For five years we are together with the teachers, students and their parents, in order to make them aware of understanding how important it is to have a high media culture in the 21st century. In all these years, we have had a beautiful journey, managing to surround ourselves with hundreds of ambassadors of media education in the person of students, teachers and parents. Those who understand what Media Education actually means and how it protects us from fakes and helps us feel safe in the online environment, remain our loyal partners forever.
The year of studies 2021-2022 was not only the fifth year where the discipline Media education was taught in the schools of the Republic of Moldova, but also the first year in which the geographical area of the discipline included all the districts and municipalities of the country. In five years, we managed to reach every district and convince more and more teachers that Media education is a discipline that deserves more attention among the optional disciplines.
In the year of studies 2021-2022, 128 teachers taught this optional discipline to a record number of 4.180 students from 103 schools across the country. These are the highest figures recorded since the introduction of the discipline in the school curriculum in 2017. In order to help teachers and students, every year we organize various events, we launch new media products, having the intention of helping them to carry out the lessons as interesting as possible. Closing a new school year, we consider it appropriate to review everything we have done this year in the field of Media Education.
The show “Un click din colți sau Lupul Manipulator (A click from fangs or the Manipulating Wolf”)
On International Children’s Day, in collaboration with “Talinka” Association and “Guguță” Municipal Puppet Theatre, we released the video version of the show „Un click din colţi sau Lupul Manipulator” (A click from fangs or the Manipulating wolf), adapted after the educational story of the same title signed by media researcher Solvita Denisa Liepniece from Latvia. The show is a premiere for the media environment in our country, being created as an educational and fun story, aimed to help small media consumers to understand and analyze correctly the information from virtual sources. The show was watched by children from kindergartens in the country, but also by primary school students studying the subject of Media education, helping them to understand how the online environment works and urging them to analyze what they saw or heard especially on the social networks. The little spectators watch a story in which the Woolfy wolf and the Hoofy boar try to manipulate the internet users. In the end, however, the characters advise their friends and followers to “be honest and all the time discover the truth.”
The contest “Media literacy – a priority in my school”
In June 2021, we nominated the winners of the first edition of the contest “Media literacy – a priority in my school”, organized among pre-university institutions which, in the years of study 2020-2021, was taught the optional discipline Media literacy. Twelve selected institutions presented their activities, organized for six months, in front of colleagues and members of the jury in an offline event, held in Chisinau. Three winners were awarded an interactive whiteboard, which will help them conduct dynamic and student-friendly media education lessons. The ingenuity and involvement of teachers motivated us to launch a new edition of this competition, this time including the schools where the discipline is not and has not been taught. Out of the 30 schools registered in the two categories, the evaluation board selected 12 teams, who have six months available, between 1 November 2021 – 30 April 2022, and a financial support of 300 euro to carry out promotional activities of media culture.
Media Literacy Forum - First Media Education Forum
On 17 September, we launched the first media literacy forum – Moldova Media Literacy Forum. More than 50 teachers and 15 local and international experts gathered in Chisinau or connected online to discuss the latest developments in the field, to find out the experience of neighbouring countries in the field of media literacy and to analyze the prospects of this discipline. In the first part of the day, the guests discussed about the importance of Media education for the younger generation and the role of teaching staff in this process. In the second part of the day, were organized six master classes. The subjects discussed regarded the integration of the concepts of Media education in science and humanities disciplines, innovative techniques for teaching this course, cyberbullying, information disorder, as well as the quality of information promoted by influencers. At the end, the participants adopted a resolution emphasizing the importance of continuing efforts to promote Media literacy among students, youth and parents.
Media Literacy Week
For four years, in October we organize Media Literacy Week (MEW) in Moldova. This beautiful tradition mobilizes teachers and students every year to pass together the lessons’ framework and to organize media education activities outside of school classes. Held on 18-24 October 2021, the fourth edition of MEW involved over 1.000 students, teachers and parents in debates, public lessons, round tables, meetings with journalists or writers, contents and exhibitions. Also, in the context of this event, we announced two competitions – a photo contest on the theme „Spațiul virtual, prieten sau pericol?” (The virtual space, a friend or a danger?), for primary school students, and a video contest with the subject „Dezmințim falsurile și dezinformarea de pe rețelele sociale” (We deny the fake and misinformation on social media) for secondary and lyceum students. Online training „Materiale video de calitate și cu impact – cum le realizăm?” (Quality and impactful videos – how we create them?) guided 24 students in creating the photo and video content and handling the mobile phone camera. In total, we received 57 materials made by 88 students, 38 of which were photos, and 19 – videos. As a result, six prizes were awarded to primary school students and seven – to secondary and lyceum students, during the online awards event, held on 29 November 2021.
