Media and Information Literacy as a Tool for Reinforcing Human Rights, Countering Radicalization and Extremism: Yearbook 2016


L to R: Cristina Gallach, UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information; Mr Guy Berger,
UNESCO Director of Freedom of Expression and Media Development; H.E. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser,
High-Representative for UNAOC
14 February 2017

Every year the Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) Yearbook analyzes an important theme related to sustainable development. The 2016 edition is launched under the title: “Media and Information Literacy: Reinforcing Human Rights, Countering Radicalization and Extremism.”

The Yearbook is published as a collaboration between UNESCO, UNITWIN Cooperation Programme on MILID, the United Nations Alliance for Civilizations (UNAOC) and the Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL).

The book offers rich perspectives on media and information literacy (MIL) from across the globe. Content is grouped in different sections: Community Empowerment and Sustainable Development; Hate Speech and Incitement; Radicalization and Extremism; Human Rights and Gender Equality; and Inter-religious and Intercultural Discourses in the Media.

Hot off the press, copies were circulated in New York last week at an event at the UN titled “Media and Information Literacy: Educational Strategies for the Prevention of Violent Extremism”, and organized by the UNAOC and the UN’s Academic Impact initiative.

Speaking at the occasion, UNESCO’s Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development, Guy Berger, said the new edition of the Yearbook had harnessed the research power of 22 universities, and contained 23 articles by 32 authors spread across 15 countries.

“Knowledge partnerships that combine all our forces in preventing violent extremism enables greater scale and more concerted impact,” he said.

The role of MIL in current global environment

“The increased levels of national and global conflicts, as well as the new forms of violent extremism and radicalization, have led to questions on the role of MIL in this global environment,” wrote the editors Singh, Kerr, and Hamburger in the preface of the Yearbook.

UNESCO’s Programme Specialist, Mr. Alton Grizzle, cited Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the Yearbook’s Introduction: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

“It is this reasoning and conscience that the acquisition of media and information literacy competencies can stir in all peoples,” emphasized Grizzle.

In one of the articles, the Yearbook also presents the idea of Five Laws of Media and Information Literacy. The “laws” are key principles intended as guides for all stakeholders involved in the application of MIL.

The Yearbook was also circulated to partners in Sweden in connection with the event titled, MIL Day – MIL and Youth, organised by Culture in the West, on February 1 2017. The event was attended by over 400 educators/teachers, librarians, politicians, film educators, culture workers, etc.

Speaking at the event, UNESCO’s Alton Grizzle proposed the need for interface between “international MIL” initiatives, such as the MILID Yearbook, and those at national and regional levels.

The UNITWIN Cooperation Programme on MILID

The new book includes the partnership with a higher education cooperation programme launched in 2011 within the framework of the UNESCO University Twinning Programme (UNITWIN), and in partnership with UNAOC.

The MILID University Network now consists of 22 universities from all regions of the world. The first edition of the MILID Yearbook was published in 2013 with the theme, “Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue.” The 2014 edition of the Yearbook was on “Global Citizenship in a Digital World”, while the edition in 2015 focused on “Media and Information Literacy for the Sustainable Development Goals.”

This year’s edition of the Yearbook is available HERE. It is edited by Mr. Jagtar Singh, Ms. Paulette A. Kerr, and Ms. Esther I. Hamburger – with Alton Grizzle of UNESCO, Ms. Sherri Hope Culver and Mr. Jordi Torrent as executive editors.