Increased interest for the media literacy during COVID-19 pandemic
AEM and UNICEF's campaign to support distance learning, disinformation identification and online safety
Zagreb, May 28 2020 – Third Media Literacy Days, organized by the Agency for Electronic Media (AEM) and UNICEF, under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Science and Education, this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, are carried out online and continue to be of great interest to the general public.
With the aim to support distance learning, AEM and UNICEF, in coordination with the Ministry of Science and Education, have been publishing video lessons on media literacy for primary and secondary school students, prepared by teachers from different parts of Croatia. They are available on the medijskapismenost.hr portal and on the School for Life channels, and have been viewed more than 23.000 times so far.
In addition to that, 19 educational materials for educators, teachers and parents are available for download on medijskapismenost.hr portal – materials for working with young people and children in kindergartens, primary and secondary schools or at home. These materials were created as an integral part of all previous editions of the Media Literacy Days, and since the publication of the first series of materials two years ago, they have been downloaded a total of 200 thousand times.
“In circumstances of isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic, children, young people and adults spend much more time online. This only adds up to an existing risk of children encountering inappropriate content or experiencing online violence. What worries us the most is that children and young people rarely choose to confide in their parents or educators about their experiences online. We want to change that. With this year's educational materials, we wish to encourage children and young people to talk about their online experiences with their parents and teachers. The huge interest in the educational materials that we have produced so far for teachers, parents and children is very inspiring to us and pushes us to do more to protect children and empower children to protect themselves”, said Regina M. Castillo, Representative of the UNICEF Office for Croatia.
The increased interest in media literacy is also indicated by the significant growth in the readership figures related to the medijskapismenost.hr portal in the recent months. In April, 300% more visitors were recorded compared to 2019, and more than 75 thousand people used the content on the portal.
"In times of coronavirus, we are exposed to a large amount of information, and a lot of it, is false or inaccurate which indicates the urgent need to work harder to strengthen our media literacy skills. More than ever before, we are in critical need of knowledge that allows us to identify the nature of information we are surrounded by, identify those pieces that are useful and credible, protect ourselves from misinformation, and take control over what we read, listen or watch, as well as create critical independence from the media. Our citizens are also aware of these needs and are increasingly seeking advice and information on our media literacy portal, which gives us the obligation to continue developing media education projects”, said Robert Tomljenović, Deputy President of the Council for Electronic Media.
The Agency for Electronic Media and UNICEF have been running an online campaign and online Media Literacy Days to empower citizens to think critically, identify misinformation and use Internet safely and responsibly.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF visit www.unicef.org