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[#PressRelease] MIL advocates urged to counter fake news, restore trust

Press release

This October 24 to 31, media, academe, government, and civil society organizations are coming together to celebrate the Global Media and Information Literacy Week (#GlobalMILWeekPH) by bannering a campaign built on restoring people’s trust in democratic institutions, in the media and in each other.

To open the week-long celebration, a Stakeholders Forum will be held in Far Eastern University on Oct. 24. A total of 300 students, educators, and media professionals will join the half-day event that will spotlight media literacy as a human right and a global ideal.

The forum organizers are led by educational nonprofit Out of the Box Media Literacy Initiative (OOTB) and the FEU Department of Communication. They are joined by fellow MIL stakeholders like VERA Files, Break the Fake Movement, and the National Council for Children’s Television (NCCT), an attached agency of the Department of Education focused on promoting child-friendly media.

In light of recent findings on people’s perceptions of the credibility of news media, this year’s Global MIL Week is hinged on restoring a positive relationship with traditional sources of information. Based on studies on the role of media literacy in curbing the spread of falsehoods, advocates say that teaching the public to know which sources of information to trust is not easy in a polarized media environment.

“Besides being an issue of truth and knowledge, disinformation is a trust issue. Media literacy educators must be more conscious of the factors at play why some people find it hard to trust the media now,” said Marlon Nombrado, co-founder of OOTB which clinched first prize in UNESCO's 2021 Global Media and Information Literacy Awards.

This comes after Pulse Asia’s recent survey that found around 40% of 1,200 Filipino adults blamed journalists for spreading false information – a higher percentage than those who point to national and local politicians as culprits. Additionally, around 9 in 10 or 86% in total see the proliferation of “fake news” as a serious problem.

Previously, Filipinos were also confronted with a “firehose of disinformation” on social media in the lead-up to – and during – the 2022 national elections in May, according to a report by fact-checking coalition

To engage media-savvy young Filipinos in this conversation, high school and college students are invited to join a nationwide MIL contest. By creating 90-second video clips that answer pressing questions about trust and disinformation, winners can receive up to P8,000 in cash prize.

Teachers and librarians who implement MIL activities and strategies will also be treated in a raffle draw promo. They only have to share their own MIL innovations with fellow educators to be eligible for the raffle.

The details for all activities under the #GlobalMILWeekPH celebration can be accessed here.

The Global MIL Week celebration was initiated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2011. Hosted by Nigeria, this year’s celebration focuses on the need to “nurture trust” and encourage collective solidarity with the theme, “Nurturing trust: A Media and Information Literacy Imperative.”

Every year, the UNESCO Global MIL Week helps raise awareness on the need for civil society and international communities to help people become informed media consumers and creators.

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