Casimir Pherton, a student from the Episcopal University of Haiti, wouldn’t have missed this opportunity. Passionate about Media and Information Literacy (MIL), the student wants to raise awareness on the importance of fighting against misinformation. “My aim is to stimulate debate and encourage reflection on MIL within our country”, says Pherton, who recently published an open letter to the Ministry of Education of Haiti titled “For the Integration of MIL Into the Haitian School Curriculum”.
Echoing Casimir’s dedication, approximately 200 teams from over 50 countries have already registered for UNESCO’s Fifth Global Media and Information Literacy Youth Hackathon. Their objective will be to design innovative solutions to empower media and information literacy in digital spaces. From interactive games, applications and websites to podcasts and creative community-based interventions, the hackathon welcomes diverse formats that are creative, sustainable and impactful.
To prepare the participants for this unique challenge, UNESCO has put together a dedicated mentoring programme scheduled for the first week of September 2023.
On day 1, participants will delve into to the fundamentals of Media and Information Literacy. Trinna Leong, a journalist based in Singapore, who conceptualized and ran the programme ‘Youth Verification Challenge’ hosted by Google News, will provide a comprehensive overview on MIL in the current media landscape, with a focus on fact-checking tools. Theo Dolan, an expert from IREX will conduct a special session on ‘innovation in countering disinformation & hate speech’, drawing from his extensive experience in strengthening people’s resilience against manipulative information in more than 20 countries.
On Day 2, participants will have the opportunity to receive coaching from experts on coding for web, mobile and gaming platforms. Slim Regaieg, an IT teacher from Tunisia, will lead a session dedicated to the coding tool Appinventor, developed by MIT. Valentine Masicha, an ambassador of the SAP Africa Code Week, expects that after her session “participants can master the principles of coding for mobile and also develop creative and design thinking”.
The winning teams of the Youth Hackathon, selected by an independent judging panel, will get a unique opportunity to present their project during the closing ceremony of the Global MIL Week (23-25 October 2023). The event is organized by UNESCO in close partnership with the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan under the theme ‘Media and Information Literacy in Digital Spaces’. It will encompass plenary sessions, side events and other activities involving high-level personalities, international experts, stakeholders and partners representing various fields relevant to MIL.