Gambia: training of young leaders on the media, information literacy in progress


UNESCO, in partnership with the Premium Times Center for Investigative Journalism in Nigeria through the Peacebuilding Fund, launched a three-day Media and Information Literacy Training on Tuesday (MIL) for young leaders in Senegambia.

The event, which targets 40 participants from the five regions of the country, aims to build the capacity of young leaders in Media and Information Literacy (MIL) and relevance to democracy and good governance.

It also aims to equip participants with an acceptable degree of skill in evaluating, understanding and critiquing media and media content in order to know what is fake from real, and to differentiate between paid media propaganda and news. .

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Patrick McCarthy, representative of the UN Coordinator, said the training was part of a UN Peacebuilding Fund project titled “Young Women and Men as stakeholders in ensuring peaceful democratic processes and as advocates for the prevention of violence”. and Hate Speech” which is implemented by UNESCO, UNDP and UNFPA in collaboration with the Government of The Gambia.

“Its strategic objective is to improve the participation of young people in governance and peaceful democratic processes and to build their capacities as defenders of hate speech and as agents of conflict prevention. It therefore follows that building the capacity of young leaders in media and information literacy will be an integral part of the project.”

He explained that media and information literacy is globally recognized as an educational field that needs to be promoted, especially when it comes to building understanding between individuals of different religions and cultures, while reiterating that the training is also designed to equip young leaders with a range of skills that will enable them to research, critically evaluate and contribute to information online and offline.

“The implementation of this initiative is guided by three objectives which are to improve the understanding of young leaders on media and information literacy, and its importance and relevance for democracy and good governance; to build young leaders’ skills in analyzing media and media content, and to equip young leaders with the know-how to examine sponsored and non-sponsored media messages and their objectives.”

Caroline Anipah, deputy director of the Verification and Media Literacy Center for Journalism Innovation and Development, said that information disorder is generally divided into three strands, which include misinformation, misinformation, and misinformation. malicious information.

She added that information disorder has been with us since the beginning of time, saying what is new is the evolution of technologies that allow mass information disorder to spread more and more. faster, with often seriously pernicious effects on individuals, businesses and democratic communities.

“Policymakers around the world are grappling with the question of how to tackle information disorder. Take social media regulation across Europe, Twitter’s ban in Nigeria, and closer to home us, the shutdown of all internet like on the eve of the last election of Yaya Jammeh.”

“But digital authoritarianism comes at a serious cost that free society cannot afford. She continued that supply-side approaches such as dictatorial politics that silence disinformation could also be weaponized by political actors. to silence the truth and promote misinformation.”

Omar Bah, representative of the National Youth Council, said it was time for young people to play a leading role in terms of harmonizing the country’s democracy and peace that everyone now enjoys.

“Learning skills and development should be on our minds and put it into practice. NYC is pleased to partner with UNESCO and the Center for Journalism and Innovation to see young people take a leading role in terms of disseminating information relevant to peacebuilding and fostering democratization.”

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