More than 3 dozen media literacy initiatives in Portugal

“TWhat we tried to do here was a kind of summary of what is being done in terms of literacy these days, that is, the “art of the art” of media literacy, researcher Miguel Paisana, who participated in the study.

The VI Congress on Literacy, Media and Citizenship – Digital Transition and Public Before the release of “Media Literacy: Conceptual Horizons and Maps of Actors and Initiatives in Portugal and the World” created by researchers from the Communication Observatory (Obercom) in partnership with the Iberian Observatory of Digital Media and Disinformation Iberify Policies.

The congress, organized by GILM – Grupo Informal de Literacia Mediatica, will take place on April 21 and 22 at the Escola Superior de Comunicação Social in Lisbon.

The report is divided into three parts, the first of which concerns the concept of literacy, where it is noted that an international study last year, “which analyzed 400 articles, identified 258 definitions”.

“There are many different ideas also from the fact that there are many actors involved, many initiatives,” continued the researcher from Obercom and CIES-ISCTE.

The researchers identified “more than three dozen initiatives in the field of media literacy in Portugal”, the document says, adding that “two dozen organizations are directly or indirectly promoting media literacy, exploring multiple aspects within literacy”.

They identified “a dozen investigative projects, research, angles and key models of action”.

“By doing this survey we tried to find out what is happening nowadays, knowing that many of the projects and actors we list here are already the result of past projects”, he added.

Examples cited by the report include the research project “On and Off Atmospheres of Disconnection”, developed by Universidade Lusofona, which is “exploring the field of digital disconnection using ethnographic research”.

The Iberifier Consortium, of which Lusa is a partner, developed “literacy manuals for trainers and trainees that served as the basis for ‘workshops’ on ‘Digital Literacy in Action Disinfomedia’ given to journalists, and its lines of research include the effects of disinformation”. , the report noted.

Another example is the Media Trust Lab, implemented by LabCom Comunicação e Artes, which brings together the University of Beira Interior (UBI) and the University of Coimbra and studies confusion in the context of proximity.

When asked how Portugal compares with other countries, the researcher said that Portugal is “quite aware of what is happening in Europe and beyond”.

That is, “it is quite good, not only a great awareness of the reaction of public bodies, but also from the government, even from political parties”, among others, and “then the media itself”, adds the researcher who is also part of Iberify. .

The report exemplifies, among the agents promoting media literacy in Portugal, the General Directorate of Education (DGE), such as the Directorate of Educational Project Services (DSPE) and the Educational Resources and Technologies Team (ERTE), as well as the School Library Network, which provides pre-school and Made “Multiple Actions” aimed at primary education.

Regarding working with different audiences, he gives the example of the Associação Literacia para os Media e Jornalismo (ALPMJ), which “took another step in the last year”.

The entity, “which started by training journalists, who can train teachers and develop literacy programs in schools in partnership, started in 2022 to provide ‘workshops’ for people over 65”.

For the youngest there is Radio Mudos, a station created in collaboration with children that broadcasts daily and “stimulates various activities” of literacy for the media.

Cybersecurity Observatory offers four courses including A Cyber-Informed Citizen.

Some media have created projects in this area for children and young people, such as Público at School or the True initiative, in partnership with the University of Aveiro.

Visao Jr., Expressinho, MediaLab’s ‘webinar’, associated with JN and DN, and Lusa’s “Fighting Fake News” are other examples.

It also includes experiences developed in other countries, including the Center de Liaison de l’Ensigment et des Medias d’Information, an agency of the French Ministry of Education, which organizes a competition that allows young people to participate in investigative journalism.

Among private companies’ projects targeting younger audiences, the report cites Meta (Facebook) and Google as examples.

“The platforms themselves have realized that this is a relevant issue in terms of the media ecosystem”, so they themselves are “interested in this type of initiative”, concludes Miguel Paisana.

Also read: “Digital literacy still has a lot to do”

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