Topical seminar on media literacy in educational institutions held on February 27


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The first topical seminar in 2024 revolved around the programs of media literacy training in educational institutions of different level, and featured speakers from Russia and Africa. Dr. Mustapha Muhammed Jamiu shared experience of West African countries in adopting media literacy programs, while Dr. Anna Tolokonnikova shifted focus to the similar training among younger audiences.

February 27 was marked by the first topical seminar in the spring semester, themed around media literacy in educational institutions. The discussion of international calibre provided a chance to tap into the collective wisdom of scholars from Russia and Africa to explore how schools and universities empower the youth with the skills needed in today’s information society.

Dr. Mustapha Muhammed Jamiu based at Peoples' Friendship University of Russia joined us from Nigeria to share practices of seven West African countries in adopting media literacy programs and chart future prospects of shaping higher educational training in the area. As noted by the speaker, varying definitions of media literacy essentially boil down to the ability to access, analyse and create media messages, as well as to participate and communicate thereby.

Despite the rise of civil society organisations centred on media literacy, most higher institutions in the countries under research do not have media literacy related courses but are limited to teaching certain aspects of the problem area. At the same time, students appear to be highly interested in acquiring
media literacy competencies, pointing to a clear-cut need to integrate the corresponding programs in higher institutions’ curriculums.

Dr. Anna Tolokonnikova from the Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov MSU, shifted focus to the training among younger audiences, drawing on a slightly different understanding of media literacy as a more specified set of competencies related to professional journalism routines. In particular, she heavily
leaned on the faculty’s experience of partnering with schools to provide professional training to schoolchildren as part “Media Class in a Moscow School” project. In 2022, profile media classes for 10- and 11-graders were opened in more than 180 schools across Moscow, geared with study programs and courses developed by our faculty. Same year, a brand- new educational track for 7-, 8- and 9-graders was launched. The interest in media and information< literacy is on the rise in other Russian regions too, leading to debates around the introduction of media teacher’s position in secondary schools, as well as development of additional education for schoolers and media literacy courses for parents.

Big thanks to both speakers for sharing lessons learned in different countries and creating a shared vision for future development!