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[#PressRelease] Media literacy advocates join forces to celebrate UNESCO’s MIL week

A coalition of media and information literacy (MIL) advocates from civil society, academe, media and government kicked off the 2022 Global MIL Week in a public forum last Monday, Oct. 24, where they discussed how to better mainstream MIL practices in the country.

In a forum held at the Far Eastern University (FEU) attended by in-person and online participants, MIL advocates shared their insights on how best to communicate the important role that MIL plays in preserving a healthy democracy.

“While it’s always welcome to have policymakers and media and tech companies champion or suggest MIL as the solution, we shouldn’t let it deflect our attention from demanding reforms and accountability from the very structures that sustain disinformation, online hate, digital insecurity,” said Marlon Nombrado, Out of The Box Media Literacy Initiative (OOTB) co-founder.

Nombrado added that mainstreaming MIL practices should be done alongside initiatives to protect journalists’ safety and raise awareness on digital rights.

The forum is part of the lineup of activities that OOTB has spearheaded under the celebration of Global MIL Week Philippines (#GlobalMILWeekPH) – an annual celebration of the progress achieved toward the MIL for All initiative.

The Philippines is one of more than 80 countries that celebrate Global MIL Week every year, an event initiated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2011 to help raise awareness of the need to help people become more informed and literate as consumers and creators.

This year’s MIL week celebration carries the theme “Nurturing Trust: A Media and Information Literacy Imperative,” – a timely imperative for democracy lovers aiming to rebuild people’s trust in media, in institutions and in each other.

“The mere fact na bilang mga Pilipino, tayo ay gumagawa ng desisyon kapag lumalahok tayo sa eleksyon, which is more reason to promote MIL,” said Arniel Ping, president of Philippine Association for Media and Information Literacy.

Ping added: “MIL will not tell you who to vote for -- hindi yan ang trabaho ng MIL. Instead, it will empower you with all the skills to evaluate information at magdesisyon kung alin dito ang tama at mali.”

FEU, this year’s host school for the celebration of Global MIL Week Philippines, has also kickstarted their own MIL campaign in “Media and Information Literacy Advocacy” (MILA) under the Department of Communication. FEU MILA is “an institutionalized program [...] that aims to provide learning objects and training programs on media and information literacy (MIL) using critical and development communication lenses.”

Break the Fake Movement, another partner organization in the celebration of Global MIL Week, also launched this month the Media Civics Lab: Fact-Checking Academy, a year-long program that aims to enhance the fact-checking skills of content creators, educators and public officials.

Other stakeholders joining this year’s celebration of Global MIL Week Philippines include VERA Files, Rappler’s Move PH and the National Council for Children’s Television (NCCT), an attached agency of the Department of Education that promotes the creation of child-friendly media content.

Those interested in joining the remaining activities of Global MIL Week Philippines can participate in the following events:

  • Video-making contest for media-savvy high school and college students

    • Students are invited to create 90-second videos that will demonstrate their knowledge in media literacy and fighting disinformation. Winners can receive up to P8,000 in cash. The deadline for this contest is on Oct. 31

    • Access the full mechanics here.

  • Raffle draw for teachers and librarians of media and information literacy

    • Teachers and librarians can share their own MIL innovations with fellow educators to be eligible for the raffle. Ten winners will receive a gift package containing a limited edition OOTB anniversary shirt, #MIL4Democracy Handbook

#GlobalMILWeekPH notepads, stickers, pens, and other gift items.

  • Access the full mechanics here.

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