The first Media literacy days in Croatia
Zagreb, 13 April 2018 – The Agency for Electronic Media and UNICEF presented the Media Literacy Days project in Jure Kaštelan Elementary School in Zagreb. From 19 to 21 April, a series of activities aimed at educating and informing children, parents, kindergarten teachers and teachers on the importance of media literacy will be held all over Croatia.
“We are very glad that a large number of schools, kindergartens, universities, libraries, organisations and media are participating in this project, and that the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Science and Education strongly support it. In the digital world, we are exposed to ever-increasing amounts of information, and it is often a challenge to pick out the good quality, true and relevant information. This is why media literacy is a key skill that we must help children and young people to develop”, said Robert Tomljenović, the deputy to the President of the Council for Electronic Media.
Research conducted by Ipsos for the Agency for Electronic Media and UNICEF has shown that citizens are also very much aware of this: as many as 81% of citizens believe that children are not sufficiently educated on the influence of media on children and adults. Speaking of media influence on children, they are most concerned about violence in the media, safety on the internet, and the amount of time children and young people spend glued to a screen.
“Media are a large part of children’s lives, so it is extremely important that we help them develop media literacy skills. The Media Literacy Days are our response to the need of children and parents for support in developing such skills”, said Valentina Otmačić, Head of UNICEF Office for Croatia.
As part of the Children Meet Media activity, pupils will visit the leading media institutions where they will learn how news is created, and, with the help of experts, they will also have the opportunity to create news. During the Media Literacy Days, lectures and workshops for children and adults will be held at many kindergartens, schools, libraries and organisations, while for parents and grandparents, a short guidebook on using media in the family will be available. Materials for work with children have been compiled in cooperation with local experts in the field of media literacy.
The Minister of Culture, Nina Obuljen Koržinek, stated: “Media literacy is certainly one of the essentials in the education of future media consumers and in stimulating high-quality media production which has a direct effect on the development of creative industries and attracting and creating new audiences. Media literacy is an important skill and knowledge for life in the world where fake news, alternative facts and hate speech are on the rise. Independent cinemas and libraries are also taking part in the Media Literacy Days, and these are the places where different media literacy projects, workshops, seminars or indoor playgrounds can take place, not only for children and young people but also for older people who need society’s help to navigate through the world of digital information”.
“Medial literacy is particularly relevant in the context of increasing fake news. Therefore, in the curricular reform that we will start implementing experimentally this autumn, media literacy is planned as a competence pupils will develop in many different subjects, such as Croatian, Informatics, Mathematics, and Biology, and through different cross-curricular topics, such as Using Information and Communication Technologies and Personal and Social Development. This way, we will develop children’s critical thinking and evaluation skills, because it is important they are able to recognise verified and true information from among all the information we are drowning in”, said Blaženka Divjak, Minister of Science and Education, at the presentation of the Media Literacy Days at Jure Kaštelan Elementary School in Zagreb.
The first Media Literacy Days are sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Science and Education. The project is supported by the Association for Communication and Media Culture, Carnet, the Croatian Film Association, Croatian Radiotelevision, Nova TV, RTL, Večernji list, Jutarnji list, Glas Slavonije, Slobodna Dalmacija, Novi list, Tportal, Media servis and Yammat FM.
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