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Are you familiar with Media Literacy?

The digital age has made it easy for anyone  to create media. We don't always know who created something, why they made it, and whether it's credible. This makes media literacy tricky to learn and teach.

Media literacy is the ability to identify different types of media and understand the messages they're sending. It is an essential skill in the digital age.

Youth Testimony:  5 Dimensions of Media and Information Literacy

Hennah Tarindwa provides a summary of her exploration into Media and Information Literacy, unveiling five essential dimensions in this video.

Copyright: Hannah Tarindwav/UNESCO

Media literacy and youth wellbeing

Becoming media savvy and mastering the digital landscape is crucial for youth, particularly post-COVID,  as it empowers them with critical thinking skills to discern factual information from misinformation, fostering mental resilience and promoting informed decision-making in an era dominated by digital media.

Media literacy isn't just about understanding “stuff”; it sparks creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking. It's your ticket to tackle challenges, follow your passions, and explore all that life has to offer.

By diving into cutting-edge media literacy methods, you're not just learning the basics. You're building up critical thinking, digital know-how, and top communication skills. Plus, you're honing social skills like teamwork, empathy, and being a responsible digital citizen.

Key Questions We Need to Ask

Common Sense is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of young people and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st century.

Key steps

Self awareness

  1. Be aware of the prevalence of misinformation.
  2. Develop critical thinking skills  - be media savvy
  3. Verify information from reliable sources.
  4. Educate others about media literacy.
  5. Report misinformation when encountered.

Misinformation and culture

Understanding how media spreads misinformation in different cultures is a big deal. It can make stereotypes stick, divide people, and keep biases going strong.

But, learning media skills helps you see through it, question stereotypes, and bring people closer together  from different cultures.

Becoming Media Savvy:

Becoming Media Savvy:

When you become media savvy, you're not just scrolling through content; you're learning the art of dissecting and judging what you see. It's about being aware and discerning in the world of information.

Here's what you gain:

  1. Decode the Information Puzzle: Learn how to separate the real deal from fake news by dissecting information.
  2. Spotting the Tricks: Discover the tricks used to persuade in different forms of media. From images to words, you'll be able to see through the smoke and mirrors.
  3. Unmasking Biases and Propaganda: Develop a superpower to uncover biases and propaganda. Understand the subtle ways information can be swayed and shaped.

By becoming media savvy you're not just a consumer; you're an active participant.

Here's why it matters:

  • Smart Choices: Make informed and smarter choices in your online journey. Your digital decisions become conscious and responsible.
  • Active Contribution: Actively contribute to shaping the digital realm. Your voice matters, and media literacy empowers you to use it wisely.
  • Digital Confidence: Navigate the complexities of the digital era with confidence and know-how. Media literacy is your toolkit for mastering the online landscape.

Mastering Intercultural Communication

We know that the pandemic led to increased feelings of isolation and disconnection.  Enhancing intercultural communication skills allows young people to bridge cultural divides and build meaningful relationships in an online environment. This not only reduces feelings of isolation but also broadens perspectives, enhances empathy, and promotes a sense of belonging in a diverse global community, all of which are crucial for mental and emotional well-being. Mastering intercultural communication in our digital world is particularly important for overcoming the wellbeing challenges that youth faced due to COVID. Why?  Because it fosters a sense of global connection and understanding at a time when physical interactions were limited.


The importance of intercultural communication

In our increasingly interconnected world, the ability to communicate effectively across cultural boundaries is essential. With more opportunities for travel and exposure to different cultures, developing intercultural communication skills becomes crucial for successful collaboration, building relationships in diverse communities, and preventing and resolving conflicts.

By learning about other cultures and finding common ground, we can improver understanding and connection worldwide.

Identify good intercultural communication techniques from this video techniques

In 2003,  Outside Media & Knowledge had a task to produce an easy-to-follow instructional video aiming at diverse cultures in Ireland. They needed to explain in one video the concept and benefits of belonging while addressing the audience in different languages and English as a main language.

Watch the video and evaluate the efforts. What efforts for intercultural communication do you recognize?

Improving Intercultural Communication Skills

Embrace diversity

Embracing diversity, respecting different backgrounds and cultures, and fostering a friendly and open communication environment. 

Become a good listener

Learn to really listen, understand others and how to show them they are not speaking in vain.

Learn from other cultures

Learn and show knowledge of other countries and cultures, try to familiarise yourself with customs in relevant regions.

Adjust your intercultural language competency

It is essential to recognise that it's not just a matter of knowing the vocabulary and grammar of the person we are interacting with. It also involves factors such as the speed at which we and the other person are speaking, the volume of our voices, and our respective accents.

Understand social media dimension on intercultural communication

Rich communication technology

Virtual social network platforms  (Facebook, Instragram etc) enable cross-cultural communication like never before. They have broken down geographical barriers and made it possible for people from different cultures to connect, share ideas, and learn from each other. But there are downsides, of course.

Gain knowledge

Through social media tools, you can improve and promote intercultural ideas in a more effective way. Platforms like TikTok and YouTube have millions of videos showcasing different cultures. These can be a great way to visually experience different cultures. 

Be aware

Remember, while these platforms can provide a lot of information, they should not be your only source of cultural education. It’s also important to critically analyze the information you receive, as not everything on social media is accurate or representative of every individual within a culture. Always approach with respect and an open mind.

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