People across the world are witnessing a dramatic increase in access to information and communication. While some people are starved for information, others are flooded with print, broadcast and digital content.
Media and Information Literacy (MIL) provides answers to the questions that we all ask ourselves at some point. How can we access, search, critically assess, use and contribute content wisely, both online and offline? What are our rights online and offline? What are the ethical issues surrounding the access and use of information? How can we engage with media and ICTs to promote equality, intercultural and interreligious dialogue, peace, freedom of expression and access to information?
The 2020 Global Media and Information Literacy (MIL) week comes off from the 24th to the 31st of October 2020. The 10th annual global celebration of MIL under the theme “Resisting Disinfodemic: Media and Information Literacy for everyone and, by everyone” highlights how we can look to addressing disinformation and divides by recognizing our shared interest in improving everyone’s competencies. This will enable us to engage with the opportunities and risks in today’s landscape of communication, technology, and information.
Indeed, MIL recognizes the primary role of information and media in our everyday lives. It lies at the core of freedom of expression and information - since it empowers citizens to understand the functions of media and other information providers, to critically evaluate their content, and to make informed decisions as users and producer of information and media content.
More than ever, the world needs professional journalism and reliable information to adapt its response to the spread of COVID-19, organize itself, learn from other countries’ experiences and counter the increase of rumors and disinformation. Even so, Ghana is also gearing towards elections in an uncertain time when the world is confronting this global pandemic including a current second wave.
In particular, UNESCO, WHO and UNDP launched a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) themed “Journalism in a pandemic: Covering COVID-19 now and in the future” and other initiatives in the area of MIL that citizens and journalists can take advantage of.
We are urging everybody to visit the UNESCO website to sign up to these initiatives by downloading the research available and signing up to some free courses we have initiated for the benefit of everyone.
In this context, UNESCO Accra office in collaboration with Penplusbytes have planned series of activities to celebrate MIL 2020 including.
1. Pre Launch webinar of MIL week – 22nd October 2020
2. Launch of MIL Week – 23rd October, 2020
3. Social Media Engagement of MIL endorsement videos/Vox pops/publications and visualization on disinformation – 24th October, 2020
4. Social media blasts of MIL endorsement – 26th October, 2020
5. MIL workshop for NFED, bloggers and content producers – 27/28th October 2020
6. Youth Focused Facebook live discussion – 29th October, 2020
7. Media launch of MIL documentary – 30th October, 2020
8. Climax on MIL weeks – 31st October, 2020
It is expected that at the end of these activities, people will become more ethical and critical producers and consumers of information and use their platforms to fight disinformation.
UNESCO Accra office is urging citizens to create social advocacy content that can help build peaceful, just and inclusive societies.
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