability to contribute to internet governance issues as a young European citizen.
- Anna Iosif (Youth representative)
In this article, Anna Iosif reflects on her recent experiences in attending the New Media Summer School and EuroDIG events, and asks whether young people can influence a better internet through involvement in internet governance discussions.