Media Literacy Education for Youth Held Amid Social Changes During the Pandemic

 

On June 19, the webinar ‘What We Can Do for Peace: Media Literacyโ€™ education was hosted online by the Public Relations Department of Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) and the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG). The participants included lecturer Mr. Nabeel Tirmazi, a Broadcasting Consultant & Programme Manager of Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD), and forty youths and journalists from Bangladesh and Pakistan.

According to HWPL, the Media Literacy education can promote the development of democracy and citizens’ right to active decision-making through necessary knowledge and technical education so that citizens around the world can live as critical and active media consumers.

The first part of the lecture was titled “Media Literacy & Netizenship in the Age of Disinformation,” and the second was titled “Media Literacy for Peace.”

In February, Mr. Nabeel Tirmazi gave a presentation under the topic of “Media in the Times of Infodemic” during an international webinar of Asian and African media hosted by HWPL. He insisted, โ€œBy the generalization of digital media, netizens are shape their sociopolitical identity in online. Information disorders increase witnessed in time spent by the netizens on consuming online news onlineโ€ and โ€œThe traditional media is facing a lot of pressure in balancing its credibility and coping with the fast-paced breakings on social media.โ€ Therefore, he emphasized, โ€To make them a responsible netizen, they should also be educated in identifying and misinformation and disinformation which they come across on the internet.โ€

Public Relations Department of HWPL mentioned, “Citizens should distinguish misinformation and disinformation through the ability of media literacy and get useful information from various media to make their lives more positive and productive,” and “Our lives can develop, and we can realize peace when the producers, consumers, and distributors of the media play their roles correctly.”

Mr. Mostafijur Rahman Nasim, Senior Editor of Risingbd said, โ€œThe number of online users didnโ€™t cross-check the information found online. Even smart people like students spread wrong information, share propaganda, or post fake news and information. Thus, this kind of online awareness program can play a vital role.โ€

Mr. Abdus Sabur, Press Assistant Manager of Young Power Social in Action (YPSA) said, โ€œIt will be able to improve the democratic civic awareness of young people by understanding the new mechanism of the media through media literacy.โ€ He also said, โ€œIn Bangladesh, the illiteracy rate is high and youth use a lot of social media. Therefore, the media literacy education is essential for youth in this situation.โ€

In the future, to foster youth leadership with democratic communication skills, HWPL is planning to continue providing media literacy education for South Asian youth organizations that seek true media and demand peace.