Finnish Safer Internet Day and Media Literacy Week 2020

  • Awareness
  • 23/03/2020
  • Finnish Safer Internet Centre

Finland has been celebrating Safer Internet Day (SID) with a week-long awareness event called Media Literacy Week since 2013. The 2020 event brought together 1,800 organisations, put media literacy in the spotlight for over 80,000 participants through hundreds of kindergartens, schools, libraries, museums, youth centres and media companies. 

The primary aim of the week is to advance the media literacy skills of people of all ages, as well as to support professional educators and guardians in their vital roles in media literacy skills development. The Media Literacy Week encourages media educators to set a time each year to look into new ideas, materials and methods. The week operates as a hub for discussion, and a platform for education materials to gain visibility in the thousands of grassroots contexts where media education takes place.

The secondary aim of the Media Literacy Week is awareness development. Awareness is a key ingredient of any European Safer Internet Centre (SIC) and a thematic week where thousands of organisations take part in the initiative is a powerful way to achieve it. For the Media Literacy Week, the National Audiovisual Institute collaborated with more than 50 organisations to provide research results and other thematic conversation starters, to raise awareness. This is how both the public and the decision makers in the country are reminded that media education needs to remain in focus and that it is a shared responsibility. 

This year, the term "digital well-being" has become almost commonplace as a heading for relevant discussions of personal wellness and how digital devices, services and applications connect into it. As a great example for this, one of the Finnish SIC's partner organisations, Mannerheim League of Child Welfare (also running the Finnish helpline) developed a digital fitness regime called DIGIFIT for adults and young people. The goal is to help people develop tools with which to control their own behaviour with digital tools, and therefore enhance a person's overall wellness, instead of causing anxiety, stress, sleeping problems or other negative effects. The Finnish hotline at Save the Children Finland also supported these SID actions and the media literacy week by being more active on social media, promoting the relevant hashtags, and creating online safety materials for to be used in the context of the Media Literacy Week.

For the SID theme week, the National Audiovisual Institute published a magazine, Mediataito 2020. Created for the third year in a row, the magazine introduces media educators, materials and research results on media use among children and other age groups. The whole print of 5,000 copies of the magazine were distributed at media education events or through free-of-charge mail orders during January and February 2020. The online copy of the magazine has also been accessed almost 1,000 times and the collected feedback has revealed that people appreciate an easily accessible curated way for media educators to update their knowledge on current issues and operators in the field.

The Media Literacy Week has yet again received significant visibility in the national and local media. Fresh research results, current events with experts sharing their knowledge and creative twists to the discussion have proved to be key. The Media Literacy Week 2020 was featured in radio and TV programmes and news nationwide - both in collaboration with the Finnish SIC, but increasingly also independently.

For more information about Safer Internet Day activities in Finland, visit the Finnish Safer Internet Centre's Safer Internet Day profile page.

Find out more information about the work of the Finnish Safer Internet Centre (SIC) generally, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services, or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.

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