Media literacy lessons, information campaigns, media hackathon are only some of the activities that the Independent Journalism Center (IJC), a SEENPM member, implemented in recent years to promote media literacy, critical thinking and critical consumption of media products.
The IJC carried out its first initiatives to promote media literacy in 2010, and in 2014 it launched the first project focused on media literacy which aimed to promote critical thinking among young media consumers. Thus, the IJC became the first organization in Moldova to run projects in this area.
Since then, for three years now the IJC has been organizing media literacy lessons, where journalists with vast experience engage in discussions with pupils and students about the media and its role in society and the importance of verifying information through several sources. About two thousands of pupils and students were initiated into the field of media literacy in this way. The IJC also trained teachers, who would later carry out media literacy lessons in their schools.
Taking into account teachers and pupils’ increased interest in media literacy, in 2016 the IJC initiated an advocacy campaign to include media literacy into school programs, and IJC experts have also developed a curriculum. In 2017, the IJC will focus on implementing the first pilot media literacy projects in several schools in the country. IJC will train teachers and develop informative materials for teachers and students. After the training, with the help of the developed curriculum and the materials, the teachers will conduct media literacy classes.
Also in 2016, the IJC launched Mediacritica, the first online platform entirely intended for the education of media consumers, thus diversifying its media literacy activities. Designed in an attractive format, it aims to help media consumers avoid manipulation and identify manipulation attempts in the press. It does so by means of media analyses, explanatory materials (when and how manipulation or disinformation occur) and video tutorials.
As another activity to promote critical thinking and media literacy, in July 2016 the IJC organized a media hackathon. Participants were assisted by national and international experts who made presentations and held master-classes on topics such as media literacy, propaganda, tools to fight propaganda etc. During the three days of the event, teams worked on applications that would help media consumers filter information and identify manipulation. Subsequently, one of the winning teams launched the Trolless app publicly. It is aimed to detect the so-called trolls – fake profiles on social networks created to disseminate false information, including promotion of certain interests, parties, ideas, causes, manipulation, use of hate speech.
To promote the critical consumption of media products, the IJC launched the campaign Think Clearly. A total of 32 journalists, bloggers, activists and actors encouraged media consumers in Moldova to be vigilant when watching, listening to, or reading a news item. The IJC also launched a video spot encouraging media consumers to diversify their sources of information as the only way to get an accurate view of reality.
In 2017, the IJC will continue implementing activities to promote media literacy and reach as many beneficiaries as possible.