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Awards at Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2016: The first rocks of a big avalanche

News - Wed, 16/11/2016 - 10:22

The Global MIL Awards is spearheaded by the UNESCO-initiated Global Alliance for Partnership on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL), the Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue University Network (MILID Network) with the support of UNESCO and UNAOC.

MIL moving in the right direction

The three awarded recipients were selected by a diverse Committee from among over 70 applications around the globe. The joint awardees, Ms. Divina Frau-Meigs and Ms. Bérangère Blondeau were hailed by UNESCO’s Alton Grizzle as being “academician, advocates and practitioners of MIL”. One example of this pair’s work is a DIY - Do It Yourself – MIL MOOC. It provides life-long teacher training in MIL, a field not taught at university though part of public policies in many countries. “We worked at creating a community of the MOOC and expanding it worldwide. It is question based and is always about producing an outcome. I think it is very characteristics of what I would like all the GAPMIL community to be. We have come a long way in MIL and moved from a very protectionist approach to more participatory and creative approach” concluded Ms. Frau-Meigs. UNESCO is promoting a proliferation of Massively Open Online Course (MOOC) on MIL to increase peoples access to MIL training, with versions in English and Arabic language.

“As the danger is increasing so is the salvation”

Mr. Röhlinger founded Radijojo World Children's Media Network in 2003 in Germany. Since then he has been working on empowering children using MIL for intercultural dialogue, peace, health, environmental education and North-South cooperation. Working on four continents, Radijojo has been creating an educative children media safe haven, free of commercial, religious, political propaganda or hate speech. “Recognitions help, they are a bit like a shield in difficult situations if you try to enter various countries to build trust and bridges. Sometimes doors are opened when it is communicated that UNESCO stands for MIL. Every time I go to Morocco I think to myself: we have trained 40 kids and another 20 educators, but how many of those who are really in touch with radical thoughts do we reach? We are seeing just the first rocks of the big avalanche on MIL. As one German philosopher has said it: If the danger is increasing, salvation is increasing as well. Let’s hope that GAPMIL is part of this and powerful enough” said Mr. Röhlinger.

Empowerment of communities in Thailand

The Child and Youth Media Institute (CYMI) in Thailand was founded in 2006, developing systems to create and disseminate positive media for the benefit of children, young people, families and society at large. The work of the Institute is embracing the government sector, media proprietors and producers, business and social sectors, communities, families, as well as children and young people. “We have been working for many years to support numerous communities to use and produce the media. We hope our work will help reduce conflict and violence in Thai society at both community and national level” said Mr. Athapol Anunthavorasakul, Director of the Thai Civic Education Center who collected the award on behalf of the organization.

Global MIL Week and General Assembly important for GAPMIL

This is the second annual MIL Award - last year awardees were Ms. Tessa Jolls, Director and CEO of Centre for Media Literacy and Mr. Jad Melki from the Digital Media Literacy Lab. This Global MIL Week has been a very important event for GAPMIL holding their first General Assembly, and bringing together members and stakeholders from all regions of the world. The Assembly also provided the opportunity to operationalize the sub-committees of GAPMIL, developing action plans to address certain specific themes: Advocacy, Capacity building and training, Policy and Practice, Youth and Research.  

“We are preparing a formal report as the outcome of the Global MIL Week based on recommendations of our GAPMIL members and from the regional chapters and thematic subcommittees” said Ms. Carolyn Wilson, Chair of the Interim International Steering Committee for GAPMIL.  She highlighted the common cause that has been uniting everyone, and that is media and information literacy for all. “And because of that common goal we have been able to work across regions, nations, institutions, to really strategize, collaborate, plan and to dream, a little bit, about what is possible and what we can do” Ms. Wilsons concluded. She thanked UNESCO for its vision and global leadership of MIL for all.

Global MIL Week 2016 was led by UNESCO in cooperation with General Assembly of the Global Alliance for Partnerships in Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL), UNAOC and the Media and Information and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) University Network.  The Global MIL Week 2016 Feature event was celebrated from 2-5 November 2016 in São Paulo, Brazil.

Celebrations of the Global MIL Week 2016 around the globe

News - Wed, 16/11/2016 - 10:11

Events around the world included workshops – such as for youth, as well as forums, virtual meetings, exhibitions, and campus screenings. View the events’ map.

