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Young People Talk Media Literacy at the US Embassy

by / 0 Comments / 02/11/2017

On Tuesday the 31st of October, Shout Out UK continued their #MediaMinded event at the U.S. Embassy in London with a host of GCSE and A-level students.

With the sheer quantity of information and polarising opinions expressed through new, traditional and social media, it is has become increasingly more important for young people especially to critically examine the media they consume.

These issues and more came under the spotlight at a media literacy workshop hosted at the U.S Embassy London with the participation of seven schools – St Peter’s Catholic School, Windsor Boys School, Sacred Heart School, Marylebone Boys’ School, Ibstock Place, Haberdashers’
Aske’s Crayford Academy and Brampton Manor Academy.

With the help of media practitioners and researchers, students engaged in wide and varied discussions on the role of the media and strategies to help develop informed opinions. A broad range of topics were covered, including GMOs, North Korea, Russia and the effects AI and Automation might have upon our future lives.

Participants were asked to examine a range of media sources and identify the narrative and core message of each piece.

Students were also encouraged to consider the following questions: Is there an agenda hidden beneath the words and images? Is the author trying to influence your mind-set in some manner? How can we trust our media and formulate our own opinions if there are inherent attempts at manipulation?

Participants addressed these issues in their final presentations, which led to an in-depth discussion into the role of the media.

Matteo Bergamini, Managing Director of Shout Out UK, said, “The internet has opened up so many possibilities and places to get information. It can often be overwhelming and create mistrust as we don’t know where to get our information from and what to believe. Workshops like this help young people analyse the media critically and explore what makes good journalism, ensuring they don’t box themselves in with mis-information. Breaking down the media, what it is and what it does, is a life skill everyone should have.”

The US Embassy in London’s Public Affairs Officer, Courtney Austrian, said “In a world with so many competing narratives and increasing information overload, it’s important to champion intelligent consumption of information. We were delighted to have the opportunity to work with ShoutOutUK to pioneer our MediaMinded program for British youth and look forward to continuing this program.”