The winners of the European Media Literacy Awards 2019 have been announced during the European Media Literacy Conference event in Brussels. Giuseppe Abbamonte, Director for Media Policy at DG Connect, awarded three project winners in different categories focusing on innovative media literacy project, most educative media literacy project, and the media literacy project with the greatest European potential.

Photo of the winners on the podium

The winners of the European Media Literacy Awards 2019 are:

  • Media mashup
  • HTML heroes
  • Media mistakes

Giuseppe Abbamonte, Director of Media at DG Connect, awarded the winners during the European Media Literacy Conference organised in Brussels on 19 March 2019.

The European Media Literacy Conference is the main event of the European Media Literacy week, hosted by the Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel. The conference has brought together experts from the public and private sector from across the EU to debate the topic. Participants have discussed the role of public authorities and different stakeholders in promoting media literacy.

The Media Literacy Awards considered the value of the three winning projects/initiatives on the following bases:

  • Media mashup: Award for the most innovative media literacy project (making use of innovative methodologies, means of communication or digital technologies – but as well being innovative compared to other initiatives in the field);
  • HTML heroes: Award for the most educative media literacy project (addressing the specific education needs of the project’s target audience); and
  • Media mistakes: Award for the media literacy project with the greatest European potential (cross-border elements, potential of scalability and/or focus on topics particularly relevant for EU citizens).

Almost 130 Projects from European countries have applied for the award.  The projects were evaluated by a jury of experts, who selected the finalists and the three winners. The selection was based on the following main criteria:

  1. Originality and innovation: how innovative is the media literacy project compared to other initiatives in the field?
  2. Impact and scalability: the impact on the intended target groups and the potential of the project to be scaled up to address a wider audience.
  3. Clarity of presentation: the description is clear and easy to understand.

Background

Ten project have been selected as finalists for the Media literacy Awards. Their projects vary from teaching digital skills to bridging and filling the gaps in the journalism.

  • Internet Knowledge is a Swedish project aiming at teaching basic digital skills to adult citizens – a population category less likely to have received media literacy education. They have produced tailored educational content (articles, short films etc.) and distributed it over different online platforms, based on data about Swedes’ digital presence and consumption patterns. They have reached approximately 2 500 000 Swedes on social media so far. Their initial focus was on source criticism, online freedom of expression, hate speech and disinformation. They are now focusing on Internet security and will also cover digital content creation and the basics of programming. https://internetkunskap.se/
  • Casoris is a Slovenian project that focus on publication of the online newspaper for children. The newspaper aims at teaching children how to access and use the media, how to distinguish facts and opinions or how to spot fake news. It also includes a section for teachers and parents with tips how to discuss difficult issues with children. The website of the newspaper  has 10k of monthly visits and it also includes a selection of articles in English. https://casoris.si/
  • Globe Reporters is a French project, also implemented in Belgium, Romania and Turkey, acting as a digital bridge between the world of journalism and the school universe. 510 students, 35 teachers and 6 journalists have so far participated in the project, acting in secondary school classrooms as “editors in chief” and “special correspondents”. Based on selected topics, students curate information from different sources on a digital platform and work on collective media outputs with the help of the journalists (producing interviews, videos, articles etc.). They have explored the theme of European integration in 2017 and 2018 and will continue with European elections in 2019. http://globe-reporters.org/campagnes/bruxelles-coeur-europeen/
  • HTML Heroes is an Irish project aiming to help 7-10 year old children in developing critical thinking and digital media literacy skills. It has already reached approximately 3,400 schools in Ireland, organising lessons concerning the subjects of online advertising, fake news or safe communication online. The project uses entertaining animations to help students understand such topics. It should also be noted that the teaching materials were designed to meet the needs of pupils with special educational needs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5q9OQNujeAs
  • Cartooning for citizenship is a French initiative using cartoons as a pedagogical tool. The project includes Media Literacy workshops aiming to equip beneficiaries with critical thinking skills through debates on the selected cartoons. Such an exercise enables participants to exercise their judgment and differentiate between opinions and facts. The project is designed to reach young students (12-18 years old) as well as prisoners. Since 2017 it has reached more than a million of young people and 600 prisoners. www.cartooningforpeace.org
  • Media Literacy in an age of News Overabundance: Macedonian Media and Information Literacy (MAMIL) is an EU-funded North Macedonian project, targeting high school students and media outlets. It publishes the only high school newspaper in the country, motivating students to be journalists. It organises Media Days and Media Labs in high schools, as well as a media literacy summer camp, building bridges between schools and the media world (visits of media outlets, workshops, lectures etc.). The project also produced two pieces of research mapping media literacy in the country and 5 videos on media literacy to be used in high schools. www.medium.edu.mk
  • Science Truck is an online media program by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) aiming to fight against misleading information and fake news by promoting scientific and critical thinking and information literacy. Science Truck takes place in the premises of secondary schools all over Spain and brings together recognised youtubers in the field of scientific communication, scientists, secondary teachers and students. It aims to build a bridge between innovative scientific communication content and the educational community and is broadcast live via streaming, on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, where team members jointly have almost 1.5 million subscribers to their respective digital channels. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IA9MpUnaQKE
  • Media Mashup is a Belgian interactive film project for high schools the purpose of which is to raise awareness about propaganda in an active and creative way. Children aged 12-18 can experiment with imagery manipulation intuitively and creatively by using the Mashup table. The Mashup table transforms editing into a collaborative process so that all participants can have an active part in it. Eventually, the youngsters make their own film using the learned techniques. They think about what they would like to change in their environment and how they could translate their ideas into positive messages. https://professionals.jeugdfilm.be/nl/meer-dan-film/workshop/media-mashup
  •  “Superheroes on the Internet!” is a project from the Ministry of Culture of Latvia to build  a social campaign for media literacy and Internet safety for 5-8 year olds. The campaign uses 5 animated videos with rhymes to promote media literacy and inform about the risks and opportunities in the Internet environment. This campaign was implemented in schools where children can earn “superpowers” and get a diploma. Teachers and other interested parties have free access to the methodological recommendations on how to include these videos in lessons. http://vp.gov.lv/supervaronis/
  • Media Mistakes is a Finnish project that helps to understand the ethical decisions the newsrooms and editors have to make every day. It also highlights the importance of ethical rules and boundaries of the responsible journalism and differences between such journalism and fake news. Together with the Finnish Council for Mass Media, 8 complaints were analysed and presented in a short animated video (1-2 min). After watching the video, the decision is left to the viewer: was the media guilty or innocent of breaking the ethical guidelines of journalism? The project has reached around 40000 people.