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Youth Power in Combatting Mis- and Dis-Information During COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond

Youth Power in Combatting Mis- and Dis-Information during the COVID-19 Pandemic and beyond
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Since 2011, UNESCO has launched an international, regional, and national interventions on Media and Information Literacy (MIL) that recognizes the primary role of information and media in everyday lives and includes content focusing on critically evaluating the information.

As present and future creators in an age of media and technology, young people, a substantial part of the population active on the media platform, are posing a great possibility in redefining the perception and landscape of communication. Regarding this, the creativity and innovation from the young population are spawning influential content circulating online. Moreover, through the lens of youth, there lies significant possibility in finding out the response strategies for future crisis communication, and further developing feasible schemes for the changing narrative in the media landscape.

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As part of its responses to the Covid-19 ‘infodemic’, UNESCO Abuja Office is organizing a webinar to raise awareness of the roles taken by the young people online, using different social media platforms during this period. This will empower young people to counter and prevent the production and dissemination of disinformation and misinformation, for promotion of peacebuilding and enhancement of the spread of reliable and accurate information.

The webinar is expected to attract various stakeholders, namely government, youth organization, academics, journalists, civil societies, companies and young people in Western Africa who are actively involved or interested in combating misinformation and disinformation.

Date: Tuesday June 30, 2020

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (GMT+1/Abuja Time).

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Key objectives

The key objectives of this webinar include:

  • to affirm and further underline the roles and contributions of youth in combating mis- and dis-information on COVID-19 and other related heath emergencies;
  • to discuss and propose feasible schemes, especially youth-led interventions, of improving the current media landscape;
  • to build a pool of MIL Ambassadors for peaceful society;
  • to define the current media landscape in terms of “fake news” around the COVID-19 and present relevant interventions of UNESCO on media and Information Literacy;
  • to announce the winners on the just concluded Call for Jingle competition; and
  • to present the report of the just concluded survey on The Perception of COVID-19 Communication in West Africa that was carried out

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Expected Results and Activities

  1. Participants informed of the current perception of communication on Covid-19 in West Africa and detected what aspects should be initiated and improved in the crisis communication strategies, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.
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Activity 1: One keynote speech from an experienced journalist is delivered to introduce the current communication landscape and the corresponding changing narrative within the region.

Activity 2: The data report of ‘The Perception of COVID-19 Communication in West Africa (non-Sahel)’ is addressed to look in details covering the aspects of the used platforms, the reliance of information and people’s trust level towards various sources of information.

Activity 3: Presentation of media representative, e.g. StarTimes, about their specific interventions to combat fake news on COVID-19.

  • Increased awareness of the practices related to countering online disinformation and misinformation by young people in Western Africa.

Activity 1:  Interventions from youth organization are addressed to identify the roles taken by youths in combating disinformation and explain relevant examples in different countries in Western Africa in the efforts of combatting mis- and dis-information.

Activity 2: The announcement of the winners of Call for Jingles against Dis- and Misinformation on COVID-19. Winners are invited to take one-minute winning remarks, focusing on their video/jingle production.

  • Further enhanced the impact of this event and raised awareness of combating mis- and dis-information among the youth.

Activity 1:  An online exhibition of the winners’ works will be raised on the social media platform after the webinar.

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