The week 24th-31st October is Global Media and Information Literacy Week. For those unfamiliar with this week, it is a time celebrated by UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation). This week is held to promote the equal rights to communicate, the rights of freedom of expression, equal access to digital technology, fair access to knowledge, and to empower people's critical thinking when receiving information online.
To celebrate this week, Open Lens Media staff and our Lighthouse Lens Reporters have written about what Media and Information Literacy means to them.
As we are currently living in a time where digital communication is more common than ever I feel it is crucial for young people to understand the importance of how to interact with different groups. Taking a moment to consider how they would address someone like their employer by email or writing in a group chat with their peers will increase their online awareness and lead to better working practices.
There is still a huge digital divide across the world and in the UK between groups of people that are excluded from accessing the Internet and digital technology, and those with access. This week is important as the Internet is increasingly finding its way into all areas of life, and so work should be done to reduce the divide in order for all people to experience the benefits of the Internet.
The use of technology continues to impact our daily life and way of working. It is important that everyone has equal access and receives a digital education so they are equipped with the knowledge, skills and literacy to navigate digital platforms.
If you didn’t know, Media Literacy education provides tools to help people have the ability to analyse messages, helps improve skills whilst sending media messages, and offers many opportunities for learners to strengthen their personal experience of the Media. I believe that it is important for young people to know about the history of Media as it is developing rapidly over the years and improves communication skills in many positive ways, as ‘60% of teachers’ think that fake news published onto the media is harming youngster’s well-being and so Global Media and Information Literacy Week works to tackle that issue.
I believe that Global Media and Information Literacy Week is important as it brings awareness to the wider population that knowing information about the Internet and Media also knowing how to use it, can help across the world. I also believe it’s good for young people to know the importance and be aware of this week as us young people work mainly with Media and can be led to hearing “fake news”, and knowing information about Media might help us to know what disinformation is and how we should know the difference. Besides that, the Internet is a great way of expressing yourself such as using TikTok and having fun. Media helps us to connect with family members and friends near and far, but it’s important to know how we use it.