The project “Media Literacy for Rural Youth” aimed to promote media literacy among youth and children from rural areas in North Macedonia, to foster their critical understanding of the media and to strengthen the capacity of local CSOs to promote media literacy at the local level.
It was implemented by three CSOs: Youth Cultural Center – Bitola in cooperation with two local CSOs in Pelagonia Region – Citizens Association IKARUS from Demir Hisar and the Association for Sports and Culture from Mogila. The media partner of the project was regional Tera TV.
The project is part of the sub-granting scheme of the regional project »Media for Citizens, Citizens for Media«, implemented in 5 countries of the Western Balkans. The aim of the projects is to increase the CSOs’ capacities for promotion of MIL practices and policies at a local level. In this series we present a number of implemented projects.
In the frame of the project 8 short TV stories have been produced (Youth Cultural Center – Bitola led the production implemented in cooperation with TV Tera) and broadcasted on Tera TV. The TV series covered popular topics such as prevention of COVID-19, online schooling, combating fake news.
A total of 50 children and young people from 4 primary schools from Municipalities of Demir Hisar and Mogila were actively included in the process of production of the TV stories. Four of the TV stories were made in the primary schools in one small city (Demir Hisar) and three villages (Mogila, Dobrushevo and Zvan), and other TV stories, through phone recordings, included statements from students, teachers, school pedagogists and psychologists, civil society representatives, medical staff, IT professionals etc.
It is estimated that 30.000 students in primary and secondary schools, as well as university students in the Pelagonia region were reached by TV broadcasts of the videos.
As the project was implemented during the Covid pandemic, it brought an additional challenge to the project team to appeal to young people for even greater caution against dangerous forms of spreading misinformation, fake news and media manipulations while they are online.
Media Literacy for Youth: COVID 19
Media Literacy for Youth: Online Schooling
Media Literacy for Youth: Battle with Fake News
Media Literacy for Youth: Summer and the Coronavirus
Media Literacy for Youth: With the students from primary school in Dobrushevo
Media Literacy for Youth: Schools and children about the new school year (September 2020)
Media Literacy for Youth: Computer cannot offer what the book offers
Media Literacy for youth: Retrospective
The online promotion of the TV stories was aided by sharing 8 articles on the TV stories’ topics on the Facebook pages of Tera TV, YCC Bitola and Ikarus – Demir Hisar.
The overall potential reach of citizens with project outputs related to media literacy is 300.000 (via TV Tera and Facebook pages of the organizations that implemented the project).
This initiative in two rural areas, the municipality of Demir Hisar and the municipality of Mogila, proved to be more than necessary given that the activities in support of media literacy there are almost insignificant. The impressions of all involved – students, teachers and professional staff from 4 primary schools – are more than satisfactory and it is an incentive to continue with similar initiatives in the future.
Finally, by including young people from areas with fewer opportunities, such as the municipalities of Demir Hisar and Mogila, the Youth Cultural Center have actually addressed the issue of equal opportunities. Through TV stories, YCC promoted the need to improve living conditions and thus the rights of these children and young people for better education and quality of life in their communities. At the same time, the competent institutions were addressed, making them aware of the need for greater support of young people from rural areas.
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The regional program “Media for Citizens – Citizens for Media: Strengthening the Capacity of NGOs for the Development of Media and Information Literacy in the Western Balkans” is implemented with the support of the European Union by partner organizations Mediacentar Sarajevo, Albanian Media Institute,Macedonian Institute for Media, Montenegrin Media Institute, Novi Sad School of Journalism, Peace Institute, SEENPM.