A new season of Podcast cuMINTE
Because the experience of the first season of Podcast cuMINTE, launched in September 2020, was an auspicious one, we decided to continue this initiative and in November 2021 we started a new season of Podcast cuMINTE. Thus, for almost two years we have been guiding the media consumer through the labyrinths of misinformation, forgery and manipulation in the media to help in distinguishing them, understand them, not promote them and thus contribute to a healthier information society. In the editions of the second season of the podcast we discussed with valuable experts, but also with media consumers about critical thinking after 60 , about value of the free press, about the most resounding misinformation from 2021, about online games and about child image in the negative context. Our podcast can be listened on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud. Moreover, it has recently been broadcast every Saturday, starting at 18.10, on Radio Moldova. Enjoy!
New printed textbooks
Our main tool for promoting the conscious consumption of information in schools is the Media literacy textbook, which we have developed for the three levels of education, in Romanian and Russian languages. In this year of study, we have printed a new batch of 1000 Media literacy textbooks for primary education, in Russian language, and a part of them have already reached the desks of small media consumers in Russian-language teaching schools. Since 2017 and until now, we have printed no more and no less than 14.100 copies of textbooks, which are distributed annually to teachers and students who want to learn to think critically. The textbooks are also available in electronic format and can be accessed on platform Media Literacy.
Media literacy portfolio
In order to help our beneficiaries, we created the Media literacy portfolio in ROM, RUS, ENG. From 2014 until now, we have made considerable efforts in the field of media education, in order to contribute to the development of critical thinking of teachers and students, but also of media consumers in general, providing them with various tools necessary to distinguish between true and false, between information and misinformation. Respectively, throughout this period we have created numerous media education products, which helped the teachers, students and media consumers. In order to facilitate the access of interested persons in our activities in the field of media literacy, we have created this portfolio, where the most important activities can be found – Media literacy textbooks, trainings, tutorials, theatre show, hip-hop song, podcast cuMINTE, Media Literacy Week, etc. The platform also contains a timeline, where are fixed the main activities from 2014 to the present.
Media literacy trainings
In April and May 2022 we held four new training programs in the field of Media literacy, giving the chance to a number of 73 teachers to develop their media skills and to realize that “without media literacy you can’t resist on the highway of life”. During the three days of training, the participants manage to dispel their fears and discover a new field, but indispensable to the information era in which we live. From 2017 until now, 606 teachers have passed through our training programs, which represent all three levels of education – primary, secondary and lyceum.
Media literacy and theatre have made a good team
The students from the Puppet Theatre within Brînzenii Vechi gymnasium, Telenesti district, tested their creativity and together with the teacher of Media Literacy, Galina Sîrbu, and realized Series „Media Literacy”. This is an innovative product through which characters from stories explain notions of media education and warn media consumers to be careful about certain phenomena in the virtual space. We have encouraged and continue to encourage teachers to watch the seven episodes of this series with their students in Media Literacy lessons and to encourage them to think critically in all circumstances. Enjoy!
Mediacritica has a “new appearance”
In March 2022, the portal Mediacritica – the first platform in the Republic of Moldova aimed at educating media consumers, has a “new appearance”. The portal has a new site, which is more attractive to media consumers. In the daily published news, as well as in the analyzes, case studies, periodic monitoring, signed by journalists and researchers, the portal reflects the slippage of media institutions from deontological norms, while the rules of correct and equidistant journalism are explained by a series of video materials. Internet users are invited to test their knowledge with the help of several interactive games and quizzes on various topics, while audio lovers can listen to Podcast cuMINTE. Also on Mediacritica, viewers and radio listeners are invited to report violations they report on TV or radio, through the T(V)E Privește! Platform and the top credibility of the information portals are available on the Media Radar platform.
Media literacy - choose a discipline that helps you think critically!
Until September 2022, teachers, together with parents and students, have the opportunity to choose the optional disciplines that students will study in the year of studies 2022-2023. We have already launched an invitation for teachers to make a visit to provide them with the set of textbooks they need, to teach students what it means to think critically. We also encourage you to find out 5 reasons which would lead you to opt for the discipline Media Education in school.
We urge you to continue to follow the platform educatia.mediacritica.md where we will continue to publish useful materials for media consumers of all ages.
The Center for Independent Journalism organizes media literacy activities within the project “Strengthening of Media and Information Literacy in the Republic of Moldova”, supported by Deutsche Welle Akademie and funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development in Germany, within the project “Media enabling Democracy, Inclusion and Accountability in Moldova (MEDIA-M)”, developed in partnership with Internews and funded by USAID, UK, within the project “Increasing the support for independent Russian-speaking media institutions and efforts in the field of Media Literacy”, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, as well as in the project “Innovative tools of media education for well-informed citizens”, implemented with the support of the Embassy of Finland, Bucharest.