Media and Information Literacy Week 2019, 24–31 October Feature Events in Ghana MIL Citizens: Informed, Engaged, Empowered

About

Global Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Week, commemorated annually, is a major occasion for stakeholders to review and celebrate the progress achieved towards “MIL for All.” It is a cap and aggregator for MIL-related events and actions around the world leading up to this Week. Together with its Feature Events (International MIL and Intercultural Dialogue Conference and Youth Agenda Forum), Global MIL Week calls for local events around the world to promote MIL connections across disciplines and professions. These include intergovernmental organizations, education institutions, technological intermediaries, development organizations, associations, NGOs, research groups, educators, media professionals, library and information professionals, policy makers, regulators, local governments, municipalities, actors in transportation, health, housing, and music industries, and practitioners around the globe.

Rationale

MIL provides citizens (all people) with key competencies for life-long learning, work, and in all aspects of life. It is fundamental for all citizens to know how, by improving their information, media, and technological knowledge, skills, and attitude, they can more meaningfully engage in sustainable development, dialogue, and better governance. All seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) resonate with these objectives of MIL as an enabler of civic engagement.

Citizens equipped with MIL competencies are informed, engaged and empowered. They are able to understand the dangers of disinformation, as well as the spiral of hatred and exclusion. When intercultural and interreligious dialogue is promoted through free, independent and pluralistic media and information systems, the awareness of diversities can enrich our notion of the world around us and improve our understanding of others and ourselves.

Empowering citizens, in particular youth, the elderly and marginalized groups with MIL competencies lets more voices be heard, and thus enables digital inclusion and enhanced opportunities.

Furthermore, MIL competencies are vital in the development and safeguarding of democratic societies. While some citizens live in an abundance of information, media, and communication tools, some continue to struggle for their right to access media and information. An open, rights-based and inclusive environment, as addressed in SDG 16 “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions”, emphasizes the necessity to ensure “public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements.” Improving peoples’ MIL competencies increases their capacities to access information and defend freedom and rights.

With the interconnectedness of individuals, societies, and information providers –collaborative work is fundamental. Global multi-stakeholder cooperation and meetings serve as arenas to enable constructive dialogue and development, promoting intercultural understanding, and the exchange of best practices, ideas and experiences. This is the vision of the Global MIL Week celebrations. National MIL policies and strategies are crucial in the continued efforts about how to diminish inequalities and in competencies to analyze and critically evaluate and produce media and information content. UNESCO’s work in the field of MIL and Global MIL Week 2019 aims to address the disparities in information and engagement, inspiring us to move forward towards the SDGs.

Events in Ghana

1. Launch @Penplusbytes: October 24

More than 200 invited guests, taken from CSO’s, MiL educators, intergovernmental organizations, education institutions, media professionals, research groups, educators, policy makers, regulators and practitioners will participate in this event to be held at the NEW MEDIA HUB in Osu Ako Adjei. The event will have three speakers including the UNESCO Representative to Ghana, highlighting key and emerging concepts in MiL and the impact a lack of MiL awareness is likely to have on the democratic space in Ghana.

2. Roundtable @ AUCC

Twenty MiL educators, technology intermediaries and other practitioners will meet for a half day roundtable discussion. The focus will be on what can be done to promote/teach MIL in a way that responds to medium-term issues as well as shorter term challenges like promoting tolerance and social inclusion, elections, and participation in governance processes. The outcome; a policy brief, will be presented to the Minister of Information as well as to the Ministry of Communication.

3. Ethics and Digital Film Production Workshop @NAFTI

Ethics are a constant issue that are raised when embarking on a film, particularly when filming a documentary (real people in real life situations). It is most important to consider the subjects in the film and what content will be portrayed to the audience. There is a careful balance between choices of power and style that needs to be created between the filmmaker, the subject and the audience in order to produce an ethically sound film.

Our partners at NAFTI will give a selected group of sixteen young people an opportunity to further develop their knowledge and understanding of ethical issues that may arise when operating digital technologies. The workshop will cover issues like transparency in data processing, what are the necessary conditions to be acknowledged as a trustworthy actor in the realm of digital technologies etc.

Overall, we hope that we can build a critical mass of practitioners who reflect deeply on the impact that different technologies will have on human existence and how it impact our political, social, and moral existence.

4. Seminar @ GIJ: October 25

In this knowledge transfer type project, fifteen SHS students and eight first year students of the Ghana institute of journalism will be put in two separate seminars that help them appreciate media content production. They will then be placed on a three-day intensive internship programme with selected newsrooms to live out the theory of content production using new digital tools. The participants’ experiences and observations will be documented and played back to news editors and other norm entrepreneurs, who seeing through the lenses of these MiL trained ambassadors, will see what needs improvement in their content generation methods if they are to be considered MiL champions.

5. End of MiL Week Awards Ceremony: October 30 or 31 (TBC)

In what will be a night full of glitz and glamour, the 2019 MIL week will end with an awards ceremony. The Award Ceremony will be a semi-live event, will run simultaneously with a similar event in Namibia bringing together all the partners and participants of the various, seminars, workshops and competitions that Penplusbytes has partnered to deliver.

The winners of the video competition will receive awards as will the participants of the knowledge transfer project who tell the best and most reflective MiL stories.

6. Spot the Fake  Quiz Competition: October 23(Smart Classroom / LECIAD, University of Ghana) 3pm-7pm

Idea: A quiz competition to assess young people’s ability to tell between factual and non-factual information. Target: Information and Communication studies students from tertiary institutions in the Greater Accra Region. The event is expected to bring together 150 participants (including contestants), selected from eleven tertiary institutions who offer information and communication studies programmes in the Greater Accra Region.

7. MIL Training for Tertiary  Students: November 1 (Smart Classroom / LECIAD, University of Ghana) 9.00am  -1.00pm

A training session will be organised for students from the selected communication schools that took part in the Quiz Competition. This training will focus on educating the students on how to discover whether a piece of information is true or not and will be facilitated by resource persons who will address issues on content and source verification. The session will also educate students on the various new media tools that can be used to verify or fact check information in social media and also in some traditional media. Tools such as reverse image search on Google chrome and Invid verification plug will be discussed.

8. Spot the fake TV segment

During the MIL week, the School also intends to collaborate with GHOne television to launch a short segment, ‘Spot the fake’, to help educate the public on media content verification. The minute-long segment will enable us educate the youth on the need to filter through information that are useful to them and those that are not.

Television is the best medium to use because of its audio-visual feature, also GHOne TV stands out as the media targeted at young people, therefore, it is the best channel to utilize for this exercise. This segment will be an inset on the Late Afternoon Show which airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 4pm. The show is used to discuss social issues as well as issues trending on social media. This makes it very ideal for this exercise.

Target audience: Young people between the ages of 15-25 years

Monday: Photo-shopped Images

Wednesday: Edited videos

Friday: Satire posts

Audiences will be given the chance to text their answers to the presenter, afterwards the presenter will brief them on what the misinformed contents are, based on justifiable reasons.

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