The third National Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Stakeholder Forum was held on November 25, 2021 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, under the theme “Digital literacy and inclusion as a booster for immunity against infodemiaâ. The forum was jointly organized by the Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO and the Mongolian Press Institute as part of Mongolia’s national celebration for UNESCO Global MIL Week 2021.
Mr. Tapan Mishra, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Mongolia, Prof. Shahbaz Khan, Director and representative of the UNESCO Cluster Office in Beijing, Mr. Sambuu Boldsaikhan, Secretary General of the Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO, and Ms. Munkhmandakh, Executive Director of the Mongolian Press Institute pronounced an opening speech. More than 60 stakeholders, including representatives of the Mongolian government, non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations attended the event and discussed how media and information education can help tackle disinformation and hate speech, especially during and after a state of emergency, and bridge the digital divide for inclusion, especially for women, young people, older people and the elderly with disabilities.
Mongolia has identified digital literacy and the inclusion of left-behind groups as national priorities, as outlined in its Digital Nation Strategy. With the support of the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), UNESCO has supported Mongolia in this endeavor by equipping policy makers, media regulation professionals and self-regulators with in-depth knowledge of the MIL policy and best practices, and improving adaptive and enforcement capacities, respectively. MIL programs and policy in Mongolia.
Professor Khan, in his opening remarks, pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic is the first pandemic in history in which technology and social media are used on a large scale and at different levels to ensure safety and security. information of people, but at the same time. , “The technology we rely on enables and amplifies an infodemic that continues to undermine effective responses and undermines informed decision-making.” Therefore, the importance of media and information literacy, especially digital literacy for all, is more critical than ever. âSustained and coordinated efforts are needed between all stakeholders. He stressed.
The second edition of the UNESCO program for media and information literacy Think Critically, Click Wisely: Media and Information Literate Citizens, which is an updated version of the first edition released in 2011, were officially presented at the forum, followed by a discussion of the terms and definitions of localization in order to create a shared understanding and adherence to all levels.
Discussions during the forum focused on four major aspects, including access to education during COVID-19 and capacity building of the education sector in the state of emergency, opportunities and challenges of the transition to the “Digital Nation” and the fight against the digital divide, to strengthen knowledge and skills in MIL to prevent and protect against disinformation and hate speech, and the responsibility of the media in social development and importance of ethical and professional conduct for the media industry.
The results of the discussions were generated into recommendations, including the development of a comprehensive national policy and strategy for MIL education, the promotion of the new UNESCO MIL education curriculum and the organization of the teacher training, improving knowledge and understanding of MIL among journalists and media professionals, among others. The recommendations will be forwarded to the Mongolian government for further consideration for a national MIL policy.
Under the theme ‘Media and Information Literacy for the Public Good’, UNESCO Global MIL Week 2021 highlights the needs and importance for every individual to be endowed with the MIL skills to understand, contribute and benefit. information and communication opportunities, and at the same time, advance the public good.
Through capacity building resources, such as curriculum development, policy guidance and articulation, and the evaluation framework, UNESCO supports the development of MIL skills for all. Free and open online courses are available for self-paced learning about MIL. Using media and information technology, UNESCO facilitates networking and research through the Global Alliance for MIL Partnerships (GAPMIL) and the MIL University Network.
For more resources on Media and Information Literacy, please visit: https://en.unesco.org/themes/media-and-information-literacy