BROD Representatives in the Spotlight at the Media Literacy Conference 2024 - The Superpower of Tomorrow’s Teachers

Published Friday 7 June 2024 at 15:46


The change that teachers who turn media literacy into a resource bring about was the topic of the third edition of the media literacy conference organised by the Center for Independent Journalism (CIJ) on 18 May in Bucharest. The event brought together teachers from the CIJ's Media Literacy Programme, representatives of authorities, as well as locally and internationally acknowledged media literacy experts, including members of the EDMO hub, BROD, and Renee Hobbs, founder of the Media Education Lab.

“Almost 2 billion people will vote this year. Which is why it's important that you talk to learners, to your children, to everyone about why it's important to vote in an informed way, and to pay attention to biases, to triggers, because what we read in the media has immediate consequences in the world”, said Cristina Lupu, Executive Director of the CIJ, during the panel Digital Media Literacy - Challenges and Solutions at European Level, a dialogue between BROD members from Romania and Bulgaria.

Nicoleta Corbu, Professor at the Faculty of Communication and Public Relations, with a PhD in Sociology, Director of the SNSPA Council for Doctoral Studies and Researcher at BROD, spoke about misinformation and how it influences the level of Euroscepticism in Bulgaria and Romania, according to the latest studies. "What can be done? What all of us hope that we have already done as part of BROD, namely awareness campaigns about all the tools that can be used to disinform", Nicoleta Corbu concluded.

Andy Stoycheff is the founder and director of NTCenter, a private research and training company in Sofia and he is responsible for media and information education activities in Bulgaria at BROD. Andy Stoycheff talked about the brain and how it perceives the world and tries to predict what's going to happen next, which is where our cognitive biases come in. He also talked about the way sounds, images and symbols send a quick message to our brains and why we need to constantly reflect and ask ourselves questions. “So what we need is a collective drive towards creating those resources, creating lesson plans, creating worksheets. Perhaps we’re doing the first steps on that, because within the EDMO network we now have the first set of standards on what is the best practice and what should be within the professional standards in creative media literacy initiatives, and that includes the resources that we produce.” Stoycheff's speech was among the most appreciated interventions.

Elena Calistru, president of Funky Citizens, thinks we should have more faith in young people. She talked about fighting disinformation, fact-checking and how these two aspects become tools for attracting young people towards media literacy: "What we discover surprisingly, and the surprise is a pleasant one, is that when they have the right tools, young people are very well. When you also tell them that they have a potential role to play in explaining to their parents or grandparents, especially to their grandparents, why a piece of information is true or false, then the perspective we see them growing up in is already a whole different one. There are techniques and there are formulas through which you can get to capture not just the interest, but also the energy of these young people and I strongly believe that fact-checking is one of those tools."

The third edition of the media literacy conference is part of the Media Literacy Programme, was organised by the Center for Independent Journalism in partnership with the Romanian - American Foundation, with the support of the Embassy of the United States of America in Romania and BROD (Bulgarian-Romanian Observatory of Digital Media).

More about the conference here.