The theme of the Global MIL week was New Paradigms for Intercultural Dialogue.

The MIL Week 2016 Feature event attracted interest globally with more than 200 submissions from over 60 countries in response to the call for paper and presentation proposals. Participants in the Feature Event – throughout four days consisting of 5 plenary sessions, 22 round tables and a full day devoted to youth – in concerted voices insisted on the indispensability of MIL to all individuals in today’s societies. Here are some highlights.

Radicalization and extremism: It’s not always about poverty, it’s also about the anger

It was heard throughout the Feature Event that the shifting media and information landscape, that profoundly influences our decisions and actions, is becoming more focused on feelings, rather than on facts – how something seems rather than what something really is.

“This raises the need for stronger inclusion of MIL initiatives in formal, non-formal and informal education, in order to foster the development of critical thinking” highlighted Mr. Alton Grizzle, Programme Specialist from UNESCO.

It was also suggested that anger, and not poverty, is often fueling young people into radicalization and extremism. Mr. Jordi Torrent from UNAOC (United Nations Alliance of Civilizations) and Mr. Olunufesi Suraj, a professor from the Lagos State University – suggested that MIL initiatives should be designed for those who are susceptible to engagement with radical and terrorist groups.

Counter narratives as counter-measures

The UNESCO-commissioned research presented by Ms. Divina Frau Meigs shows that the field of online radicalization of young people is still largely under-researched and under-theorized. The precise role of the Internet in the radicalization process needs to be explored with more care. The research acknowledges the efficiency of online propaganda but tends to describe the Internet as a facilitating environment rather than a driving force for radicalization. “There seems to be a developing trend for online counter-measures that are context-sensitive and challenge extremist representation, claims and hate speeches. Pro-active strategies tend to take two major forms: online counter-narratives and grassroots anti-propaganda initiatives, offline and online” said Ms. Frau Meigs.

Connecting youth across cultures – privacy important but neglected

The day devoted to youth at the Feature Event in Sao Paolo explored the avenues of infusing intercultural dialogue and tolerance into this connected world. Throughout two plenary sessions and more than 10 hands-on workshops, youth and adults debated on the importance of learning about different cultures, dispelling stereotypes, preventing radicalization and promoting safety and privacy online.

Ms. Adama Lee Bah, Head of the Interim GAPMIL Youth Committee stressed the importance of equal access to the media regardless of gender – as many cultures have lower expectations for girls than for boys. She also underlined the significance of privacy protection in youth involvement with the media.

On the same subject of privacy, Ms. Sherry Hope Culver presented the research conducted by Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) University Network and UNESCO. In its first findings, the research shows the vast majority of the youth surveyed indicated that privacy was important to them, 74%. However, it also shows that privacy is minimally addressed in MIL Education.

“Since 2014, Cyberspace Administration of China has hosted an annual event of ‘National Cybersecurity Week’, joining the efforts from government, agencies, enterprises and research institutes to raise peoples’ awareness of cyber security and to teach them the way of protecting themselves from harmful information on Internet, such as pornography, violence and terrorism” said Ms. Sun Aiping from Cyberspace administration of China.

Changing of both education and journalism

The profound shift in teaching and learning was at the focus of many conference sessions. Characterized by a content-centered system of education with information that is memorized, this system it is challenged by the existing instant access to knowledge. This also rises the need for MIL skills, to be used in the evaluation of information. In that sense, the libraries are also changing and becoming places of curation of information. Together with museums and archives, they are becoming more aware of their evolving role, providing support for their users not just to access information, but to have skills to process it as well.

The definition of journalism, as explained by Mr. Wilfried Runde, from Deutsche Welle (DW) Innovation team is also evolving. He presented the famous Carl Bernstein’s explanation of journalism as “the best obtainable version of the truth” and its development into “best obtainable version of data to reveal the truth”.

Global MIL Week 2016 was led by UNESCO in cooperation with the General Assembly of the Global Alliance for Partnerships in Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL), UNAOC and the Media and Information and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) University Network. The Global MIL Week 2016 Feature Event was celebrated from 2-5 November 2016 in São Paulo, Brazil.

In preparations for the Global MIL Week 2016, UNESCO launched a call for global projects, initiatives and voluntary commitments in order to create a database of global projects and initiatives on MIL. With 26 submissions received so far, the call will be ongoing until 2017.

