Launch of Media and Information Literacy Week
Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah on Friday kicked off the 10th Global Media and Information Literacy (MIL) week, scheduled for October 24-31, to improve the dissemination of factual information.
The annual event, which was instituted by UNESCO, would be commemorated globally on the theme: âMedia and Information Literacy for the Public Goodâ, in order to improve education and the skills of the public on the effective use of information obtained from the media space.
Mr. Oppong Nkrumah acknowledged the hard work done over the years by Penplusbytes, a non-governmental organization, UNESCO and other partners. He noted that the event was a major opportunity for stakeholders to review and celebrate progress towards MIL for all.
The minister said that with the current exponential rise in disinformation, political polarization, the growing influence of digital platforms and the Covid-19 pandemic, it has become more crucial to fight for the dissemination of factual, timely information. , targeted, clear, accessible, multilingual, and scientific information.
Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said that human societies were built on language, information and communication, therefore, these data must possess true and contextually relevant, and pure qualities, asserting that âinformation contributes greatly to frame the narrative of the company and to shape their attitudes “.
He said that information literacy was crucial for socio-economic development and that the need to build the skills of individuals and societies to be able to analyze data, in any form, was essential to help them understand. contribute significantly to the country’s growth.
He further added that advanced democracies have prioritized improving the education and skills of their citizens on the effective source of information and its use.
The Information Minister said that false information could lead to the deaths of many people as the Covid-19 pandemic, and called for enhanced collaboration of stakeholders to improve public education in all sectors to ” help build the skills of the media and consumers for better analysis of the information they receive.
He said the Ministry of Information, in its quest to build the capacity of media professionals to disseminate quality information, instituted the Minister’s Press Conference Series and other media building programs. capacities for various target groups, especially young people.
Ms Juliet Amoah, executive director of Penplusbytes, said the MIL Index showed young people, aged 15 to 25, who used smartphones, were on Tiktok, Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp, and often faced the cyberbullying and other abuses. .
She said her organization had consistently provided training to young people and others, including media professionals, to provide information that would help protect them from such abuse.
Ms Amoah said activities for the week would include dialogues on youth engagement, a road show and the unveiling of a dubbed documentary; âRumor Seriesâ, aimed at educating the public on how misinformation shared could negatively impact society.
Messages of solidarity were sent by partners including UNESCO Ghana, DW Akademie, Department of Communication Studies, University of Ghana and Ghana Institute of Journalism, who pledged to support improvement media and information education for all.