“In the past several years, many new projects aimed at fostering Media and Information Literacy in South East Europe have developed. This is a great news because developing critical minds is an unwieldy task that can only be achieved by working together. But what is still lacking is a central platform gathering all available tools, projects and documents related to MIL in the region that would make working together much easier and efficient,” explained Sinisa Sesum, Head of UNESCO Office in Sarajevo of Regional Bureau for Science & Culture in Europe.
With this idea in mind, UNESCO has developed an online platform called the Regional Platform for Media and Information Literacy in South East Europe (SEE MIL), to map out the efforts achieved in MIL by different organisations across the region. UNESCO is now inviting organisations to register their projects or tools to the platform and see their work displayed to the wide public. The deadline for the registration is 1 October 2021.
The website is created within the UNESCO EU-funded project “Building Trust in Media in South East Europe and Turkey – phase 2” that, among others, aims to promote MIL in formal and informal education in the region. The SEE MIL platform seeks to offer an overview of the current state of play of Media and information in the region in formal and informal education.
To collect as comprehensive data as possible regarding the work in MIL in Southeast Europe, UNESCO calls for all stakeholders dealing with MIL in the region, including governmental institutions, NGOs, media organisations and universities, to showcase their projects and results in the platform by filling out the submission template and provide the information necessary for a transparent and concise overview of their work.
In addition to the regional platform, the SEE MIL offers chapters for project beneficiaries in their local languages to bring MIL closer to citizens and the younger population. In cooperation with Communication Regulatory Agency (CRA) from BiH, UNESCO started a platform in B/H/S languages to offer more content about MIL in BiH. The website will be edited and updated by CRA on an everyday basis, with more than 100 relevant authors in the field of MIL.
“When working to bring change or progress in a specific field, stakeholders sometimes find themselves in difficulty to navigate through what is being done in that area. This platform gives impetus for coordinated and integrated efforts,” said Louise Haxthausen, Director of the UNESCO Liaison Office in Brussels.
As the results achieved in MIL come together on the platform, the stakeholders will be able to understand each other’s goals and activities and potentially establish synergies and ensure that the efforts in MIL take place in a strategic manner, avoiding duplications of results and building upon the work already achieved. The platform, however, is not solely imagined to be the tool for the implementing organisations, but also for donors and the broad public, to bring transparency and accountability.
The main purpose of the platform is to offer an insight into the state of play in MIL in Southeast Europe, outlining the results achieved in MIL in formal and information education in the project beneficiaries of the region. Along with this, the information about the organisations implementing the projects and the list of the entities to engage with in the area of MIL is summarized and displayed clearly. This allows stakeholders to identify with whom and how to engage and to build more efficient and complementary efforts.
The platform gathers the available resources in MIL in one place, acting as a database for the MIL material focused on specific project beneficiaries and in both English and local languages. The resources are divided according to the type of beneficiary: for parents, young people, teachers, journalists, decision-makers, and MIL tools for all.
The organisations contributing their projects to the platform would have to provide essential information about the implementing organisations and achieved, as well as planned, results and outputs, including the accompanying material, until 1 October 2021.
The second phase of the project “Building Trust in Media in South East Europe and Turkey” was launched in November 2019 by UNESCO and the European Union, DG NEAR. To address the decline in the civil society’s trust in media in the region, the three-year project aims to, among others, pilot Media and Information Literacy in formal and informal education.
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