The 2017 Global Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Awards from the Global Alliance for Partnership on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL) have been awarded to the Media Initiatives Centre, Armenia; Professor Jesus Lau of the Veracruzana University, Mexico; The MIL Project France; and the Media Support Centre, Kyrgyzstan.
The Awards ceremony was held at the Global MIL Week 2017 Feature Conference in Kingston, Jamaica.
The Media Initiatives Centre (MIC) received the top prize. MIC’s media.am website is the main platform for media critique and analysis in Armenia.
MIC develops lesson plans, tips, educational games for schools and works closely with the Ministry of Education to integrate what the organization calls media literacy (ML) into school program. The Ministry of Education approved its “Media Literacy” teachers’ handbook. MIC’s has created “Media Battle”, a media literacy computer game, which has been translated into Ukrainian, Belorussian, Romanian. MIC also cooperates with libraries and museums combining media aspects with information and library for a comprehensive approach lending to the composite concept of MIL promoted by UNESCO.
MIC’s joint projects with Azerbaijani and Turkish partners illustrate how films and MIL can be used for better communication, collaboration, and intercultural dialogue.
Professor Jesus Lau received the second place award. He has been a key actor in promoting and advocating MIL in education in Mexico, in Latin America and at the international level.
He has been an active contributor to the fields of information science and library and information science since 1977. His research focuses on information literacy and the development of information competencies, and this work has expanded to include competencies in Media and Information Literacy.
He is the author of the International Federation of Library Associations’ International Guidelines on Information Literacy for Life-Long Learning, that has been translated into 11 languages. He coordinated several UNESCO-funded projects: including InfoLit/IFLA, a web-based International Information Literacy Resources Directory. Professor Lau founded the International Information Literacy Conference - the first and oldest in Mexico and in the Spanish-speaking world.
Professor Lau received his award in person and noted that it was time for information and library science professionals and media, communication, and technology professionals and practitioners to stand together sustain MIL for all.
There was tie for the third place between the MIL Project France and the Media Support Centre, Kyrgyzstan.
The MIL Project in France is innovative. Rose-Marie Farinella who was present at the Global MIL Week 2017 feature Conference to collect the MIL Award leads the project. “I am so elated to receive this recognition,” she said. “We have worked with passion and looked into the eyes of the young girls and boys who demonstrated such excitement and pride in their creation”.
It focuses on supporting MIL in young people from the age of 10 years old. The objective of the project is to give young people the MIL competencies needed to distinguish real news from fake news online.
It aims to sharpen pupils’ critical thinking, to give them intellectual self-defence tools at a critical age, and to help them become cyber citizens who counter racist and xenophobic ideas online.
The Media Support Center Foundation in Kyrgyzstan is a pioneer in the field of Media Information Literacy (MIL) development in the Central Asian region. It has created a mechanism for MIL integration in the education system.
The Centre played a lead role in the development of curricula and resource books for teachers, and it developed and piloted programmes for high school youth.
The most innovative part of the project is an online platform for students and teachers named “Media Sabak”. It provides opportunities for online learning and testing in MIL, where participants can share the results of their learning and earn a certificate. An upcoming project is the establishment of Media Literacy regional centers for support and mentorship.
The Awards Committee led by GAPMIL deliberated long and hard to select the awardees from among 170 nominations submitted.
GAPMIL promotes international cooperation to ensure that all citizens have access to media and information competencies. It currently has over 500 member organizations from over 110 countries.
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