As the New Year rolls into action, we at Shout Out couldn’t be more excited! It’s been a busy 12 months of news, guest appearances, workshops and teaching seminars — phew! And 2019 will be no exception. Watch the space for more opportunities to join our growing community of writers and young talent, with competitions, videos, podcasts and exclusive events on the way!
Now let’s hear from the whole team!
Matteo Bergamini: Founder & CEO
2018 has been one hell of a year. Brexit has dominated most of our politics, especially the confusion and misinformation surrounding it leading us to question what the outcome of it all will be. Young people have mobilized against it in a show of force not seen since the rise of Corbyn or the tuition fee U-turn by the Lib Dems.
Yet Brexit has shown us something else as well. It has shown us how fragile our democracy is. How unprepared we can be to tackle big political debates, as we simple do not know the facts and are often unable to acquire them. This may hurt the ego of many, but the Brexit debate at all levels has been discredited — not least for being brutally misinformed.
As a population, we are products of an educational system which still (in 2019) does not provide us with basic political literacy and media literacy education. This means that many of us can go through our entire education without once talking or learning about what Parliament and our democracy does … or gaining the critical thinking skills needed to identify media bias and misinformation.
Brexit could not have highlighted the need for both more clearly. Our democracy has been stress-tested and it has failed miserable.
It is one thing having all the opportunities in the world available to us, but without truly understanding how to use them, we are simply pilots flying a plane we have never flown: blind and unsure. Our ego is the main obstacle stopping us from admitting that we need to learn more; in fact, many of us would rather careen into a cliff than admit we don’t know — that we lack sufficient knowledge.
There is a shining light, however. More and more schools are taking the initiative themselves and running classes, workshops and talks on both Media Literacy and Political Literacy. Our school numbers have shot through the roof since the start of 2018 and this is heartwarming. We know that despite our Government, we have teachers able and willing to fight for what our democracy needs to thrive. Against all impediments we push on, confidently, into 2019.
Katrina Fairhurst: Communications Officer
I am looking forward to this year bringing more opportunities, both for myself and for Shout Out UK. As we continue to grow, I hope 2019 sees us succeed in everything we have planned and I hope to develop as a person and become more secure in myself and my job.
Lucie Spicer: Education Coordinator
Hello everyone! Hope you all had a lovely New Year celebration. In 2019 I am most looking forward to our #MediaMinded trip and all the new schools I will be teaching in. I am also looking forward to my holiday in Prague and dragging my partner to visit every historical monument I can. 2018 has been a whirlwind of new experiences; finishing my job, moving to London, and of course, starting my role as Education Coordinator for Shout Out!
Ralitsa Raleva: Businees Development Officer
Happy New Year to everyone! I hope for a successful and productive 2019, with loads of quality time with my friends.
Diana Aganey: Managing Editor
It is not possible to end 2018 without acknowledging all the talented writers I have had the pleasure of working with. Thanks to you, our platform maintains its constant and vigorous voice. As the Taoist proverb goes: ‘do great things while they are still small’ (or something like that …) so for me, and hopefully for all of you, 2019 will be about taking small but constant steps towards making our goals and aspirations come to life.
Happy New Year To All!