6.8 Media literacy and safe use of new media
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Faced with the proliferation of information and fake news, media literacy is seen as an essential lever that should be developed in order to enable children and young people to emancipate themselves and to be engaged citizens.
The Government launched in 2022 a Media Literacy plan : 62 actions to develop critical thinking and interactivity with the media.
It will be implemented progressively across the various sectors of the French-speaking Community.
The plan is structured around 4 thematic areas and one cross-cutting area:
1 - Training: provide all pupils and students with a solid and critical education in the media and decoding information
2 - Adapting the decree: evaluating, adapting and updating the decree on media education
3 - Strengthen collaborations
4 - Develop new media literacy initiatives relating to digital media and communication: social networks.
- The decree of 24 July 1997 on the missions of school sets out (art 9) that schools must, in their study programme and their pedagogical project, highlight the importance of arts, media literacy and body language.
Schools benefit from a large autonomy regarding the school’s programme as long as it respects the missions and objectives set in the decree on the missions of schools. Individual initiatives are taken at local level by teachers to teach media literacy in class.
They do so, for instance, through the teacher’s expertise, collaboration with specialised youth associations, etc.
The education's website “enseignement.be” provides pedagogical tools to encourage and support teachers in the field of media literacy.
- The decree of 5th June 2008 creating the High Council of Media Literacy defines media literacy as following:
Media literacy is the education aiming at offering the ability to access media, to understand and appreciate, with a critical mind, the various features of the media and its content and the ability to communicate in various contexts.
The High Council of Media Literacy offers pedagogical tools, trainings, organises meetings between students and journalists, stimulates initiatives aimed at developing critical mind of pupils when facing Medias, etc.
It also organises, in partnership with the education sector, a call for media literacy projects in schools. The project’s theme for the call 2017-2018 is “Medias: sources and vector of emotions” according to the circular 6322 related to media literacy school activities – call for projects 2017-2018.
The decree of 5th June 2008 sets out an annual amount of 20 000 euros to support school’s media literacy projects. The half of this budget is for primary schools and the other half for secondary schools. Projects can receive a maximum of 2000 euros each.
The High Council of Media Literacy organises for the second time in 2017 a 2-weeks event named: “the Media Literacy’s fortnight” (la quinzaine de l’éducation aux medias). It takes place at the end of October. The 2017’s topic is: “inform, inquire: disinformation and fake news” (informer, s’informer: désinformation et fake news).
- There are media-oriented youth organisations. Their work is to raise young people awareness about the right use of new media, the risks and opportunities that Medias offer. They work with schools, youth centres to meet young people.
- The Minister of Youth has launched in 2017 a call for media literacy projects. It addresses youth organisations and youth centres. It offers to selected projects a maximum of 2000 euros. The projects must affect at least one of the 3 following themes=
- The risks linked to the accessibility of personal information on internet ;
- How to react to conspiracy theory ;
- Understanding of advertisement’s mechanisms.
The total amount of funding is 30 000 euros with a maximum of 2000 euros allocated for selected projects.
- Through the decree of 5th June 2008 related to the creation of the High Council of Media Literacy, a maximum of 3 resources centres are recognised by the Government for 5 years renewable.
- CAV Liege (formations)
- Media Animation
- Centre de Formation et d’Auto Formation Continuée
- The High Council of Media Literacy develops awareness campaigns with recognised resources centres earmarked for school and non-schools audiences according to the decree of 5th June 2008 creating the High Council of Media Literacy.
- Media-oriented youth organisations also work on raising awareness about the risks posed by new media. For instance, the youth organisation “Youth Media Action” (Action Medias Jeunes).
- The Council of Europe’s programme “No hate Speech Movement” is implemented at the Community level by the International Youth Office. The objective is to fight hateful speech and discrimination on internet and involve young people in respecting Human Rights online.
The International Youth Office developed a website where every young people can find information on the programme. It also provides young people with online training, tools, etc.