Faces of Media and Information Literacy

Media

Cambodia: Vibol Mam, MIL Project Coordinator, Cambodian Center for Independent Media

"Cambodia's young population mainly uses social media to participate in public debate. But most young people lack media and information literacy. They have little awareness of digital security issues, hardly know how to detect filter bubbles and disinformation, and aren't familiar with the rules of social dialogue on the Internet. Media can influence society so MIL is a necessary skill to have."

Media

Cambodia: Chanphynou Kong, Rural Facilitator

"I'm both a trainee and facilitator for media literacy trainings in the Svay Rieng Province. Before I took part, I'd used Facebook on my smartphone for years but never knew what media literacy was. I now have a better understanding of media. I acquired skills for analyzing information, identifying which source is reliable, interviewing people, writing news – and teaching others the same skills."

Media

Thorsten Karg, Project Manager, DW Akademie

"Media have a profound effect on us all. We all consume mass media including radio, TV and newspapers. And thanks to the Internet, social media and smartphones, we're also increasingly becoming content producers. MIL helps us understand the effects of media. It makes us aware of how we can use social media responsibly, without compromising our privacy or falling victim to disinformation."

Media

Georgia: Tamar Kintsurashvili, Executive Director, Media Development Foundation

"We need MIL both to preserve pluralism and to not distort public debate by spreading lies and manipulated content. MIL is about conscious media consumption. We need to preserve trust in quality media because in a democracy, information is a major source of power and people make their decisions based on information. We need credible information to make the right decisions and not be misled."

Media

Georgia: Mariam Tskovrebashvili & Gvantsa Devidza, participants of the "Myth Detector Lab"

Mariam: "I won't allow anyone to deceive me because a good civil society depends on receiving true information. Everyone needs to have the skills that prevent them from falling victim to propaganda and misinformation." Gvantsa: "I now treat any media product not just as a reader or journalist but as a skeptical reader and skeptical journalist."

Media

Sopiko Sitchinava, Country Coordinator Georgia, DW Akademie

"Media not only shape perception but also social relations, even cultural identity. This makes MIL particularly important for Georgia and the South Caucasus region. In countries constantly exposed to Russian propaganda, citizens need to be media literate as a protection against propaganda and manipulation. MIL also teaches the ability to express oneself and encourages critical reflection."

Media

Guatemala: Edgar Zamora Orpinel, Editor-in-Chief of Radio Sónica

"At Radio Sónica we're training young people in media and information literacy. This is important because it gives them the opportunity to realize their right to communicate. Working in MIL with young people is not only fun but it's also crucial for them to successfully master their lives in a world that's so influenced by the media."

Media

Daniela Reyes, participant of a two-week MIL and radio workshop at Radio Sónica

"I'm more interested in news now and I ask more questions. I don't believe everything I see or hear anymore. This course was important because we young people have gotten used to looking at everything superficially. I now know where the information in the media comes from and that's made me more critical."

Media

Johannes Metzler, Country Manager Guatemala, DW Akademie

"I used to think that media monopolies, like in Guatemala, could only be stopped by law. Today I know that this can be done more elegantly: by people who know how to access better information elsewhere."

Media

Nadine Gogu, Director of the Moldovan Independent Journalism Center

"Media education was first included in Moldova's primary schools curricula in 2017, and as an elective in secondary schools in 2018. About 30 schools are now teaching it and we're hoping for more. Surveys say that MIL is improving; those who state they know what manipulation and propaganda are tend to be highly educated urban youth who have access to various information sources."

Media

Moldova: Adriana Bujag & Aliona Coropceanu, teachers from Chisinau

Adriana: "Media education is a necessity these days. It's very important to educate citizens so that they're able to analyze information and distinguish between what is fake and what is true." Aliona: "We're very interested in teaching MIL to help students use new technologies correctly and to avoid the danger of misinformation because it's lurking everywhere."

Media

Petra Raschkewitz, Country Manager Moldova, DW Akademie

"Traditional and digital media have become an integral part of everyone's life. We have to accept this if we want the young generation in Moldova to have chances in the digital age. Media literacy can make the difference – whether young people let media use them, or whether they use media for themselves."

