The Global Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Week is commemorated annually in October and is a major occasion for stakeholders to review and celebrate the progress made towards achieving “MIL for All”.
Disinformation, coupled with information and knowledge divides, threatens the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and fundamental human rights for all. The world has come to recognize the threat of disinformation particularly as it came face-to-face with a recent wave of disinformation with the COVID-19 crisis where access to credible information has become a matter of life or death.
The theme for this year’s Global MIL Week, Resisting the Disinfodemic: Media and Information Literacy for and by everyone, highlights how we can look to addressing disinformation and divides by recognizing our shared interest in improving everyone’s capabilities to engage with the opportunities and risks in today’s media and information landscape.
Penplusbytes under the auspices of UNESCO and with support from DW Akademie, Ghana Institute of Journalism, University of Ghana and the Ghana Commission for UNESCO is organizing a series of events to mark the global celebration. They include a media/public launch, workshops/seminars, webinars, online discussions and a social media campaign starting from 23rd to 30th of October 2020.
The executive director of Penplusbytes, Juliet Amoah reiterates, “Target 10 of SDG 16 intends to contribute to building societies that are democratic, peaceful, inclusive, and just and this is MIL’s ultimate goal. MIL also contributes to Target 4.7 of SDG 4 by guaranteeing that all learners gain the competencies needed to promote sustainable development. All these are endangered by the volume of disinformation that has evolved from the COVID-19 pandemic: which has been dubbed “Disinfodemic”.”
Discussions during the week will seek to draw attention to how stakeholders in the MIL space in Ghana can foster the free flow of information and ideas while addressing disinformation and its attendant effects on the varied divides within our communities. Conversations will further highlight the successes and challenges of the MIL promotion movement in Ghana.
“Ahead of the elections, it has become imperative that disinformation is highlighted in our discourse around online and offline election campaigning and Penplusbytes is leading in this effort with various campaigns on different platforms”, Ms. Amoah added.
Penplusbytes is a not-for-profit organization driving change through innovations in four key areas: using new digital technologies to enable good governance and accountability, new media and innovations, and enhancing oversight for effective utilisation of mining, oil and gas revenue and resources and health, environment and research.