‘Be Media Smart' campaign launched to coincide with European Media Literacy Week
A new public awareness campaign launched during European Media Literacy Week (March 18-22) will encourage people of all ages to stop, think, and check that information they see, read or hear across any media platform is reliable.
The ‘Be Media Smart’ campaign is designed to help people identify sources of information that may be unreliable, as well as deliberately false or misleading information.
It will enhance people’s understanding of, and engagement with media, while also empowering them with the skills to evaluate content across all platforms.
Evidence supports the necessity for a media literate population:
83% of Europeans think ‘Fake News’ is a threat to democracy* and 73% of European internet users are concerned about disinformation in the pre-election period. **
68% of Europeans say they come across fake news at least once a week. ***
The ‘Be Media Smart’ campaign comprises a dedicated website www.bemediasmart.ie, TV and radio ads, a social media campaign and a nationwide PR campaign.
A consumer leaflet with tips and advice will also be made available through libraries.
The TV ad campaign was launched by TG4 at half time in Croke Park during the All-Ireland Senior Club hurling and football finals on St Patrick’s Day.
‘Be Media Smart’ has been devised by Media Literacy Ireland (MLI), a network of volunteer members working together to empower people to make informed media choices about the media content and services that they consume, create, and disseminate across all platforms.
The MLI network is a unique collaboration between a variety of organisations, including media (broadcast, news publishers, digital organisations), online providers, libraries, academia, and the community and voluntary sector. The formation of the network was facilitated by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI).
Professor Brian O’Neill, TU Dublin and chair of the MLI Steering Group, said: “Media literacy – our capacity to access, have a critical understanding of, and interact with the media – has never been as important as it is today.
“In a time when we are faced with a huge volume of information from a variety of sources, this campaign is a timely reminder of how important it is that people are aware of where their information comes from, and how to recognise information that might not be reliable.
“The Be Media Smart awareness campaign is built around bringing the same level of care to one’s information sources as one would of their food provenance or car history.
“When the call went out to MLI members to support this campaign we were thrilled by the response – demonstrating the importance that MLI members place on helping people to Be Media Smart. We are very grateful to everyone involved in making this unique initiative a reality.” Professor O’Neill said.
* Flash Eurobarometer (April 2018) http://ec.europa.eu/commfrontoffice/publicopinion/index.cfm/survey/getsurveydetail/instruments/flash/surveyky/2183)
** Special Eurobarometer 477 (November 2018) http://ec.europa.eu/commfrontoffice/publicopinion/index.cfm/survey/getsurveydetail/instruments/special/surveyky/219
*** European Commission public consultation on fake news and tackling disinformation (February 2018) https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/factsheet-tackling-online-disinformation