Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, February 2 – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Central Asia Media Program kicked off the second annual MediaCAMP Eduthon 2021, an innovative seminar on media and digital literacy. The virtual event gathers university professors, schoolteachers, media trainers, and experts in the field of media and digital literacy from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Over the course of five days, with mentorship from international and local media and digital experts, participants will team up and develop projects on interactive teaching of media and digital literacy to various populations using digital tools.
Opening the event, USAID Regional Mission Director for Central Asia, Christopher Edwards commented on how the pandemic has changed how people access information, “Misinformation, rumors, speculation, disinformation, fake news, and conspiracy theories have spread faster than the virus itself,” he added, “This is why our joint efforts to promote media literacy are so important. It is vital for people to think more critically and be more discerning of their information sources.”
The Eduthon is an open and creative platform for the development of effective projects to promote media literacy across diverse population groups. Eduthon participants – including students, civic activists, and media professionals – will help increase the region’s media and digital literacy by reaching new segments of the population with original media literacy projects tailored to local communities.
“With the global pandemic, the need to improve media and digital literacy skills among the population has become more pressing than ever. The world has faced an infodemic, there is an unbelievable volume of misinformation about COVID-19 and the vaccine, and we had to address these challenges online. It isn’t easy, but online activities can be engaging and interesting, and we are demonstrating that during our Eduthon. This year our focus is on interactive methods, games, and visualization,” said Marat Bigaliyev, the Central Asia Media Program Chief of Party, in his remarks.
The Central Asia Media Program will provide financial support for the further development and implementation of the most promising projects developed at the Eduthon.
The USAID-funded Central Asia Media Program, implemented by Internews, aims to develop a more balanced information environment in Central Asia in order to increase openness among young people and adults to various ideas, opinions, and perspectives, and in turn increase their engagement in civic participation. USAID is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. For more information on USAID in Central Asia, visit: https://www.usaid.gov/central-asia-regional, the Central Asia Media Program: https://ru.internews.kz/mediacamp/, Internews: https://internews.org/, Internews in Kazakhstan: http://start.internews.kz/.v