UNESCO seeks to end crimes against journalists

News - Mon, 14/11/2016 - 17:39
"Governments should support measures to protect journalists," said Frank La Rue, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, at the ceremony dedicated to the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, which was recently held in Bogota.

Guidelines for media ethical audits: Send us your feedback

News - Mon, 14/11/2016 - 17:36
A series of internal audits will be performed, under a UNESCO project, by media outlets from South East Europe and Turkey to address a number of challenging questions, such as how does your media company protect its editorial independence and respect national and international labour standards, including trade union recognition. Issues of collective bargaining and gender equality as well as provision of health and life insurance to vulnerable staff members will also be tackled.

La Directrice générale déplore la mort du journaliste Mahad Ali Mohamed en Somalie

Actualités - Mon, 14/11/2016 - 15:51

« Je déplore la mort de Mahad Ali Mohamed », a déclaré la Directrice générale. « La violence à l’encontre des journalistes ne constitue pas seulement un crime contre des personnes mais aussi une attaque contre la société tout entière, qui met à mal à la fois les droits des peuples à l’information et le droit humain universel à la liberté d’expression ».

Mahad Ali Mohamed, reporter à Radio Codka Mudug, a été tué par une balle perdue alors qu’il se rendait au travail et a succombé à ses blessures peu de temps après à l’hôpital.

La Directrice générale publie des communiqués sur le meurtre des professionnels des médias conformément à la résolution 29 adoptée par les Etats membres de l’UNESCO au cours de la Conférence générale de 1997 intitulée « Condamnation de la violence contre les journalistes ». Une liste complète des journalistes assassinés ayant fait l’objet d’une condamnation par l’UNESCO est disponible en ligne.

 

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Contact médias: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at)unesco.org,  +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

L’UNESCO est l’agence des Nations Unies dont la mission consiste à défendre la liberté d’expression et la liberté de la presse. En vertu de l’Article premier de son Acte constitutif, l’Organisation est tenue « d’assurer le respect universel de la justice, de la loi, des droits de l’homme et des libertés fondamentales pour tous, sans distinction de race, de sexe, de langue, ou de religion, que la Charte des Nations Unies reconnaît à tous les peuples ». À cette fin, elle « favorise la connaissance et la compréhension mutuelle des nations en prêtant son concours aux organes d’information des masses ; elle recommande, à cet effet, tels accords internationaux qu’elle juge utiles pour faciliter la libre circulation des idées, par le mot et par l’image ».

 

 

 

La Directrice générale demande une enquête sur le meurtre du propriétaire de radio communautaire Jairo de Oliveira Silva au Brésil

Actualités - Mon, 14/11/2016 - 10:43

« Je condamne le meurtre Jairo de Oliveira Silva », a déclaré la Directrice générale. « J’appelle les autorités à diligenter une enquête sur ce cas et à traduire les auteurs en justice. L’impunité pour les crimes contre les journalistes ne doit pas être tolérée afin de ne pas encourager ceux qui ont recours à la violence pour museler la liberté d’expression et limiter le droit de la société à être informée ».

Jairo de Oliveira Silva, qui détenait la radio communautaire Vorgel FM, a été abattu à son domicile le 16 octobre

La Directrice générale publie des communiqués sur le meurtre des professionnels des médias conformément à la résolution 29 adoptée par les Etats membres de l’UNESCO au cours de la Conférence générale de 1997 intitulée « Condamnation de la violence contre les journalistes ». Une liste complète des journalistes assassinés ayant fait l’objet d’une condamnation par l’UNESCO est disponible en ligne.

 

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Contact médias: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at)unesco.org,  +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

L’UNESCO est l’agence des Nations Unies dont la mission consiste à défendre la liberté d’expression et la liberté de la presse. En vertu de l’Article premier de son Acte constitutif, l’Organisation est tenue « d’assurer le respect universel de la justice, de la loi, des droits de l’homme et des libertés fondamentales pour tous, sans distinction de race, de sexe, de langue, ou de religion, que la Charte des Nations Unies reconnaît à tous les peuples ». À cette fin, elle « favorise la connaissance et la compréhension mutuelle des nations en prêtant son concours aux organes d’information des masses ; elle recommande, à cet effet, tels accords internationaux qu’elle juge utiles pour faciliter la libre circulation des idées, par le mot et par l’image ».

