Bulgarian Media Development Center, a SEENPM member, has been conducting a research on education needs of journalists and media literacy in the Western Balkans since March 2016. The research will be completed by September 2016, resulting in a regional report.
The study is conducted within the framework of the project South East European Partnership for Media Development, implemented by a group of SEENPM member organizations.
The study aims to provide an up-to-date, comparative environmental analysis of journalism education and media literacy, including available digital literacy programs, in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.
Additionally, the objective of the research is to identify and outline the environmental factors driving change in media literacy and journalism education and whether media competences are considered an important part of the general knowledge of the society in the researched countries.
The research will aim to answer the following questions:
- What is the government policy in the fields of media literacy and formal journalism education? What is the role of education institutions in the development of high-quality journalism and ethics on the market?
- How are civil society and the NGO sector engaged in raising media literacy and supporting the informal education and training of journalists? How does the sector cooperate with the authorities and the media industry?
- What is the role of major stakeholders (universities/schools, media outlets, state authorities and self-regulators) in promoting media literacy?
- What are the specific issues, achievements and journalism education needs in the researched countries?
As for the methodology of the research, media literacy is often analyzed in two dimensions – individual competencies and environmental factors that can drive and affect individuals, media education and encourage or hold back the development of individual competencies.
This research focuses of the environmental factors and aims to provide a comprehensive overview of issues, dynamics and drivers related to media literacy in each of the research countries.
The research will collect and structure information in two areas – the overall context of media literacy and the availability of media sources. It will look at the involvement of major stakeholders in the field – the government (central or local), education institutions (universities/high schools), media industry and the civil society.
Spreading the knowledge on media literacy
After the results of the comprehensive study are published, a series of activities will follow in the 5 countries targeted by the research.
National workshops on education needs for journalists and the public will gather journalists, media employers and trade unions, academics, educators (including pre-university teachers), education authorities, representatives of regulatory and self-regulatory bodies.
In conjunction with the workshops, training sessions on media literacy will be held for journalists, educators, CSOs representatives with an interest in media and/or education, and education authorities. The workshops will tackle the following topics:
- what is media literacy,
- media literacy for children,
- media literacy for adults,
- life-long learning approach to media literacy,
- the role of the media schools, media regulators and self-regulators in promoting media
- the role of the state-actors,
- ideas for possible initiatives.
Advocacy activities on educations needs for journalists and public will be carried in each of the five countries covered by the research. The advocacy activities will focus on the directions established during the national workshops on education needs for journalists and the public. It is expected that the advocacy activities lead to at least one important issue about education need of journalists being placed on the public agenda or in the curricula or current activities of journalism schools. Additionally, they should lead to the development of at least one CSO initiative on media literacy in each of the five countries.
The media literacy efforts of the SEE Partnership for Media Development project will be rounded up with a regional conference on education needs of journalists and the public, to be held in Skopje. The conference will present all the activities done within the project regarding the media education needs of journalists and the general public and it will produce a draft of a regional policy recommendation paper that will be submitted to public debate.
About SEE Partnership for Media Development
The partnership is aimed at bringing new stakeholders to the public debate related to media freedom and independence and at creating synergies between the media organizations and these stakeholders (trade unions, freedom of expression groups, teachers, parents, state actors, etc).
The project, to be conducted until 2017, and led by the Romanian Centre for Independent Journalism, addresses three main topics: labour conditions for journalists, media education (both for journalists and the public) and freedom of expression at large.
The project is co-funded by the The Civil Society Facility, Media Freedom and Accountability Programme, EuropeAid/134613/C/ACT/MULTI
This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents are the sole responsibility of the Media Development Center (Bulgaria) and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the EU.