In recent times, people, regardless of their gender, ability, background and geographical location, have become publishers in their own right and can find and disseminate information in an easy and accessible way through various platforms. Even though the opportunities and advantages offered by social media and by extension, communication technologies, are enormous; there are also some dangers they present. The internet and online digital platforms open up challenges such as misinformation and disinformation, hate speech, cyberbullying and infringement of online privacy, among others.
In a bid to respond to the aforementioned, Penplusbytes and its partners (DW Akademie Ghana, UNESCO Ghana, University of Ghana-Department of Communication Studies, Ghana Institute of Journalism and the Ghana National Commission for UNESCO) will for the fourth year running, organize and facilitate various public events to commemorate the 2022 Global MIL Week from October 21st to 31st, 2022.
According to the Executive Director of Penplusbytes, Mr. Jerry Sam, the theme for this year’s Global MIL Week – “Nurturing Trust – A Media and Information Literacy Imperative” – is in order and very appropriate considering the upsurge in fake news (mis/disinformation) the world is experiencing now and its adverse effects on the credibility of the news media.
Touching on this year’s celebration, Mr. Sam added that, the goal is to equip more young people with media and information literacy skills and knowledge to enable them critically and effectively engage with media and information content both online and offline.
“Penplusbytes has over the last 3 years built the competencies of young people in MIL to enable them to embrace the advantages and minimize harm in the new information, digital and communication landscapes. This year, we continue in that line by ensuring inclusivity and innovative approaches in our concept for MIL capacity building” he added.
The week-long celebration will be kick-started with an opening ceremony and launch of the MIL week on Friday 21st October 2022 in Accra; followed by an online awareness campaign using the hashtags #ThinkCritically #ClickWisely. Regional Youth Agenda Forums (Virtual and Face-to-Face) will also be organized during the week and a Market Road Show will climax the week-long activities.
According to the Programme Manager at Penplusbytes, Precious Ankomah, the activities for this year’s MIL week celebration have been carefully planned to target the masses.
“This year, Penplusbytes wants to celebrate the MIL week in a different way from what we are used to. We want to step outside and reach out to the masses. MIL is for all – women and men equally. As such, people must be empowered to access new information/knowledge and to express themselves using same means. Reason why as part of our activities, we will be embarking on the Markets Road Show which is our bid to reach the unread and the semi-literate Ghanaian with the message of MIL,” she stated.
To ensure inclusivity, “activities to celebrate 2022 MIL week will also include persons with disabilities, especially the deaf. Equipping young persons with disabilities with MIL skills is a significant step towards their empowerment as they will be fully equipped to better understand the world around them and contribute meaningfully to it,” she added.
For more details on activities for this year’s Global MIL Week, connect with Penplusbytes on all social media platforms- @penplusbytes.
Penplusbytes is a not-for-profit organization driving change through innovations in the following key areas: using new digital technologies to enable good governance and accountability, new media and innovations, climate and well-being, and enhancing oversight for effective utilisation of mining, oil and gas revenue and resources.