As media and information saturate our lives, it is vital that students and youth learn to decode media messages and images, to ask critical questions about who is creating them and for what purpose and to be produce their own media to give themselves a voice.
This knowledge is important and fundamental in helping young people to become informed citizens who can actively and successfully communicate with their society and the world.
To this end, UNICEF and the African Centre for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) will hold a workshop on New Media for students and youth in Abuja, Nigeria, from June 15-18.
The workshop will bring together over 50 students and youth from secondary schools and youth organizations in Abuja. The workshop is designed to develop the knowledge and skill of participants in the use of new media, to enable them to respond to the increasingly ever-growing challenges posed by rapid technological development and a media saturated world.
“Students and youth in Nigeria are immersed in new media every day and yet they seldom stop to think critically about it. Examining the power and impact of new media can be fun and engaging and adults can learn as much from young people as young people learn from adults,” says Lewis Asubiojo, director of AFRICMIL. “Together, we can make a real difference in the way young people understand and use new media.”
According to Asubiojo, “New media technologies also provide new opportunities for students and youth as media creators, which can play a significant role in their learning, encourage and support their creative expression, teach valuable cooperation and problem-solving skills and help them develop skills required in our information economy.”
As use of new media and technology increases so does the experience of risk. Efforts are needed to support students, youth, teachers and parents in different ways concerning their online activities, and to build critical literacy and safety skills that enhance online benefits and digital citizenship.
Some of the topic to be treated at the workshop include, understanding new media and new media technologies, social media, Web 2.0, promoting the Child Rights Act, intercultural dialogue and citizenship, Internet safety for students and youth, writing for media, setting up social media platforms, etc.
While the workshop seeks to encourage young people to become thoughtful, informed and empowered citizens, it will also mark the beginning of the Young Reporters Network (YOREN) project which aims to give voice to students and youth across the country. It will be a national platform for young people to network, speak out and make their voices heard by a broad and diverse audience using new media.
UNICEF is the world’s leading organization for children, promoting the rights and well being of every child. Together with its partners, UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information please visit www.unicef.org
AFRICMIL is a media and information institute for students and youth. It is dedicated to a new vision of media and information literacy that provides African children and youth with skills required for effective participation in development activities, using media and providing opportunities for their increased positive presence in media and ICT.
For more information please visit www.africmil.org