 

 

Director-General condemns killing of journalist Mahad Ali Mohamed in Somalia

News - Thu, 10/11/2016 - 17:32

“I condemn the killing of Mahad Ali Mohamed,” the Director-General said. “Violence against journalists represents not only a crime against individuals but an attack on society as a whole since it undermines both people’s right to be kept informed and the universal human right that is freedom of expression.”

Mohamed, a reporter for Radio Codka Mudug, was shot in collateral damage on his way to work and died in hospital a short time later.

The Director-General of UNESCO issues statements on the killing of media workers in line with Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference of 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.” These statements are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.

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Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at)unesco.org, +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”

 

Director-General urges investigation into the murder of community radio owner Jairo de Oliveira Silva in Brazil

News - Thu, 10/11/2016 - 17:29

“I condemn the murder of Jairo de Oliveira Silva,” said the Director-General. “I call on the authorities to investigate this case and bring its culprits to trial. Impunity for crimes against journalists must not be allowed to embolden those who use violence to muzzle freedom of expression and restrict society’s right to be informed.”

Jairo de Oliveira Silva, who owned and worked at community radio Vorgel FM, was shot in his home on 16 October.

The Director-General of UNESCO issues statements on the killing of media workers in line with Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference of 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.” These statements are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.

 

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Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at)unesco.org, +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”

 

 

La Directrice générale déplore la mort du journaliste Nematullah Zahir en Afghanistan

Actualités - Thu, 10/11/2016 - 15:22

« Je déplore la mort de Nemattullah Zahir », a déclaré la Directrice générale. « Il est essentiel que les autorités et les organes de presse en Afghanistan fassent tout ce qui est en leur pouvoir pour améliorer la sécurité des employés des médias. Dans le cadre des efforts déployés pour sauver des vies et permettre aux médias de continuer à informer le public, l’UNESCO et ses partenaires ont publié un guide pour les journalistes exerçant dans des situations à haut-risque que j’invite toutes les personnes concernées à prendre en considération ».

Nemattullah Zahir, reporter pour la chaîne Ariana TV, a été tué par une bombe près de la ville de Lashkar Gah alors qu’il se rendait sur les lieux d’un tournage.

La Directrice générale publie des communiqués sur le meurtre des professionnels des médias conformément à la résolution 29 adoptée par les Etats membres de l’UNESCO au cours de la Conférence générale de 1997 intitulée « Condamnation de la violence contre les journalistes ». Une liste complète des journalistes assassinés ayant fait l’objet d’une condamnation par l’UNESCO est disponible en ligne.

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Contact médias: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at)unesco.org,  +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

L’UNESCO est l’agence des Nations Unies dont la mission consiste à défendre la liberté d’expression et la liberté de la presse. En vertu de l’Article premier de son Acte constitutif, l’Organisation est tenue « d’assurer le respect universel de la justice, de la loi, des droits de l’homme et des libertés fondamentales pour tous, sans distinction de race, de sexe, de langue, ou de religion, que la Charte des Nations Unies reconnaît à tous les peuples ». À cette fin, elle « favorise la connaissance et la compréhension mutuelle des nations en prêtant son concours aux organes d’information des masses ; elle recommande, à cet effet, tels accords internationaux qu’elle juge utiles pour faciliter la libre circulation des idées, par le mot et par l’image ».

 

 

 

Internet Universality R.O.A.M Principles advocated at the 2nd General Assembly of the MAPPING Project

News - Wed, 09/11/2016 - 16:06

UNESCO representative Ms. Xianhong Hu dialogued with UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy, Prof. Joe Cannataci, on the issue of balancing the rights to freedom of expression and reputation in the digital age. Ms Hu informed the Assembly that UNESCO’s Member States have endorsed the Internet Universality framework and the R.O.A.M. Principles, which advocate for a human-Rights based, Open, Accessible Internet governed by Multi-stakeholder participation.

