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Soroca Youth Trained to Filter Information

24 March 2017
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The Independent Journalism Center (IJC) resumed media literacy lessons for youth as part of a new project, "Strengthening Freedom of Opinion in Moldova", launched at the end of March. The first destination was the city of Soroca, where young people from "Constantin Stere" lyceum and volunteers from Youth Resource Center DACIA met with Liliana Barbarosie, journalist for Radio Free Europe.
Over 60 students discussed at the two lessons, in an informal atmosphere, what a news story is, how to discern correct information from manipulation, what interests there are behind certain media, but also the risks that that we face when we let ourselves be manipulated by certain information from the media.
Liliana Barbarosie told students about the specifics of the press and about why politicians need to control a TV channel. "Politicians are interested in having a TV channel in order to increase their political power. Through television they can convey their message to more people and thus have control of the masses. On the one hand, we have Russian televisions, which are doing propaganda, and on the other hand, we have our televisions, saying whatever the local owner wants."
The journalist also explained to students that a true journalist does not rely on rumor in their news stories; they check information from multiple sources and present information in a balanced manner.
In the end, students of "Constantin Stere” lyceum said that such events should be organized for all age groups. "The lessons of media literacy are very necessary not only for young people, but also for grownups. We all need to open our eyes and choose correct information," student Nicoleta Balent told us.
Andrei Covalciuc, volunteer at Youth Resource Center DACIA, believes that this work will help young people seek information from several sources, because, he argues, "we have every right to correct news." His colleague, Carolina Manole, told us that in this lesson she learned that some televisions are bought by influential people.
As illustrative material, there were videos produced by the IJC – "Do you know what media you consume?” and "About news, in easy-to-understand words”, which helped young people to better understand the risks of being manipulated. 
Within the same project, the IJC will also carry out training programs in the field of media education for teachers and will develop teaching materials. 
Media literacy lessons are part of the "Strengthening Freedom of Opinion in Moldova" project, implemented by the IJC in the period of March to November 2017 with the support of Deutsche Welle Akademie and funds from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany.