Building peace in the minds of men and women

10th UNESCO Youth Forum

Monika Aksentievska

“Media is a key player in any democratic society, vital to protecting public interest. A healthy democracy means enabling a free media environment, including professional and inclusive journalism. It is therefore important that young people are provided with a platform to express their views and opinions about important issues, particularly as future voters and future leaders.
“The media environment in my country has suffered greatly from the politicization of media ownership, with mainstream media utilized to spread propaganda and to influence public opinion. In such a distorted media landscape, it is essential that we encourage the development of media literate youth who can critically access, analyze, evaluate and create media content.”
“Studies show that formal education systems do not give sufficient attention to the issue of media literacy so it is vital that the subject is integrated into high-school curricula. Our high-school newspaper and media literacy website are first steps towards tackling this issue, encouraging the development of youth media content and connecting youth with opportunities to visit newsrooms and experience journalism first-hand.”