By promoting the R.O.A.M principles, Internet Universality framework serves as a bridge to preserve a free, open and trusted Internet, which contributes to the realization of Internet-enabled Knowledge Societies and the achievement of 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Internet Universality provides further reference points to consider the possible impact of balancing freedom of expression and privacy on those broader dimensions of Openness, Accessibility and Multi-stakeholder participation, in addition to the normal international standards as set out by Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

In line with this approach, UNESCO has collaborated with Prof. Joe Cannataci and his team at University of Groningen on a research called “Privacy, free expression and transparency: Redefining their new boundaries in the digital age”. The research specifically addresses the interplay between the right to freedom of expression, the right to privacy, and the related value of transparency in the Internet era.

Joris Van Hoboken, the UNESCO-commissioned expert on the new research “Human Rights and Encryption”, also presented some key outcomes on the opportunities and challenges of cryptographic techniques for human rights in the Internet era.

Both studies, as two new editions of the UNESCO Internet Freedom Series, will be launched online and at the forthcoming Internet Governance Forum in Mexico in December.

UNESCO has collaborated with and contributed to the MAPPING Project since 2014. Funded by the European Union, this initiative focuses on the interlinked fields of Intellectual Property Rights, Privacy and Internet Governance, with the aim of creating a common understanding of diverse aspects of Internet developments in relation to their consequences on society at large. Mobilizing a variety of ICT-related stakeholders, it seeks to improve the climate of innovation in the European Union, notably by capitalizing and debating existing legal frameworks, innovation policies and business models related to the Digital Agenda for Europe. UNESCO was represented in this year’s General Assembly of Mapping project among more than 100 experts and key stakeholders from across the world.

Director-General deplores the death of journalist Nematullah Zahir in Afghanistan

News - Tue, 08/11/2016 - 11:36

“I deplore the killing of Nematullah Zahir,” said the Director-General. “It is essential that the authorities as well as media organizations in Afghanistan do all they can to improve the safety of media workers. As part of the drive to save lives and enable the media to continue informing the public, UNESCO and its partners have published guidebook for journalists in high-risk environments, which I call on all concerned to heed.”

Nematullah Zahir, a reporter for Ariana TV, was killed by a bomb near the city of Lashkar Gah while driving on a reporting assignment.

The Director-General of UNESCO issues statements on the killing of media workers in line with Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference of 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.” These statements are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.

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Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at)unesco.org, +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”

 

International conference urges alternative online narratives to extremist propaganda on the internet

News - Tue, 08/11/2016 - 11:19

Throughout the event, 500 participants from some 70 countries stressed that violent extremism does not reflect the tenets of any religion, culture or ethnic group. 

At the conference, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, emphasized that responding to extremists’ use of the internet required the engagement of a digital citizenry, educated to exercise critical thinking: “I see this as a new global struggle of ideas, a struggle for hearts and minds. Young women and men must have knowledge to claim humanity's cultural heritage and diversity as their own and they must have skills to build dialogue through diversity. This means nurturing the internet's full potential for peace," she argued.

“We cannot fight alone. We need the international community to cooperate and strengthen efforts to prevent youth radicalization and fight against violent extremism in all its forms,” said Chafica Haddad, Chair of UNESCO’s Information for All Programme (IFAP), a co-organizer of the conference.  

Speakers also voiced commitment to freedom of expression online and encouraged all stakeholders to facilitate access to all information and communication platforms, and promote narratives that condemn violence and hate speech, promote inclusion, equality, intercultural dialogue and peace.  

Anantha Kumar Duraiappah, Director of the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP), said we needed “to fire the Gandhi neurons of young people,” emphasizing the value of, and need for; compassion, empathy, and moral courage. 

Internet is not the problem, contended many participants. “We should work on why young people yield to propaganda and messages for youth radicalization,” said one young participant, Kouakou Wilfried from Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, who reflected many experts’ view that youth radicalization could only be contained through a multidimensional approach. 

“Pulling hate material from the internet will never be enough to curb the phenomenon of violent extremism, because when one website goes down, two or three more are up the very next day,” explained Ross LaJeunesse, Head of International Relations at Google. “You need to engage the speakers who are promoting radicalization and hate online and prepare our communities to respond or counter them with better arguments and facts.”

“Most importantly we must engage young people in the consolidation of peace,” argued Ahmad Alhendawi, UN Special Envoy for Youth, recalling UN Resolution 2250, which calls for better representation of youth in decision making at all levels.

In his address, Mame Mbaye Niang, Senegal’s Minister of Youth, Employment and Civic Construction, insisted that unemployment and economic conditions played a far greater role in youth radicalization than do religion and culture. This point of view was echoed by Amadou Koïta, Mali’s Minister of Youth and Civic Construction, who spoke of his government’s initiatives in favour of youth employment and entrepreneurship.

