5.8 Raising political awareness among young people
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Lithuania is a member of EYCA, Eurodesk. However, information provider / counselling structures raising political awareness among young people are in the developing stage. The spread of digital media has a considerable impact on the availability of information for young people in Lithuania. Social networks remain among the most popular websites and compete with news media for visitor attention. Young people aged 15–29 have the highest membership rate (80 percent and above (TNS/Gallup reports). NGO’s povide lots of printed material with various information on youth issues. Some media (youth magazines) which is dedicated for youth by youth, and the information/ brochures/ information leaflets by youth exist.
From 2021 The Lithuanian Ministry of Social Security and Labor started providing recommendations to other ministries on measures or challenges related to youth policy in the field of their management.
However, the majority of citizen voices in Lithuania (including young persons) are still indirect, mostly expressed through personal blogs or petitioning (Mapping Diigital Media, 2011). Petition sites (Peticija. lt and E-peticija.lt) seem to be most popular, with some appeals digitally “signed” by tens of thousands of people. In 2007, a site called www.Neisduok.lt (Don’t Betray) presented a form for a message addressed to the Parliament, President, Government, Constitutional Court, General Prosecutor, and the National Broadcasters’ Council, but the link was not automated. Another initiative— www.parasykjiems.lt (an equivalent of the British website WriteToTh em.com) promises to automate the communication both by sending messages directly and by helping people find their representatives in the national Parliament, the European Parliament, and local municipalities. The initiative www.KaVeikiaValdzia.lt („What does Government do?“) by the group responsible for the development of the ParasykJiems.lt site has been operating since January 2010. It is KaVeikiaValdzia.lt, developed in close cooperation with MySociety.org in the United Kingdom, and it aims to consolidate all the official documents, laws, and by-laws published by the Government and to make them accessible to the general public. Notable among ongoing projects is a forum for “outstanding journalism” (Gzi.lt), and a site for “positive” news (GerosZinios.lt).
No generally accepted concept exists to raise awareness of young persons on the advantages and problems associated with multicultural cooperation in order to emphasize its positive contribution to Lithuanian society.
The program of “Young Journalists” coordinated by the Agency of International Youth Cooperation in Lithuania was launched recently, which is be a good example of youth participation in promoting transparent and youth-tailored public communication. This programme is an educational programme for young publicists is a system that identifies talented young journalists, motivates, supports them and provides information to enable them for socially responsible actions. Even during the formation of the future journalists’ writing skills, the objective information based on the experience of the Lithuanian NGOs, vulnerable groups of the society, media experts working in the social field, is provided. Young journalists have the opportunity to interact directly with vulnerable groups of the society, thus learn more and overcome prejudices. The unique structure of the programme helps to touch the essence of the social problems and maintain an objective position in the public life news. During the formation of journalistic skills it enables young generation of socially responsible writing. National educational programme for young publicists seeks to change the portrayal of vulnerable groups of the society and contribute to the objective, ethical and competent media education.