Media Literacy Days to focus on respect in media, recognising fake news

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ZAGREB, April 1 (Hina)

Science and Education Minister Blazenka Divjak and Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Korzinek, representatives of UNICEF and the Electronic Media Agency on Monday presented the 2nd Media Literacy Days, which will be held on April 8-12 and focus on critical thinking, respect in the media and recognising fake news.

The event was organised by the Agency and UNICEF and will comprise more than 180 events in over 60 towns, including lectures, workshops and film screenings in cooperation with schools, libraries, cinemas, media and cultural institutions from all over Croatia.

Divjak: Media literacy is crucial in fighting against fake news

A programme called "Children get to know the media" is already being implemented to give students a chance to learn how the media work, how news are created and how to recognise fake news, it was said at the presentation at Zagreb's School of Graphics, Design and Media Production.

Minister Divjak said that as of this autumn, as part of the curricular reform, media literacy would be taught as part of many subjects and that the reform itself emphasised critical thinking. Media literacy is key in the fight against fake news on social networks, in the media and society as a whole, she added.

It is therefore important to connect media literacy with other types of literacy so that we can recognise fake news or pseudoscience, she said. We must be aware of the wealth of information and material we receive through the media, while at the same time adopting ways to approach information and judge if a source is reliable, she added.

Obuljen Korzinek: Regulations or punishment deal with consequences

Minister Obuljen Korzinek said inappropriate content in the media and on social networks, hate speech, manipulation and news sharing were a big problem which could be fought against by promoting media literacy.

"Regulations or subsequent punishment can only deal with the consequences, but it is more important that as many citizens as possible be taught how to recognise inappropriate content and refrain from sharing it."

Electronic Media Council vice president Robert Tomljenovic said only media literacy offered protection from disinformation, manipulation and fraud. Media education must be lifelong and it requires a systematic, strategic and coordinated national approach to media literacy, he added.

The acting head of UNICEF's Croatian office, Djurdjica Ivkovic, warned that violent and inappropriate content on the internet was easily accessible to children and said parents and teachers should be provided with quality media literacy material.

Taken from: Hina

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