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strategic priority
Civic Engagement
PERIOD
January 2017 - December 2019
BUDGET
$385.000
RAF'S CONTRIBUTION
$340.000
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The program aims to contribute to improving media literacy of high-school students, both as media consumers and generators of content. The abundance of information and social media changed the media consumption and content creation. New skills, such as critical understanding and usage of information, become more and more important. The project aims to respond to this new trend contributing to building media literacy as a new set of civic skills.

CONTEXT

Sociological studies show that that young Romanians are rather intolerant and insensitive to diversity. The studies, conducted by the Soros Foundation in 2011, documented growing racist and xenophobic attitudes among teenagers compared to the average general population. The trends are worrying, as studies conducted by GfK showed that in 2010 young Romanians were more egocentric, radical and intolerant as compared to 2005.

Media literacy is one of the building blocks to tackle key societal issues. It is one of the instruments that help fight radicalization by combating hate speech online and promoting fundamental rights. Media literacy is also a tool allowing citizens to spot and defend themselves from political propaganda.

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STRATEGY

The program has three key directions:

1
Support for introducing media literacy in the curriculum and teaching practice
2
Extra-curricular media training events for students
3
Capacity building for the organization

Starting from the media consumption habits of the young generation, CJI will develop a set of classroom activities to be used by teachers from several disciplines during regular classes. The program will provide training and post-training support for teachers and, for scaling-up purposes, will engage in discussions with educational authorities to include media literacy in the fore coming curriculum. In addition, 14 teachers will become teachers’ trainers on media literacy topic.

As civic education is a shared responsibility, NGOs have an important role, beside school and family. CJI has worked for more than five years to help high school students to learn about media, human rights and hate speech and will continue this line of work in this program. This extra-curricular component allows more flexibility and innovation compared to the regular classes. In the same time, it is a good opportunity to assess the way the students relate to media literacy and get their feedback to improve the program.

Until recently, CJI had worked mainly with journalists for improving their skills and standards and monitoring the freedom of press. As the media environment changed, they added a new focus – building media literacy skills of the young generations. Yet, this strategic change needs to be accompanied by a series of adjustments in how the organization functions – improve its communication to new audiences (teachers, youth, stakeholders in education etc.) and reconsider its fund-raising approach. RAF grant will support the organization in these directions.

Expected Results

11,000
STUDENTS
students will improve media literacy skills both during classes and during extracurricular activities
14
TEACHERS
become advocates for media literacy among their peers
90
TEACHERS
from different disciplines (literature, languages, civic etc.) use media literacy techniques in their regular classes and present them to at least 10 other teachers each
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