On the last day of the conference, the Premier of Quebec, Philippe Couillard, and the Minister of International Relations and la Francophonie, Christine St-Pierre, launched the Call of Quebec that is to rally support for a responsible response to radicalization online.

It is never late to fight against impunity for crimes committed against journalists

News - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 15:22

The workshop was supported by UNESCO Beijing Office and attended by 40 participants representing capital city and provincial journalists, media associations, media council, national human rights institutions, lawyers, regulatory body CRC, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Independent Authority against Corruption and law enforcement bodies including criminal and investigative police departments, General Intelligence Agency, and General Prosecutors Office.

A Workshop “Never Late” on the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI) was jointly convened by Globe International Center, Mongolian Open Society Forum and the Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO on 2 November 2016 at the OSF Conference Hall in Ulaanbaatar, capital city of Mongolia. The workshop was supported by UNESCO Beijing Office and attended by 40 participants representing capital city and provincial journalists, media associations, media council, national human rights institutions, lawyers, regulatory body CRC, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Independent Authority against Corruption and law enforcement bodies including criminal and investigative police departments, General Intelligence Agency, and General Prosecutors Office.

The Workshop was moderated by Ms Naranjargal Khashkhuu, President & CEO of Globe International Center.

Ms Battsetseg Batmunkh, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Ms Uyanga Sukhbaatar, Secretary-General of the Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO delivered opening remarks for the Workshop. Ms B. Battsetseg in her opening remarks expressed the importance of journalistic works for serving public interests and stressed the increasing cases of impunity for crimes committed against journalists. She emphasized the activities conducted by the UNESCO in these fields and highlighted Mongolia’s duty and responsibility to provide safety of journalists as a Member of Human Rights Council. She stated that Mongolian Government in its 2016-2020 Action Plan included an objective to ensure freedom of expression, right to information and right to publish.

Ms S. Uyanga started her opening remarks by thanking attendees and organizers of this important event. She then highlighted the UN and UNESCO’s efforts to address the issue of impunity and safety of journalists. She stressed the killings of over 800 journalists recorded by UNESCO over ten years and emphasized that everyone’s safety who served to provide public’s right to information and everyone’s right to free expression should be ensured and their safety should be protected. Ms. S. Uyanga then called everyone to combine efforts in fighting against impunity for attacks against journalists.

During the Workshop a video of staged reading “Never Late” was performed to the participants. A 34 minutes staged reading is based on real story and was produced in the framework of a Campaigning on decriminalization defamation “Ask!” run by GIC in 2012 which was supported by the IFEX. It tells about a female journalist who exposed corruption involving high official and a Mining Company. Please visit this link to watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dJ3FxIH1Eg

Then Ms Naranjargal facilitated a discussion among participants on who is a journalist, what are his/her roles in the society and what types of violations against journalists’ rights, after which participants broke out into 4 groups to discuss violations of journalistic rights that faced by attendees or recently occurred and then choose significant one to ask legal advice from the experts attending the workshop including lawyers, officials from Prosecutor’s office, police, criminal police department and national human rights institutions. Each group raised a question and then informed on their case with comments of experts to other participants.

During the workshop, Ms Kh. Naranjargal gave a presentation on the theme “It is Never Late! to Ensure Safety of Journalists and End Impunity for Crimes committed against them”. Firstly, she introduced the participants about the UN Resolution and UN Action Plan on Safety of Journalists and Issue of Impunity. Then she illustrated overview of violations against journalists rights registered by GIC from 2006 to 2015 and highlighted cases of impunity for crimes committed against Mongolian journalists in the last five years stressing that perpetrators of most of these cases never punished. Then she informed on the SDG 16 and its Target 16.10 to ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms. Ms. Naranjargal outlined that UN calls upon States to promote a safe and enabling environment for journalists to perform their work independently and without undue interference by its Resolution 68/163 of 2013. Lastly, she highlighted the UPR recommendations that stated: to ensure that journalists, media workers as well as civil society activists are able to practice their activities freely without any fear for punishment in accordance with international standards; and to put in place safeguards ensuring that criticism of or reporting on the activities of state and regional authorities do not lead to persecution or harassment and stated that all these recommendations accepted by the Government. She finished her presentation by stating: It is Never Late to conduct investigations into all alleged violence against journalists and media workers, and let’s make efforts together for everyone’s right to know since everyone is a customer of media.

