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The USAID-Funded Central Asia Media Program Holds an International Conference on Media Literacy
June 9, 2022

A group of people posing in front of a USAID backdrop

On June 9-10, 2022, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Central Asia Media Program is hosting an International Media Literacy Conference at the Kazakhstan Hotel in Almaty.

The event is gathering 60 media literacy experts from Central Asia and beyond to promote media and information literacy in the region. In Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan many innovative projects are being implemented to support the spread of media and information literacy: board and mobile games, theater plays, comics, and so on. However, the vast majority of those initiatives are carried out by non-governmental and civil society organizations. Countries of the region can benefit from national strategies for developing media literacy that includes all stakeholders. The goal of the conference is to develop a conceptual framework and recommendations for designing those strategies based on local and international experience.

Opening the event, USAID Central Asia Regional Mission Director, Lawrence Hardy II, noted, “Media literacy is neither ideological nor political but is the ability to decipher messages and think critically about information. Critical thinking is one of the major life skills that needs to be mastered by all citizens as active participants in a democratic society. It helps to promote stability and avoid social polarization, thus increasing public trust in government.”

The conference, which will be joined by representatives of education-related government agencies and ministries from the region, will showcase best practices from Central Asia and beyond, with a focus on creative approaches. In particular, the event includes the premiere of a musical on media literacy by young Kazakhstani author Annas Baghdat, a finalist of Internews MediaCAMP regional Eduthon in 2022.

Participants will also discuss trends in promoting media literacy, such as interdisciplinary approach, gamification, mobile technologies and engaging with performing arts. Another important theme of the conference is society’s resilience to disinformation in times of crisis. Several sessions will be dedicated to the specific challenges Central Asia is currently facing in this regard and the ways to address them.

“Each year we are becoming more and more certain that media literacy skills are vital in the era of information that we live in. There is still so much work to do. We’ll move forward faster if civil society, NGOs and the government will support each other’s activities. We hope that the MediaCAMP International Media Literacy Conference will build a foundation for future cooperation,” said the Head of the Representative Office of Internews in Central Asia and the Central Asia Media Program Chief of Party, Marat Bigaliyev.Anyone interested in media literacy is welcome to attend open sessions that will be streamed on Internews’ YouTube channel on June 9 and 10, 2022. The topics include national strategy to promote media literacy in Finland, new standards for media literacy education, and challenges regarding disinformation in Central Asia. The agenda for the open sessions is available at the following link.

The Central Asia Media Program is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Internews. The Central Asia Media Program 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 please visit: USAID in Central Asia: https://www.usaid.gov/central-asia-regional, Central Asia Media Program: https://ru.internews.kz/mediacamp/, Internews Global: https://internews.org/about-us, and Internews in Kazakhstan: http://start.internews.kz/.