On the penultimate day of Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2020, UNESCO re-launched its major network on media and information literacy - the UNESCO Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Alliance, previously named the Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL). This relaunch and repositioning of the alliance signified that UNESCO is determined to strengthen its actions in the field of MIL, in close collaboration with partners around the globe working for the same cause.
The UNESCO Media and Information Literacy Alliance was born in 2013, with the objective of fostering media and information literate societies through international cooperation and partnerships. Seven years after its establishment, we are witnessing an increasing relevance of its mandate, especially during the COVID-19 disinfodemic when the necessity of MIL has become more evident than ever. It is an imperative to broaden and deepen the reach and impact of the actions of the UNESCO MIL Alliance.
Members of the UNESCO MIL Alliance and its International Steering Committee are actively supporting this strategic move. Several long-standing partners have made important announcements at the launching event on 30 October. The European Broadcasting Union will join the MIL Alliance as an official member. Ofcom, the regulatory and competition authority for the broadcasting, telecommunications and postal industries of the United Kingdom, will advance MIL in their work and will spearhead cooperation between the European Platform of Regulatory Authorities and the UNESCO MIL Alliance. The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions has recommitted its support for the MIL Alliance.
In view of the re-positioning , the name of the Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy has been officially changed to simply the UNESCO Media and Information Literacy Alliance. The visual identity, including the logo, has been revitalized. The thematic committees of the UNESCO MIL Alliance are gradually being activated to tackle different thematic areas of MIL, national-level alliances or chapters stimulated, and the Youth Committee bolstered through the MIL Youth Ambassadors. This youth branch of the Alliance consisting of the global coordinator, MIL Youth Ambassadors and Regional Coordinators implements various youth-led MIL-related projects, involving numerous youth organizations and networks.
The fundamental objectives of the MIL Alliance remain unchanged notwithstanding the relaunch:
- Articulating key strategic partnerships to drive MIL development globally;
- Enabling the MIL community to speak and address, with a unified voice, critical matters, including the need for policies;
- Further deepening the strategy for MIL to be treated as a composite concept by providing a common platform for MIL-related networks and associations globally that will ensure convergence of regional and international initiative and amplification of global impact.
UNESCO led the set-up of and works closely with the International Steering Committee of the MIL Alliance to co-coordinate the various actions of the Alliance at global, regional and local levels. A new International Steering Committee was elected in 2019 for a two-year tenure.
Some other new features of the MIL Alliance 2.0 include a monthly news update, which informs its members about the latest activities and achievements of the Alliance on a regular basis.
To become a member of the UNESCO MIL Alliance, sign up here.