In the framework of the IDEI 2016, GIC organized the following activities:

Global MIL Week 2016: MIL at the heart of learning and education

News - Fri, 04/11/2016 - 17:58

Uncertainty – difficult task for education

Marco Antonio Zago, Rector of the University of Sao Paulo and the keynote speaker of the Feature event, underlined the “uncertain” times we live in. “Universities have a difficult task of educating for a time of uncertainty. We don’t know which technologies will be available but we know they will be different then today” he said, pointing out that “we need to look into strengthening the behaviors and abilities to take decisions, to communicate and argue and to train for future”. And this is a challenge as well as a responsibility. He noted that “Universities and sisters of Freedoms”.

“This conference provides us also with responsibility, to think critically about the purpose of MIL - what kind of society you want to live in. We are here to seize the opportunity that UNESCO provided,” said Carolyn Wilson, Chair of GAPMIL Interim International Steering Committee and instructor at Canada’s Western University.

How to measure the impact of MIL policies?

During the first plenary sessions, focusing on MIL as a tool for bridging the divide between learning and living in formal, informal and non-formal education, Alexandre Barbosa, Director of CETIC.br approached a critical issue of public policies – their impact (or lack of it) over the lives of youth in Brazil. Using researches conducted by CETIC, such as Brazilian Kids Online Survey, Barbosa highlighted that MIL can reduce the gap that exists the learning and every-day empirical experience in formal, non, formal and informal education environment.

Paulette Karr and Paulette Stewart from University in West Indies added another perspective on this: “Research done shows that technology issues were not at heart of the problem. It was more policy and infrastructure” they concluded. The importance of policy was also highlighted by Ismar Soares, professor at School of Communication and Arts at USPs stating that “this conference can promote the dialogue with public policies, so that we can empower educators in Brazils”.

“Learner at the centre of networked world”

Tessa Jolls, President of the Centre for Media Literacy, USA, noted that education reform is needed, as “through MIL learners are placed at the centre of a networked world and where MIL is brought to the center of all learning.” The first plenary session opened with a recollection that the 2 November is the International Day of Impunity for Crime Against Journalists and the appropriateness that Global MIL 2016 was opened on that day. Journalists were recognized as important information providers relevant to MIL, as are librarians, archivists, museum creators, researchers/academics. All were called to offer a moment of silence for journalists killed in 2015 and 2016.

Exciting time for MIL education

“Today the majority of our schools are still following the industrial revolution model; a bell signals when to start when we must start and finish, students are wearing uniforms, there is a professor”, highlighted Rosa Maria Vicari, UNESCO Chair in Information and Communication Technology in Education, adding that access to technology is viewed as a challenge. “The new media provide possibilities and opportunities, with many new models” she concluded at the round table session “Innovation in MIL Education: transforming learning in multimedia environment: best practices and pedagogical models for MIL and teacher’s education”.  The role of teachers was reinforced at other round table sessions as well, as having a fundamental role to teach MIL. Primary school education is very important but most of the teachers are not trained, thus integration of MIL to the curriculum of primary school teachers is crucial.

Intercultural impact and critical attitudes

MIL skills are also having a profound impact on intercultural dialogue. Prejudices often exist because of lack of knowledge; most people are afraid of what they don't know. Grassroots and everyday collaborative activities will contribute to reducing fear and promoting mutual understanding, and so can the media and journalists. “You need competencies on the other side to make sure journalism can work” said Dennis Reineck from Deutsche Welle (DW) Akademie.

He shared project done by DW in Cambodia and Palestine, where they focused on the use of social media and on rural population who were not aware how to use it. “There was a bit of knowledge there, but mostly it was about motivation among young people and along with the access develop critical attitudes” Reineck explained, highlighting that MIL competencies, among others, are knowing how media work and demanding media quality.

The Global MIL Week 2016 is led by UNESCO in cooperation with General Assembly of the Global Alliance for Partnerships in Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL), UNAOC and the Media and Information and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) University Network and hosted by University of Sao Paulo.  Global MIL Week’s Feature event is celebrated from 2- 5 November 2016 in São Paulo, Brazil.