Media

Namibia: Joost van de Port, Head of Media, Arts and Technologies Studies, College of the Arts

"MIL is vital for the well-being of communities and individuals. It fosters problem solving and thinking skills – asking questions, seeking answers, forming opinions, evaluating sources. It nurtures constructive media participants, ethical contributors and confident, responsible citizens. At the same time, the risk of manipulation cannot be underestimated and critical awareness is much needed."

Media

Namibia: Farah Isaacs, MiLLi* Facilitator and Educator

"I don't believe everything I read or hear anymore, I'm more analytical and check the credibility of sources. I'm well-informed and can confidently take part in public dialogue and contribute positively. Being media and information literate, I reflect on the messages I create and share on social media platforms. I consider their impact on others, and if this is important or necessary to share."

Media

Lizette Ferris, Project Manager, DW Akademie

"Conscious citizens need MIL to obtain quality information and make informed decisions. Possessing knowledge, skills and attitude enables Namibians to construct their own narrative in the digital world, reach full potential and be protected while doing so. The Media and Information Literacy Learning Initiative fights the influence of (social) media on our youth – for a better and brighter future!"

Media

Palestinian Territories: Hania Bitar, Director of the Palestinian Youth Association for Leadership and Rights Activation (PYALARA)

"Although the digital world might look dangerous and sophisticated, it's still alluring and indispensable. Regardless of the challenges and the opportunities, we have to learn how to sail safely in the seas of the digital world. Media and information literacy is the safety net that enables us not only to do so, but to be smart consumers, effective producers and above all not be taken for granted."

Media

Ahmad, a Palestinian school student, took part in MIL activities offered by DW Akademie partner PYALARA in 2014

"The MIL project has had a strong influence on my life. The activities have given me a chance to contribute to solutions and break down barriers between myself and my class teacher."

Media

Verena Wendisch, Country Manager Palestinian Territories, DW Akademie

"Digital developments have two sides: negative ones like hate speech, Internet addiction or cyberbullying, and great possibilities like giving marginalized people a voice. For me, MIL is key to a self-determined education. Each of us can contribute to it. Knowledgeable are those capable to create, access and analyze information, assess their media behavior and act as citizens through the media."

Media

Tunisia: Ahmed Rafrafi, Coordinator of MIL Projects, Tunisian Ministry of Youth and Sports

"Tunisia is in the middle of a democratization process. The media landscape is growing and youth should play a role in it. But there are few opportunities for them to learn MIL skills. That's why the youth radios are so important. Our youth has little room to dream but radios are spaces for creativity. The message to young people: You can play an active role in society and the media."

Media

Tunisia: Nour Maatallah, Participant of the 2018 MIL Summer School, Maison de Jeunes, Sousse

"Journalism reflects reality. Journalists don't lie. Not like in the cinema where some parts aren't real, where they're fiction. Journalism simply depicts what has happened in reality. That's why journalism is a beautiful thing. I'm an adventurous, curious and courageous person and is why I think I could be a good journalist."

Media

Vera Möller-Holtkamp, Project Manager, DW Akademie

"We support youth radios in rural parts of Tunisia. One of our trainers once told me his impression of the area: 'It feels like God made these people just to instantly forget them'. The radios are oases for youth there. The media skills they learn increase their chances of studying and finding a job. MIL helps them to express themselves, to be an active part of Tunisia's young democracy."

Media

Uganda: Prossy Kawala, Co-founder of the Centre for Media Literacy and Community Development (CEMCOD)

"Youths under 30 are 77% of Uganda’s population. They are fascinated by new media, but mostly still passive consumers with no capacity to secure digital tools or to engage and participate productively. We believe in young people telling their stories and being vocal on issues they care about. They need to understand the power of media over their choices and use this to advance meaningful causes."

Media

Uganda: Esther Angom (right), Community Radio Mbale

"Because of my MIL skills, members of my community selected me to be part of the steering committee that would fundraise for support to curb the water scarcity problem in our community. We are now expecting to build a water tank that would benefit over 400 community members once completed."

Media

Mirjam Gehrke, Country Manager Uganda, and Miriam Ohlsen, Country Representative, DW Akademie

Gehrke: "In a study we carried out, youth in Uganda said that media don't really meet their information needs. They don't find the information they need on health, education, and public service delivery." Ohlsen: "That's why we promote dialogue between youth and the media. We also teach the skills youth need to critically consume information, verify it – and to produce their own content."

DW Akademie and its partners are working around the world to improve media and information literacy. Get to know some of the passionate people behind the projects.