More than 30,000 participants in the Fifth Media Literacy Days
Children and young people want more education on media literacy in schools
Zagreb, 9 May 2022 – The importance of media education was discussed at a press conference as part of the 5th Media Literacy Days, organized by the Agency for Electronic Media and UNICEF, under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Media and the Ministry of Science and Education. This year Media Literacy Days are held under the slogan "Think with your head in the media labyrinth". As part of this year's Media Literacy Days, more than 500 events have been held so far in 155 cities across the country where citizens have had the opportunity to be educated in the field of media literacy. This is important because survey conducted by Ipsos for UNICEF and the Electronic Media Agency showed that there is a great need, but also a strong awareness of citizens that media education is important:
- 80% of citizens did not have the opportunity to learn about the media.
- 81% of pupils and students believe that education in the field of media literacy should be significantly included in school curricula
- When we talk about different platforms, parents are concerned the most about social networks and video-sharing platforms, online video games and correspondence applications
- When it comes about the impact of media content, parents are concerned the most about online violence, sexualized content, and the impact of social networks on mental health. Children and young people aged 16 to 25, are mostly concerned about the online violence, the impact of social networks on mental health and the possibility of developing internet addiction.
- One in three children and young people aged 15 to 25 say they have felt stress, loneliness, envy, or a lower level of self-confidence due to content on social media.
"Students develop media literacy as a competence in a number of subjects and interdisciplinary topics in primary and secondary schools. We use it to develop critical thinking and evaluation, because among all the information it is important to identify those that are verified and accurate. Media literacy includes many knowledge, skills, and competencies, but the greatest value of media literacy lies in the ability to analyse, evaluate, and put information into context. I congratulate the organizers and thank everyone who contributed to this important topic“, said Minister of Science and Education Radovan Fuchs at the press conference.
“The theme of the Fifth Media Literacy Days - Think with Your Head in the Media Labyrinth - best depicts today's time in which technological development has brought us positive changes in lives, but it is these positive changes that have brought certain parts of life into the labyrinth, so we feel in some situations like we are in a parallel world because of the amount of available information. That is why media literacy and the ability to critically understand the media are extremely important today, because information is at almost every step of our lives. It is extremely important to know how to find relevant information and protect yourself from misinformation, and therefore our goal must be systematic support in empowering not only young people but all citizens with media literacy skills. Therefore, within the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, we have provided funds for the establishment of verification of media facts and public disclosure systems. The development of independent verifiers of the accuracy of information published in public space, media and social networks, and the developing the system are the basis for strengthening society's resilience to disinformation. The Ministry of Culture and Media fully supports the activities of Agency for Electronical media and UNICEF in the preparation of educational materials, which will help organize media literacy classes in schools and workshops in kindergartens", said Nina Obuljen Koržinek, Minister of Culture and Media.
As part of the international project EduMediaTest, which involved students from seven European countries and is implemented in Croatia by the Agency for Electronic Media with the support of the Ministry of Science and Education, students from 15 high schools across Croatia were tested to obtain information on their media literacy level. The research showed that students in Croatia have the best results in the field of technological knowledge, namely access to the content, management and use of the Internet. An international consortium of partners from the seven countries involved in the study said that media literacy in schools should not be reduced to a digital component - in which students have developed competencies. Namely, the students achieved the worst results in the area of knowledge of the functioning of media and digital platforms and awareness that media messages can have additional or hidden meaning because they have insufficiently developed skills for critical understanding of content and recognition of misinformation.
"Everything that is happening in the world and around us, the new media environment and public space in the hands of large private technology companies strongly indicate that we all need media education and the development of critical media literacy. The importance of the Media Literacy Days lies in the fact that they create conditions for media education and provide practical opportunities for citizens, especially young people, to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills. More than 500 events during this year’s Media Literacy Days and more than 600.000 downloads of our educational materials show that there is interest in media education. The results of the research show that we must create conditions for children and young people, but also all citizens, to learn about the media, and to understand how the media works and create content and news, and thus develop their critical thinking and take control", said Robert Tomljenović, Deputy President of the Council for Electronic Media.
"The research we conducted showed that young people recognize the challenges arising from the use of media, especially digital. They are concerned about online violence, the impact of social media on their mental health and the possibility of developing internet addiction. Every third pupil and student felt stress, loneliness, envy, and lack of self-confidence due to the content on social networks. These are the challenges that parents, educators, teachers and other professionals who work with children and young people are witnessing every day. Through the Media Literacy Days, UNICEF and its partners want to help to children and young people, but also to their parents, educators, and teachers, and we want media education to be better integrated into the education system so that every child and young person can develop their media literacy skills, ” said Regina M. Castillo, representative of the UNICEF Office for Croatia.
The winning films in the film competition held as part of the Media Literacy Day organized by the Croatian Film Association, the Electronic Media Agency and UNICEF were presented at the conference. This year's theme was “Influencers and us”. In the primary school category, the winner is the film “I (Don't) have a Border”, whose authors are Dominik Mataković, Filip Vasilj, Gabriel Drinovac and Josip Mikulčić, students at elementary school August Cesarec from Ivankovo with the support of their mentor, Marija Matić. In the high school category, the winner is the film “Bon Appétit”, whose authors are Mihaela Belčić, Kaja Culjak, Martina Šmic and Mia Danko Janes, students at the Electrical Engineering School from Varaždin. Their mentors were professors Tibor Bün and Aleksandra Rodeš
UNICEF promiče prava i dobrobit djece u svemu što radimo. U suradnji s partnerima, radimo u nekima od najizazovnijih dijelova svijeta kako bismo pomogli najugroženijoj djeci na svijetu. U više od 190 država i teritorija radimo za svako dijete, s posebnim fokusom na najranjiviju djecu.