Youth day at Global MIL Week: Critical thinking in focus

News - Fri, 04/11/2016 - 17:48

Critical Youth Engagement

At the first discussion panel young people shared innovative projects and experiences in production of information and media content for advocacy and positive social change. Ms. Adama Lee-Bah, Head of the Youth Sub-Committee of the Global Alliance for Partners on MIL (GAPMIL), in her opening remarks commended UNESCO for ensuring that youth plays a central role in the operation of GAPMIL. A dynamic young presenter, Ms. Eylam Leshem, member of the UNESCO-European Commission NET-MED Youth Working Group in Israel, shared the iThink a mobile application. This app helps people make informed decisions, which is part of MIL, through providing proposed legislation accessible, allowing people to directly vote and and express their opinion regarding individual bills, amendments and procedures.   

Youth leader, Mr. Abrahim Simmonds, Executive Director, Youth Empowerment through Culture, Arts and Nationalism (JAYECAN) noted that true empowerment comes through helping young people to realize and operationalize their inner resources and environment to make their own lives better, and MIL is a set of skills and competencies vital to this process.

Various ways of teaching MIL

Workshop “Thinking about new and innovative tools to promote Media and Information Literacy” from NET-MED Youth Project discussed various methods of teaching MIL. “The NET-MED Youth project has helped me develop skills and abilities to distinguish between media affiliated to certain interests and independent media by using mechanisms to analyze content, topics and speakers. This contributed to transform me from being only a recipient of information, to interacting with it. It has equipped me to not simply accept everything that is displayed on the screen as facts, but to work on criticizing and analyzing the content, and then accept it or not” said Sondos Faqeeh from Palestine.

Comment boxes as spaces for arguments

In another workshop the participants offered their opinions how can communication be improved.  “Here in Brazil the comment boxes on social media or newspaper websites, let me put it in the metaphoric words expressed by participants, are the place to vomit. We wanted to create an app to make people see news in context, how each article is part of the bigger context and think more how to connect the dots. Participants tried out the app and we received great feedback from them” said Jessica Tarasoff, workshop leader from the University of Sao Paulo.

Music as a way of teaching MIL

Telefonica Digital Education focused on music; Referencing to a recent Nobel prize recipient Bob Dylan who used his medium to get his literacy across, participants gathered in the workshop “Maker Experiences, MIDI Controller and 3D printing” assembling a music controller through both hardware and software.   

Using apps to learn about different cultures

Creating a situation where critical thinking and creative answers are required is a start for any kind of development and learning process about MILs. Technology can contribute to this “The workshop “Learning to learn with technology” engaged participants to learn about each other’s cultures using creative techniques, as well as to learn in more dynamic ways. “People are using this application to integrate different means of technology – everything from taking photos to doing videos to learn about each other” explained Mr. Jonas Sylvester Kaspersen, director of Organisational Development at Recrear International and workshop leader”.

Critical engagement and Non-violent communication

Recognizing violent elements in a media content was targeted in the workshop “Press, Violence, Youth: Tools for News Literacy” organized by different departments at University of Sao Paulo (USP). “We learned a lot about non-violent communication, and it was very important to see a lot of different aspects that make our communication violent and what can we do to have dialogue instead of sometimes just screaming at each other or voicing of opinions and not listening” said Ms. Julia Showlia from Sao Paulo who took part in a workshop.

“Media and information literacy starts with me”

It became easier than ever to voice opinions at all levels - locally and globally. But as UNESCO’s Alton Grizzle emphasized, no matter what is the method, the key lies within critical thinking.  Stakeholders around the world recognize the need for critical youth engagement to achieve sustainable development. Online spaces can be either a uniting or dividing force. On one hand, the internet can bring together people who would otherwise have never the opportunity to meet, allowing the to learn about each other’s culture firsthand, dispelling misleading stereotypes about each other. This first day of the Global MIL Week celebration in Sao Paulo ended with all participants loudly expressing the lesson learned: “Media and information literacy starts with me”

The Global MIL Week 2016 is led by UNESCO in cooperation with General Assembly of the Global Alliance for Partnerships in Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL), UNAOC and the Media and Information and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) University Network.  Global MIL Week is celebrated from 2-5 November 2016 in São Paulo, Brazil.

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