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The Media Literacy Week Inspired Hundreds of Pupils, Teachers and Parents to Read the Media Critically

30 October 2018
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Debates, workshops, round tables, focus groups, poster the photo contests, games, quizzes, visits to editorial offices, libraries and museums, meetings with journalists – all of these activities were conducted during the first edition of the Media Literacy Week from the 22nd to the 28th of October at the initiative of the Independent Journalism Centre.

The activities, the purpose of which was to promote critical thinking and the conscious consumption of information, were conducted beyond the optional school subject ‘Education for Media’. Under the guidance of their teachers, the pupils wrote articles for newspapers, simulated shows and organised radio contests and quizzes, flash-mobs, the focus being on media literacy. They also went to museums, where they learnt about the history and development of the mass-media, to editorial offices, where they saw what a media institution is like and how news writing works.

On the 23rd of October, the IJC organised in ‘Alexandru Ioan Cuza’ Lyceum a meeting with Radio Free Europe journalist – Diana Railean. Pupils from the 4th and 6th forms found out what it is like to be a journalist, what key traits journalists should have and what doing your job honestly means.

During the Media Literacy Week, activities were organised for pupils, parents and teachers too. Online safety, digital health and the traps of the virtual world, as well as the impact on a media consumers’ emotional condition were among the topics tackled as part of the different thematic workshops that were conducted. The ideas brought up during the meetings will help parents and teachers develop a better understanding of the advantages and risks in the online environment.

The Media Literacy Week closed with the launching of the first training program dedicated to teachers who teach in Russian. A group of 15 teachers from different districts of the Republic of Moldova learned about the content and methods of teaching the optional subject ‘Education for Media’ in the 3rd and 4th forms.

About 600 pupils, 50 teachers and 80 parents participated in the events organised in the framework of the Media Literacy Week. The activities took place in 20 lyceums and gymnasiums from Falesti, Floresti, Causeni, Straseni, Orhei, Criuleni, Leova, Drochia, Rabnita and Chisinau municipality.

Nina Babcinetchii, 4th ‘A’ form teacher in ‘Mihai Eminescu’ Lyceum from Floresti, said that – ‘During an entire week we conducted several interactive activities in our school, making thus the pupils more aware of the importance of media literacy’.
 
The Media Literacy Week was organised by the Independent Journalism Centre under the ‘Strengthening Freedom of Opinion in the Republic of Moldova’ Project, implemented by IJC, supported by Deutsche Welle Akademie and funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany.

The Independent Journalism Centre launched the first project dedicated to media consumers in 2014, which is when the first media literacy lessons took place. Since then, summer camps and media hackathons were conducted, the platform mediacritica.md was launched, and in 2017, the education for media course reached the elementary forms. It became an optional subject for the gymnasium-level forms in 2018. At present, the course is taught in 56 schools for 1500 pupils from the 3rd, 4th, 7th and 8th forms.