Strengthening media literacy requires new approaches, methods and outlooks

“When speaking about media literacy, we don’t only think about education and training for the use of new technologies but of a complete change to the educational, civic and social reality. That is the task in front of all of us – especially you who have chosen a career in media,” said Jamila Milović-Halilović, Head of the Communication Office of the Delegation of the European Union and EUSR in BiH, to students of the Faculty of Political Science in Sarajevo.

Representatives of academia and civil society organisations participated in a roundtable on media literacy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, organised to mark European Media Literacy Week. “One of the key goals of the European Union is that every European citizen, regardless of their education, whether formal or informal, and regardless of their age and status, should have an opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills required to use and understand the media,” underlined Milović-Halilović.

Maida Muminović, Director of Mediacentar, pointed to some worrying trends, one of which is the fact that the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina are some of the least media literate in Europe, taking into consideration that this issue has not been adequately addressed yet, “The consequence of this is that citizens make decisions about all aspects of their lives based on news items, often unaware of the relevance and credibility of the source behind this news,” said Muminović.

Emir Vajzović, Head of the Institute for Social Analysis, presented the results of the research and activities of the project “Building Trust in Media in South-East Europe and Turkey” which is financed by the European Union and implemented by the Faculty of Political Science in Sarajevo. “Informational and communicational literacy should become part of the curricula. Lifelong learning of media and informational literacy would enable teachers to teach this in all of their subjects”, said Vejzović.

The European Union promotes media literacy through its policies, programmes and numerous projects by supporting and organising educational, cultural, political, social and economic activities. European Media Literacy Week is a new initiative of the European Commission, marked during 18 – 22 March, with the aim of raising awareness of citizens about this topic throughout Europe, and to support initiatives and projects that promote this.