As part of efforts to promote media & information literacy and build the capacity of the new media by creating, supporting and giving them an enabling environment under which young people can act on their own and on their own terms can help curb radicalism.”
The youth makes up 43% of the world’s population. This means there is large potential force out there that can change the world. 90% of these youth live in the developing world. That means there is a huge importance to reach these youths. If given the proper tools, they could change negative ideology. Sarauniya Usman writes.
The two-day workshop themed, “Training Of The Trainers On Media and Information Literacy (MIL), “Think, Create, Share the News’’.Put together by, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), encouraged participants to form up a coalition of MIL in Nigeria.
Dr. Suraj O Adekunle, UNESCO UNITWIN National Coordinator and Sub-Dean, School Communication, Lagos State University, while filtering questions from newsmen said, the good way on how to reduce radicalism is by empowering the youths and by information superiorism and is based on the amount of radicalised information on the internet, extreme text,videos and the only way to comeback to that is by populating the internet with positive messages that de-mistifies,de-construct the ideological view of the terrorist.
“We should also engaged in what I called ideological and psychological warfare in the sense that this so-called terrorism and radicalised concept is based on setting ideology and that ideology can be religious, political ideology or social ideology, socio-economic ideology we should teamed each ideology, ignite them and comeout with narratives which can super impose the ideology with the aim of dis-lodging them from the mind of people.
“Once the mind is cleared of such ideology we shall be able to engaged this people in a normal society and the way to go about this, is information superiority and by empowering the youths to be actively engaged on the media and the internet, Dr Suraj said”.
He said,some people engaged in radicalism for political reasons while some for religious reason and also the kind of messages we hear on the Christian or Islamic aspect has tendency of radicalism.
Dr. Suraj, in his presentation also said the need to enhance competencies in receiving and making sense of information necessitated the theme of the workshop.
In His words, “In increasingly complex multicultural societies, education must enable us to acquire the intercultural competencies that will permit us to live together and not despite our cultural differences.
We need MIL in our curriculum among other things; to enhance education outcomes by equipping citizens with competencies necessary to participate fully in political, economic, and social life,”
and form policies and strategies that enable people to create their own counterbalance to dominant cultures by sharing their stories through discussion and creative engagement,” added Dr Suraj.
Media and Information Literacy recognises the primary role of information and media in our everyday lives. It lies at the core of freedom of expression and information – since it empowers citizens to understand the functions of media and other information providers, to critically evaluate their content, and to make informed decisions as users and producer of information and media content.
Concerns by Participant:
One of the participant said the major problem media and information is facing today is the digitalisation. It has come with a lot of advantages but it also came with challenges that we need to check.
Another said,”We understand that the largest percentage of the people that operate the social media specific now is the youth. There are variables that influence what they think what they post, the reason why they do what they do”.
The social media, largely what is schedule on social media is more damaging than promoting and developing.
Another said, there’s a missing link between the ‘Create and Share’ what we think and share is very important.
The workshop explored such topics as:
*An overview of Media and Information Literacy.
*Integrating MIlL into school
Curriculum-the journey so far.
*Rethinking Media and 17 Information Literacy Priorities inthe Age of New Media.
*Mil and Intercultural Dialogue.
*MIL,youth and violent extremism.
*The relevance of MIL policy and strategy in the digital age.