Nowadays, we get most information from the media, and rely on the media outlets to learn, keep in touch with other people and entertain ourselves. They play an important role in the lives of minors, which is why the Agency for Electronic Media pays particular attention to their protection from inappropriate media contents.
To be literate in the 21st century, implies being media literate. In the digital age, media or digital literacy is equally necessary as the traditional one that requires reading and writing skills. In other words, children need to learn how to read and write through different types of media, including digital ones. Only in that case will they be able to participate in the society and be informed citizens capable of making critical assessment of how reliable different news are, especially when they are contradictory. Therefore, media literacy is essential to a democratic society.
Aware of the necessity of strengthening the media literacy skills, the Agency for Electronic Media launched, in cooperation with the UNICEF Office, the campaign “Let’s Choose What We Watch” early this year. The goal of the campaign is to promote media literacy among both parents and children, improve the quality of media reporting on children’s’ rights and improve of the quality of media programmes for youth in Montenegro.
The campaign kicked off with three videos targeting parents, whose message is “Let’s Choose What We Watch”. As important campaign activity, a survey on how children and parents use the media in Montenegro, how and with whom they discuss the media contents, and how they interpret the information disseminated by the media is currently in the pipeline. The information obtained will be used to carry out new activities, in order to support the development of media literacy among children and parents in Montenegro.
Moreover, the Young Reporters Project is implemented as a part of the “Let’s Choose What We Watch” campaign, focusing on the journalism training of minors, teaching them to report on the topics of importance to them in a quality manner, and giving them an opportunity to voice their opinion in the media.
Through the campaign, we will be cooperating with the media not only in terms of raising awareness and boosting media literacy skills of parents and their children, but also in terms of the quality of reporting on the issues related to the children’s rights and the improvement of quality of youth programmes available in the Montenegrin media.
We plan to organize the training of journalists and strengthen their skills to report on all issues in an ethical manner, including on the most sensitive topics related to children’s rights. We will support the media outlets in their raising the issues that are considered to be taboos and reporting on the negative phenomena, without harming the dignity, privacy and best interest of children.
The new methods of communication used by the young people require a new set of skills in human interaction and in the use of different devices and applications. In view of the fact that almost every child uses various social networks and mobile applications, we have joined the social networks Facebook (MedijskaPismenostMNE) and Instagram (medijskapismenostmne). In this way, we would like to get closer to the young people and talk about the media literacy on their terms. We would like to send a message that the media are neither good nor bad per se, and that their influence on us and the lives of our children depends on how we use them. For that reason, “Let’s Choose What We Watch.”