Over 1,200 academics join the media literacy program to tackle misinformation and fake news | Malaysia
The file image shows commuters walking past an ad at a train station in Kuala Lumpur on March 28, 2018, which discourages spreading fake news. – Reuters pic
KUALA LUMPUR, September 3 – Over 1,200 educators across the country have joined the Media Education Academy’s (MEA) media literacy program to tackle misinformation and fake news.
The MEA is a media literacy program from Media Education For All (ME4A), a national movement of the social enterprise Arus Academy and the Impact Media collective The Fourth in collaboration with 15 specially selected educators.
It was launched today via a virtual event with the Director of the Teaching Professions Department of the Ministry of Education (MOE), Azhar Ahman.
“In the media-saturated world we now live in, it is more important than ever for us to equip our children with the right skills to navigate the sea of information available. This is where media literacy can play a critical role in making our students smarter and more responsible media consumers, ”said Azhar.
Another special guest at the opening was the Dean of the Faculty of Communication and Language at Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI), Associate Professor Mazura @ Mastura Muhammad.
“While this initiative is new, in this fast-paced era of information technology, it is our responsibility to boldly explore and find ways to teach students the best methods of information gathering, critical analysis, and smart decisions,” she said.
Teachers who complete the MEA program will teach what they have learned in their respective schools and prepare their students to become responsible and empowered media users.
Professional journalists and advocates have praised the MEA program and called for more teachers, schools and government education departments to enroll.
“As we’ve seen throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, misinformation can be fatal. It can wreak havoc and allow social injustice to flourish. That’s why the MEA is so important – we need to equip our kids with media literacy so they can put an end to misinformation in the years to come, said Star Media Group’s award-winning RAGE team editor.
The Executive Director of the Center for Independent Journalism (CIJ), Wathshlah Naidu, said that the MEA program anchors media literacy education at all levels in the school curriculum daily process.
Arus Academy began developing MEA earlier this year when they recruited 15 founding teachers and matched them with local media professionals to create a uniquely localized media literacy program.
“The public needs to know that education is not static. It has to change and adapt to the needs of the times. I am very grateful for this opportunity to combat this problem, ”said David Chak, co-founder of Arus Academy.
Educators can also register for the MEA Challenge, a nationwide competition for teachers and lecturers to develop teaching materials that integrate media and information literacy into their lessons.
The teaching aids are compiled in a resource bank available to all Malaysian educators, with the winners of the challenge taking home a total of RM 10,000 in cash prizes. To find out more about the program, send a direct message to the campaign’s Facebook page at facebook.com/mediaedu4all or to the Telegram group at t.me/mediaedu4all.