UNICEF volunteer Sofija promotes media literacy

It is crucial for children to be media-literate

Tina Dimic Raicevic
Young reporter Sofija at a press conference
UNICEF Montenegro / Dusko Miljanic / 2018

26 February 2019

PODGORICA, 26 FEBRUARY  2019 – Sofija Krivokapic, a high school student, saw on social networks an advertisement for an audition for UNICEF volunteers – young reporters – and decided to apply. This was in May 2018. Today Sofija is very satisfied with this unique volunteer experience.

Young people and children are not media-literate enough in my surroundings, so I wanted somehow to contribute to changing that. First of all, however, I had to go through the process of making myself literate, and others only after that. I am very proud to be part of the first UNICEF team of volunteers – young reporters.

Sofija, a young reporter

She is trying to inspire those around her with her example in order to make volunteerism a part of our everyday life. She believes that volunteering should be a distinctive characteristic of young people and assesses that this is currently not exactly the case in her environment.

Young reporter Sofija in the studio recording „Let's choose what we watch“ song
UNICEF Montenegro / Dusko Miljanic / 2018
Sofija in the studio recording „Let's choose what we watch“ song within media literacy campaign in Podgorica in August 2018

Perhaps this is a lack of the social consciousness that should be engraved on our mind through social engagement, which we were supposed to have probably learned already in childhood, from our parents, teachers and the adults who have an influence on us during that time. And yet I believe we are making progress.

Sofija, a young reporter

Sofija believes that we are enriched by participating in activities, such as this one regarding media literacy, not only with the knowledge gained from different areas, but also spiritually.

It is in human nature to strive for change, something better, and actually every individual should be the trigger of changes, especially young people. Instead of lethargic and sleepy young people, I believe we need creative, responsible and ready young people who really want to make a change. And I believe that volunteerism, if nothing else, is the right beginning for that.

Sofija, a young reporter

Participation in the media literacy campaign “Let’s Choose What We Watch”, launched by UNICEF and the Agency for Electronic Media of Montenegro in February 2018 has, first of all, changed the way in which the role and influence of the media are experienced.

Young reporter Sofija at one of the workshops for young reporters
UNICEF Montenegro / Dusko Miljanic / 2018
UNICEF Representative Osama Khogali greeting UNICEF volonteers / Young Reporters among whom is Sofija (first on the left) in UN premises in Podgorica in August, 2018

Now I am much more wary in my consumption of media content, and I am also trying to make content that is as high-quality as possible by myself. These changes have not come immediately, but they have settled in my life through monthly training.

Sofija, a young reporter

She warns that it is crucial for children to be media-literate, because otherwise they may get lost in a variety of information and content – appropriate and inappropriate – and may wander somewhere in the virtual world.

Therefore, I believe it is important, not only in Montenegro, but the whole world over, for children and young people to be media literate in order to know how to cope in this new world.

Sofija, a young reporter

The experience she has gained at UNICEF's workshops has boosted her interest in journalism as a potential profession in the future, so it is not excluded that Montenegro will soon get another certainly media-literate journalist.