Media literacy for every child
On Safer Internet Day, UNICEF is calling for all parents to talk to their children about the media content that they follow and for all media to provide greater quantity and better quality of programmes for children of different ages
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PODGORICA, 7 FEBRUARY 2023 – On the occasion of Safer Internet Day, celebrated worldwide on 7 February this year, UNICEF is calling for all parents to talk to children about the media content that they follow, as well as to limit the time and the choice of the media content to best support children’s development in the different phases of childhood and adolescence.
According to the latest Ipsos survey on this issue, conducted in November 2022, there has been an increase in the number of parents in Montenegro actively mediating their children’s media consumption in the last few years.
From 2018 to 2022, the percentage of parents limiting their children’s screen time increased from 30 to 50 percent, while the percentage of parents limiting the media content that their children can follow doubled from 32 to 64 percent.
More importantly, while in 2018 only one in five parents stimulated critical analysis of media by talking to their children about the media content that they follow, one in two parents did so last year.
“It is encouraging that Montenegro’s parents have heard the messages of our media literacy campaign Let’s Choose What We Watch. UNICEF calls upon all parents to help children critically analyse news, advertisements and other media messages that they encounter every day", UNICEF Montenegro Representative Juan Santander said.
"We also want to remind that every student in Montenegro has a chance to learn how to use the internet safely for learning and developing different skills, thanks to the Digital School Platform, established by the Ministry of Education with UNICEF’s support".
In the digital age, media literacy has become one of the essential life skills for citizens to be able to recognize disinformation and find reliable data and information on different topics. According to the Ipsos survey from November 2022, two out of five adult citizens of Montenegro do not check the accuracy of information that they encounter and that seem suspicious to them.
UNICEF Young Reporter Andjela Grujić expressed concern about the emergence of hate speech on the internet and its impact on the health of young people. She pointed out how a safe internet starts with our online behaviour.
“If I had the power to make the internet a safer place, I would remove all content that is not relevant. I would remove all forms of hate speech on the internet, because it can have serious consequences for its victims. People who are verbally abused often become depressed, unsure of themselves and anxious, and some of them, unfortunately, commit suicide. I believe that we, as a society, should take the initiative to make our online environment happier".
Educating young people about the internet is the best way to fight for a safer and happier internet, says UNICEF Young Reporter Luka Vujović.
“I would adapt the subject of Informatics, which is now compulsory in primary and some secondary schools, to the current trends on the internet and shape it so that people are taught about the dangers of it. I would also develop a special police unit focused only on violence on the internet because this is currently the most prevalent and the most uncontrolled type of violence".
Since 2004, Safer Internet Day has been celebrated worldwide in February to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile devices, especially among children and young people.
From cyberbullying to social networking to digital identity, each year Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness of emerging online issues and current concerns.