The digital age has revolutionized the information landscape so much so that the dissemination of information is performed by a very diverse and perplexing set of different sources. Over the past years, mass media have become more diverse. Now, these media channels are not only used for spreading the last news but also for entertainment and commercial purposes. In our day, it is essential not only to understand the media but also to have a set of skills that can help us discern the motivations behind what we consume and to act critically on it. In this context, measuring the reliability of the information and news found is left to the individual, thus becoming essential to understand how “to be able to reach the correct information” this project is dedicated to promoting critical media literacy, as an integral part of the fundamental right to information and freedom of expression, playing a key role in building and maintaining functional democratic societies.
Objectives of the Training Course
1. Increase participants’ ability to actively and critically consider the messages that they receive
2. Provide participants with the necessary knowledge, skills, and vocabulary to understand how media messages create meaning, recognize persuasion tools
3. Train participants mentoring skills and capacity in acting as multipliers in their daily work with youth in physical and digital learning settings
4. Create a platform, where youth workers can exchange experiences and ideas and make their own contributions to advancing media literacy education, by developing innovative approaches and tools
5. Cultivate active media-citizenship attitudes of both youth workers and young people needed to participate in and contribute to the public debate
6. Establish & strengthen cross-border partnerships & future common projects and enhance their multiplier effect and impact
As the program involved a very big concept; Media Literacy, the project is subdivided in 5 thematic sections:
1. Teambuilding, making the participants feel comfortable with each other
2. Investigating the fourth estate, helping participants get an insight into how the interplay between communication technologies and society directs their coevolution process
3. Dark Side of the media, enhancing awareness with respect to the threats and implications of uncritical or irresponsible media to us
4 Effective approaches in media education, understanding the key principles of media function and the key needs of Media Literacy becomes conscious, structures and thus, utilizable
5. Developing novel Media Literacy tools, training the participants on how they can reflect and utilize their own learning experience to externalize and multiply their gained knowledge.
To provide more insight into our daily activities we will describe the days of our project!
In the first days, we introduced the project and got to know each other. We discussed and analyzed old mass media vs new mass media and the negative/positive consequences it has on our daily lives, the news, commercialism, and our bodies through multiple exercises and debates. In the following days, we had cultural visits, journalist workshops, and games to discover the concept of fake news together with theory on nudging, biases of information and hate speech vs free speech, and new methodologies. We produced a list with common persuasion tools used by the media to influence our emotions, opinions and consumer behavior. We visited the city archives of Amsterdam and put our journalist hats on to create a video. The last three days were dedicated to the creation of our Media Literacy Tool. Together we “tested” the exercises created by the group and perfected them. After the youth pass ceremony, we had a final group hug and chats with each other before everyone left to go back to the airport.
The training course in Amsterdam was a complete project from many points of view, above all formative. Amazing how facilitators have managed to create a healthy and safe environment by teaching the principles of media literacy through creative and interactive activities but also by promoting always a critical debate. This is an experience that I strongly recommend!
In an overwhelming society such as ours nowadays, it has become more and more difficult to find enough time to think and analyze situations objectively, because of the high-speed information that crosses our minds just like lightning.
For me, the Media Literacy project has been a breath of fresh air, because I’ve learned how to deal with the plentitude of information I receive and, more importantly, how to analyze and tell the difference between fake news and real sourced news. I also consider the training had a great impact on a social context due to us, the participants because we grew like a big family in such a short period of time. I’m really grateful for the time spent on the Media Literacy project and looking forward to the next one.
I have so many great memories from this project that is hard to only talk about one. What I enjoyed most were the outdoor activities in a nice park next to the hostel. These activities were really interesting and gave us a lot of issues to discuss. The energy was super positive, and the facilitators were very involved and fun to be around. Everything was well organized and we had everything we needed. It was a memorable experience that I would recommend to everyone.
I hope this article gave a broad summary of our first Training Course, we as yEUth are extremely proud of what we did and can not wait to host more participants in the future!
Special thank you to our partners to make this project possible
Our partner organizations
Entrepreneurship and social economy group (EKO) from Greece
VsI “uMunthu” from Lithuania
Associazione Viaggi senza Frontiere Onlus from Italy
IRIS Sustainable Development from Sweden
Tot de volgende keer! (See you next time in Dutch)
As a follow-up to our Training Course, partners from Greece, Romania and Sweden, along with our organization, yEUth, organized workshops during the Summer (22.06.2022 – 30.08.2022) open to local young people with the aim to give them the opportunity to be engaged in the construction of novel non-formal education tools promoting Media Literacy!
The workshops were facilitated by participants of the Training Course, who passed their gained knowledge on Media Literacy concepts and tested the educational tools, covering subjects such as media principles, fake news, media persuasion tools, cyberbullying etc, which they developed themselves with local groups!
The results were great! Thanks to this activity our youth workers had the chance to see the first application of the activities and methods developed by themselves during the Training course in real life conditions, with their target group of learners, and secure the publication of a quality manual: our Media Literacy Toolkit!